The 10-episode unscripted comedy series debuts on Facebook Watch on Monday (Nov. 20) with new episodes — each running about 8 minutes — available weekly on Mondays. The show is produced by Oso Studios and funded by Facebook, part of the social giant’s efforts to fuel longer-form video viewing on its recently launched Watch platform.
The show is “a little something to fill a baseball fan’s off-season hole in the heart,” according to Bill Murray. Added Brian Doyle-Murray: “Doing this project was more fun than a bench-clearing brawl. And like a baseball bench-clearing brawl, no one got hurt!”
Bill Murray is a well-known Chicago Cubs fan, but he’s also a longtime booster of minor league baseball as part owner of the St. Paul Saints and the Charleston RiverDogs as well as an investor in other teams. In the series, Bill and Brian bring humor and heart to local ballparks and communities, visiting minor league ballclubs including the RiverDogs, the Saints, the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks, and Kansas City T-Bones. They also spend time with the Kansas City MLB Urban Youth Academy and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
The idea for the show sprang from a chance meeting between Doyle-Murray and Oso founder Dub Cornett at a mutual friend’s birthday party. “I thought that traveling with the Murray Brothers to games around America would be a fun, cool show and so did they. It’s simple as that,” said Cornett, co-creator of “Mike Judge Presents: Tales From the Tour Bus,” “The Last Ride.”
Oso Studios brought the concept to Ricky Van Veen, Facebook’s head of global creative strategy in charge of original entertainment content, and “Extra Innings” was greenlit immediately, according to Cornett. “Facebook is a great place for this show,” Cornett said. “We were going into communities, so why wouldn’t we go to a place that creates communities?”
The show’s theme song, “The Thing About Baseball,” was written by Paul Shaffer, Bill Murray, and Brian Doyle-Murray and is performed by Bill Murray.
The series is executive produced by Bill Murray, Brian Doyle-Murray, and Cornett; co-executive produced by Jason Ross; and produced by Victoria Lily Shaffer (Paul Shaffer’s daughter). Post-production was handled by Herzog & Co.
“Extra Innings” was shot over three months this summer. Cornett took a relatively small crew on the road that included producer Victoria Shaffer, a camera operator, a sound tech and a PA. “We didn’t want there to be a big interruption of the games,” he explained.
“It was like being on a vacation, in a weird way,” said Cornett. “We would watch baseball sometimes and go find pie or milkshakes other times.”
Facebook users can catch the Murray Brothers’ minor-league travels and add the show to their watchlist on the “Bill Murray and Brian Doyle-Murray’s Extra Innings” show page (facebook.com/billbrianextrainnings).
Watch the trailer for “Extra Innings”: