The success and popularity of Netflix’s Making a Murderer, the documentary series filmed and edited over a 10-year period, has meant a second season of the show is inevitable. Some details about that new season have emerged, and so have details about how the show has influenced other reality television programs.
Here’s what we know so far:
- A host will be added to increase viewers’ understanding of the complexities of the case. That person will appear before and after each break to recap what we’ve just seen and explain everything that’s coming up. That will also add a live element to the show, because viewers only want to watch things live, not things that were recorded on VHS 10 years ago.
- Season two will have less courtroom footage, replacing it with reenactments to “increase the authenticity.”
- Although the season will follow a different case, concerns that viewers might not be as engaged will mean that there will be returnees from season one.
- To address the lack of diversity of season-one’s cast, producers have hired Big Brother‘s casting team to cast season two.
- The Jinx‘s Andrew Jarecki is being brought on board to help with what are being described as “timeline issues,” though he’s agreed to help only under the condition that no one ever question his decisions. He will, however, do a weekly press rele—I mean, post-mortum with Variety editors.
- On-screen pop-up text will reveal information to help viewer-detectives solve the case themselves, including home addresses and phone numbers to facilitate harassm—I mean, engagement.
- Any viewer who solves the case will receive $100,000 and a prize package furnished by a car company. In addition, season one is being re-edited so that that company’s logo will be highlighted when the camera pans across cars sitting in the junkyard.
- The show will take on a subtitle, becoming Making a Murderer: A True Story of a True Actual Crime in a Real Place with Real People, a response to some people’s insistence that all reality television features actors.
- After each episode, Survivor’s Stephen Fishbach will write a People.com blogspot and record a podcast for Snapchat, capitalizing on both his ability to detect idiocy and on searches that misspell the name of the show’s subject: “MAKING A MURDERER STEPHEN.”
- Season two is being rushed into production in order to take advantage of the current climate of anger, fear, hostility, and violence that people are directing toward their fellow human beings over disagreements about policy.
- reality blurred will not be covering season two, because there is not space for both that and the required minimum number of stories expressing outrage at some aspect of Survivor.
In addition, there have been several developments across television that are clearly inspired by the success of the show:
- Food Network plans to air Making a Murderer’s Meals with Ina Garten, a reality series on which people in the Hamptons eat the same food Steven Avery’s mother cooked while he was in prison. Food Network calls this “a completely original take on a case that no one has heard of before, because we value originality and being the first to an idea,” while the show seeks to “capture the joy with which someone’s family cooks even when they’re not at home.”
The show was originally pitched as “Making a Murderer’s Meals,” a documentary series about Steven’s mother, but network executives finessed that pitch until it 1) could use the same set as Worst Cooks in America instead of filming on location; 2) had a shortened production schedule consisting of a 48-hour shoot and 60-hour post; and 3) placed a Food Network personality front and center, not some unknown woman from Wisconsin.
- The Last Alaskans, which had a similarly quiet and haunting tone in its first season on Animal Planet, is moving to the Discovery Channel, where it will now focus less on the mundanity of everyday life and more on a murder of Bigfoot, for which an Alaskan moonshiner and an Amish mafia member have been charged. (Animal Planet will rebroadcast the first season of The Last Alaskans, but with minor edits that cut out any footage of actual animals.)
- On Bravo’s The Real Housewives, an upcoming reunion will end with a scene reminiscent of the movie Clue: the lights will go off and when they’re back on, one of the Housewives will have been murdered—or may actually be faking her own death, like Mr. Boddy does at first in the movie. Viewers will be invited to follow the clues at BravoTV.com and tweet their selfies to Andy Cohen.
- Several networks are encouraging showrunners to go back and insert murders into already filmed reality series, to increase the stakes and to make their shows more like that other hit documentary, Lifetime’s Unreal.
Happy April Fool’s Day! This fictional, satirical story is part of reality blurred’s 15-year tradition of April Fool’s Day stories.