Skip to main content

The Watchman: ‘Murderer’, She Wrote; Hailing Caesar; ‘Slug’ Shopping in Banff

Major industry types trekked to the Canadian Rockies last week for a tidy TV gala with an increased focus on the “World” in Banff World Media Festival.

Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi, masterminds behind Making a Murderer, dished about how their decade-long documentary series came together—the idea was hatched while reading a New York Times article on a train ride, New York to Massachusetts—and their next projects. That could be related to Steven Avery, focus of Murderer, “if we think it’s warranted,” said Ricciardi.

It could also be something in the scripted universe—TV or film. Just about any genre is on the table for the in-demand duo. “I’d love to work on a comedy after this,” Ricciardi told B&C with a smile, after the painstaking fact-gathering of Murderer.

In another panel, fitting of the mountainous setting, Seeso founder Evan Shapiro spoke of the peak comedy era going on around the globe, including the absurdist stuff on NBC’s OTT comedy platform. “There’s really no excuse to be watching bad television right now,” Shapiro said.

And you can add another season of Curb Your Enthusiasm to the comedy cornucopia, as HBO announced the good news from Banff. “He’s ready,” said Casey Bloys, HBO programming president, of Larry David. “He’s back.”

Alas, David was not there, but the misanthropic maestro did issue a statement. “In the immortal words of Julius Caesar, ‘I left, I did nothing, I returned,’” said David.

Ah, Caesar—statesman, author, inspiration for the Caesar, which we discovered was a Canadian cocktail that’s a kissing cousin of the Bloody Mary and makes really long flights slightly less onerous. (Caesar’s connection to the Orange Julius, friends, Romans and countrymen, could not be confirmed at presstime.)

See, it’s good to bring something back from a foreign country—a new drink recipe, the slug’s eye we found in our pocket after touching down in New York. Relax, Mr. Customs Man—it was a plastic googly eye, which had fallen off a promotional card for the digital short Slug Brothers. Think, The Brothers McMollusk—it’s about three slimy siblings, dreamed up by a bearded young man named Peter Kominek that we got talking to at a festival reception. (Do all Canadian men grow playoff beards in the spring?) It’s based on the interplay between director Kominek and his brothers, all of whom pitched in on the shoestring pilot.

So as much as Banff goes global, there are still young Canadians who cobble together the entrance fee and gas money and make their way to the Canadian Rockies with a pilot and a dream. And we raise our plastic airplane cup of Caesar to them.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.