Atlanta-based Court TV evening anchor Vinnie Politan is a big-time pickleball player. So far, there has not been a major murder case connected to the rapidly growing (and often maligned) sport, but he said it’s just a matter of time.
Instead, he’s focusing his energies on a new Court TV show called “Accomplice to Murder With Vinnie Politan,” which airs on Sunday evenings on the network and is available on demand on its website.
Rather than homing in on the primary murderer, this true-crime program focuses on people deemed as possible accomplices to murder.
“We have a library of 30 years worth of trials,” said Politan in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We took a look at the accomplices who may or may not have helped the principals. Sometimes it’s an ordinary person with no reason to take someone’s life, who has no motive and somehow got wrapped up in the case. Oftentimes, they’re spouses or girlfriends or family members.”
He traveled the country to revisit the places where the crimes happened. “I’m a semi-empty nester and I have a little more time to work on a show like this,” he said. (An A&E show he hosted “Court Night Live” last fall did not make it to a second season.)
Prior to “Accomplice to Murder,” Politan’s TV career has largely been doing live TV at places like HLN, Sirius XM and two stints at Court TV.
“This type of show gives me a chance to provide more context and tell a more complete story all at once,” he said. “And we have the distance of time. Some of the cases go back decades.”
There’s even a case where the show dug up a clip of Politan covering the Kathleen Peterson murder case in 2001 for Court TV. “Look at that guy!” he said, looking at himself 22 years ago. “Why did he dye his hair so dark?”
Politan, now 58, said many of the 10 season one cases emanate from Florida because they have some of the most liberal rules when it comes to cameras in the court. “And interesting things always happen down there,” he noted. As a result, he said about one third of all the cases in Court TV’s archives come from that state.
There will be one case out of Georgia: Tara Grinstead, the Irwin County teacher who was killed in 2005 under murky circumstances and became the focus of a popular podcast “Up and Vanished,” hosted by Atlanta-based Payne Lindsey. Politan himself first revisited the case while working at 11Alive in Atlanta in the mid-2010s.
WHERE TO WATCH
“Accomplice to Murder”
7 p.m. Sundays on Court TV and available on demand at courttv.com