Netflix’s latest binge has been making waves around the internet and for good reason. The Netflix Original documentary series announced in November and released in mid to late December followed the two court cases of Steven Avery. Spanning 10 episodes with each lasting an hour long it’s a a tough proposition but the payoff is fantastic.
It’s arguably one of the most detailed documentary series of its type following each intricate details of the case surrounding the suspected murderer. The first episode covers his dealing with the law up until the early 2000’s, uncovering additional evidence that showed he was innocent of the crimes against a woman in the 80’s. He could then have been tried again, with all the evidence pointing to the truth.
The show by its nature has caused some backlash already with the ‘scorching’ reviews left on the prosecutors Yelp page along with multiple petitions to the White House asking them to pardon Avery of his crimes. It’s been out for less than a month and it’s already causing a long lasting effect on the case.
Let's return to the original question: Would this show exist if it wasn't for Netflix? The answer seems to be no. Making A Murderer has a problem. It can become controversial from all angles and that could lead to bad reputations. It would pose a huge risk to them, as most TV networks depend on their advertising revenues and have a direct relationship to their revenue. Netflix doesn’t have to worry about these negative effects to their bottom line as they’re funded by the subscribers.
That would leave us to the conclusion that only an ‘independent’ broadcaster would want to show it. We’re looking at your HBO’s, possibly your PBS or even stations abroad including the BBC.
The creators of the show go into detail about the people they pitched in a NY Times story on the 2005 production. They noted that three years into production, they didn’t have a network to air on at all.
“Three years into production, they met with executives from HBO, PBS and various networks, but at the time, those networks lacked an appetite for such projects.”
They then took 3 episodes to Netflix in 2013 and that’s when they got the go-ahead and ultimately found a new home.
This wasn’t the first controversial subject that Netflix Original documentaries have covered and certainly won’t be the last. Netflix has released this documentary, blaming Ukraine's government for attacking its citizens during peaceful protests. A few years prior Netflix notably won awards for its documentary called ‘The Square’.
Let us know your thoughts. What do you think?