Netflix Picks Up True-Crime Docuseries 'Making a Murderer'

The ten-part series, which centers on a 30-year-old criminal case, will debut worldwide on Dec. 18.
Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix is getting into the true-crime business.

The streaming giant has picked up a new docuseries, Making a Murderer, centered on a 30-year-old criminal case, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Inspired by a 2005 newspaper article, Making a Murderer focuses on Steven Avery, an outsider from the wrong side of the tracks who is convicted and later exonerated of a brutal assault. Avery's release triggered major criminal justice reform legislation and he filed a lawsuit that threatened to expose local law enforcement corruption and award him millions of dollars. But the in the middle of the civil case, he suddenly finds himself the prime suspect of a grisly new crime.

Making a Murderer hails from directors Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, who have been documenting the case for the last decade.

Netflix will present a special preview of the first two episodes at the DOC NYC film festival on Nov. 13 before the ten-part series premieres worldwide on the streaming service Dec. 18.

“There are an unbelievable number of twists and turns in the story arc of Making a Murderer, it feels like it has to be fictional,” said Lisa Nishimura, Netflix vp original documentary programming, in a statement. “Ricciardi and Demos have navigated very complex terrain and skillfully woven together an incredible series that leaves you feeling like you’re right in the middle of the action.”

Added Ricciardi and Demos: “If we had not been there to witness these events we would have trouble believing they actually occurred. Our goal has always been to share that experience with viewers. Our partnership with Netflix has allowed us to tell this story in a way that wouldn’t have been possible anywhere else."

Making a Murderer follows in the footsteps of other successful true-crime projects, most notably HBO's Robert Durst docuseries The Jinx and Sarah Koenig's widely popular This American Life spinoff, Serial.

Investigation Discovery recently debuted the true-crime series Do Not Disturb: Hotel Horrors from Joel Schumacher. The Last Man on Earth exec producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller are adapting the Serial podcast for TV.

Making a Murderer is the latest addition to Netflix's growing slate of original documentaries and docuseries including The Square, Virunga, What Happened, Miss Simone?, Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom and Chef's Table.

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