Investigation Discovery to Air ‘Making a Murderer’ News Special

Netflix - Making a Murderer
Courtesy of Netflix

Investigation Discovery will air a documentary news special focusing on the events in the hugely popular Netflix true-crime series “Making a Murderer,” the Discovery-owned channel announced Thursday at its Television Critics Association press day in Pasadena, Calif.

The news program, which is produced by NBC’s Peacock Productions, will be part of ID’s “Front Page” series and be hosted by “Dateline NBC” correspondent Keith Morrison. It promises to look at critical details surrounding the Steven Avery murder trial at the center of the Netflix project.

“We feel compelled to display some of the critical details missing from the Netflix production,” said Henry Schleiff, group president, Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel and Destination America, said at TCA. “In an attempt to provide critical and crucial testimonies that surround … Steven Avery.”

“Front Page: The Steven Avery Story” began production this week and will air in mid-January.

“We are excited to share with viewers the latest in this compelling saga,” said Schleiff in a statement. “Following our investigation, we expect that ‘Front Page: The Steven Avery Story’ will present crucial testimony and information that addresses many of the questions surrounding Steven Avery.”

“Making a Murderer” premiered in December and mainly focused on Avery, a Wisconsin man exonerated by DNA evidence after spending 18 years in prison for a sexual assault he didn’t commit — only to be re-arrested in 2005 and made to stand trial for the rape and murder of another woman, 25-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach. The documentary series, which is written and directed by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, strongly suggests that Avery is innocent of these crimes.

The series spurred national attention to the case and even resulted in White House petition asking for a pardon of Avery and his nephew, Brandon Dassey, who is also serving time for Halbach’s death.

Demos and Ricciardi told Variety earlier this week that their focus with the documentary was never to rally for exonerating Avery for the murder of Halbach, but to use the story of his prosecution to examine shortcomings of the criminal justice system. They are not connected to the White House petition or other online drives asking for Avery’s pardon.

“People are quite focused on the (Teresa) Halbach case itself and to effect change in that case. We respect that people are doing that but it wasn’t our goal,” Ricciardi said. “We weren’t taking up Steven Avery’s cause or Brendan Dassey’s cause. The public seems to be doing that now.”

Demos added: “Our goal was to start a dialogue about (the justice) system and what we can do to be more responsible to everyone who comes through it.”

Demos acknowledged that “Murderer” is coming in for criticism from some of the police and legal officials featured and others who are motivated to scrutinize every detail of the Avery case.

“We are seeing the accusations lodged about our process with the documentary and our point of view,” she said. “We hope those will subside so we can focus on what’s meaningful about the work.”

Fox New Channel is also producing a special about the case, which will air at 8 p.m. on Jan. 9. “Steven Avery: Guilty or Framed? A Justice Special” will be hosted by “Justice with Judge Jeanine’s” Jeanine Pirro and will feature a panel of experts in the legal industry who will dig into the case and debate the verdict.

Other Investigation Discovery programs showcased at TCA include “Hate in America,” a docuseries that teams journalist Tony Harris with the Southern Poverty Law Center to showcase the organization’s case files and look at racism and bigotry in the country.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 3

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Skyelin Kern says:

    Avery never stood trial for the rape of Teresa Halbach as stated in this article. The prosecutor intentionally gave a news conference claiming Avery raped and tortured Halbach. Later the court dropped the additional charges when the prosecution acknowledged they did not have evidence supporting these claims.

    In regards to the Netflix documentary, even if it did “strongly suggest” that Avery is innocent, the conduct (and misconduct) of the prosecution and material witnesses, law enforcement’s failure to investigate all possible leads, the questionable nature of key evidence and the grossly unethical conduct of Dassey’s public defender, Len Kachinsky, are verifiable facts. The filmakers did not create or edit them into existence.

    Ken Kratz, the prosecutor, has had plenty of opportunity to refute these material facts, but he has not. Instead, he has posted “9 points” of what he claims is key evidence that was left out of the series. As it turns out, however, those claims were either inadmissible, irrelevant or disproved at trial. This can also be independently verified by anyone with basic research skills.

    The Netflix docu-series is the closest we’ll ever get to an objective depiction of events. The filmmakers made no personal statements, did not prod people into making specific statements and didn’t even appear in the film. Try getting that from Fox or CNN.

  2. Mike P says:

    Investigation Discovery doing nothing more than riding the wave to make $. Watch – they will do whatever it takes to contradict anything just so the viewers will come.

    • Skyelin Kern says:

      My thoughts exactly! I was wondering how many more financially motivated news reports or “investigative” specials would pop up. At this point, they can only cash in on contradicting the series and the hundreds of thousands of people who believe there was reasonable doubt. It’s so disappointing when the media chooses this approach rather than acting on their ethical responsibility to be truthful and objective.

More TV News from Variety