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What to Watch on Friday: The unforgettable crimes of Diane Downs on 20/20

Watch the trailer for 20/20: Diane Downs

Watch the trailer for ABC 20/20: Diane Downs, a mother convicted of shooting her three children.
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Watch the trailer for ABC 20/20: Diane Downs, a mother convicted of shooting her three children.

20/20: Diane Downs (9 p.m., ABC) - This is one of the most upsetting true crime stories I can recall — seared into my brain thanks to a chilling Farrah Fawcett miniseries (“Small Sacrifices”) that repeatedly played (and ruined for me) the Duran Duran song “Hungry Like the Wolf.” In Oregon in 1983, Diane Downs, dating a married man with no interest in children, shot her three sleeping kids in her car and made up a story about an attempted car-jacking. Then, according to witnesses who passed her on the road, she drove about 10 miles an hour to an emergency room. Her 7-year-old daughter, Cheryl died; her 8-year-old daughter, Christie, lost so much blood she suffered a stroke;, and her 3-year-old son, Danny, was paralyzed. Diane had another daughter, Becky, who was born in prison and adopted. Becky gave an interview to Oprah Winfrey in 2000 and is interviewed by ABC News for the 20/20 documentary, speaking about her adoption, getting letters from her mother in prison and her life now. ABC also has interviews with investigators, journalists and the ER doctor who worked on Downs and her kids. And speaking of Oprah, she interviewed Diane Downs from prison in 1988. You can watch the whole “Small Sacrifices” movie (based on a terrific Ann Rule book) on YouTube. The quality isn’t great, but it’s worth it.

Now Apocalypse (Starz) - Starz has made all 10 episodes of this critically acclaimed comedy available on all non-linear platforms to binge today. That means you can see it on the Starz app, Starz on demand, Starz.com, Starz YouTube channel, and Reddit and Pride Media platforms (Pride.com, OUT.com and Advocate.com). It’s created and executive produced by iconic Indie filmmaker Gregg Araki.

NCAA Tournament (CBS, TBS, TNT, truTV) - The First Round of the 2019 NCAA basketball tournament continues today, with games spread over four networks. In ACC action today, Virginia plays Gardner-Webb around 3 p.m. on truTV, Duke plays NC Central at 7:10 p.m. on CBS, UNC plays IONA around 10 p.m. on TNT and Virginia Tech plays Saint Louis around 10 on truTV. Round 2 takes place Saturday and Sunday. We have your complete viewing guide here, with the schedule, channels and streaming options.

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