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'Cold Case Files Classic': How to Watch All the Original Episodes Online

Newsweek logo Newsweek 9/18/2020 Samuel Spencer
a close up of a logo: Season 1 of 'Cold Case Files Classic' is streaming now on Netflix. © Netflix Season 1 of 'Cold Case Files Classic' is streaming now on Netflix.

Netflix this September has tried to follow on from the success of its Unsolved Mysteries reboot by releasing Cold Case Files Classic, a batch of episodes from the A&E series Cold Case Files, which ran on the network in the late '90s and early '00s before being rebooted in 2017.

However, Netflix has only released Season 1 of this show, meaning that there are over 100 episodes missing from the streamer. Though these are likely to be released over the coming months, viewers can watch them now for free on other services.

The best place to see all five seasons of Cold Case Files Classic, plus the 2017 reboot, is on the website of their original network, A&E. Cable subscribers can log-on to the site with their TV provider's details and see all of the around 140 episodes made of the show.

Viewers without cable, however, have multiple ways they can watch the show. PlutoTV, for example, has an entire channel dedicated to the show where true crime junkies can get their fill 24/7, and also has both the classic episodes and the reboot available to watch on-demand.

Other streamers have some of the episodes. Hulu subscribers, for example, can watch all 10 episodes of the 2017 version, but does not have the original episodes. This is also the case with Tubi and IMDBTV. The Roku Channel also has the reboot episodes for free, but to watch the classic episodes Roku users will have to subscriber to the streamer's A&E Crime Central add-on.

For true crime fans who missed the A&E show the first time, the official synopsis for the documentary series reads: "Murders go unsolved. Killers slip through the cracks. With the passage of time, families lose hope and another unsolved homicide file settles into obscurity. The pattern is familiar, but changing, thanks to the efforts of a special breed of detectives. Cold Case Files tells the story of their work."


Hosted by Bill Kurtis (and then later by Danny Glover), the show took historical murders that had been left unsolved and tried to use modern foreign science to finally find the killers.

The show is available as a podcast also named Cold Case Files, which focused on some of the 1 percent of cold cases that go on to be solved.

The synopsis for this audio version of the show reads: "Based on the iconic, Emmy-nominated series on A&E, this show explores some of the most difficult-to-solve murders, which stymied investigators and went cold, sometimes for decades. In fact, one-third of all murders in America remain open. But thanks to dogged investigators and breakthroughs in forensic technology, these cases become part of the rare 1% of cold cases that are ever solved. Hosted by Brooke Gittings (Convicted and Actual Innocence) and featuring the voice of original Cold Case Files host, Bill Kurtis."

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