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'You betcha': 'Fargo' may be on TV

Brace yourself for another round of exaggerated Scandinavian accents and inquiries about multiple murders in Brainerd — “Fargo” may be coming to TV.

The Deadline Hollywood website reported this week producers Joel and Ethan Coen are bringing their 1996 dark comedy “Fargo” to the small screen. A deal was announced between the St. Louis Park brothers and FX television to develop an hour-long show, loosely based on the movie.

The film, the winner of two Academy Awards, (it was nominated for seven) created a steady stream of inquiries for Brainerd officials and media from movie-goers who wanted to know the outcome of the kidnapping and murders that took place in the film and which were purported to be true.

Most of the movie’s action takes place in Brainerd. The role of the fictional Brainerd police chief, Marge Gunderson, earned an Oscar for actress Frances McDormand.

After the movie came out the Brainerd Dispatch received inquiries from all across the U.S. and from several foreign nations. The Dispatch has a website (linked to under the entertainment menu) devoted to debunking some of the “Fargo” myths.

The public’s confusion about whether the movie tale was real or fictional probably wasn’t helped by co-producer Ethan Coen’s comments in a 1996 interview with the Dispatch, in which he admitted the murders didn’t occur in Brainerd or in Minnesota but said they did occur somewhere. Coen was asked by the Dispatch when and where they occurred and responded with the sort of dark humor found in his movies.

“I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you,” he said.

Brainerd city officials had mixed reactions to the film’s depiction of Brainerd but when it was nominated for a “best picture” Academy Award, an Oscar-watching party was staged at Central Lakes College.

MIKE O’ROURKE, associate editor, may be reached at 855-5860 or He may be followed at

Mike O'Rourke
Mike O'Rourke began his career at the Brainerd Dispatch in 1978 as a general assignment reporter. He was named city editor in 1981 and associate editor in 1999. He covers politics and writes features and editorials.
(218) 855-5860