Netflix’s New Murder Mystery Series ‘Murderville’ Will Star Will Arnett and One, Big, Improvisational Twist

In what sounds like a cross between Matlock and Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Netflix is bringing a new murder mystery to its platform with a unique format. Will Arnett will star as Terry Seattle, a hardboiled detective in the series which will bring a new celebrity guest star in for every episode. But one twist: the guest is never given the script. Instead celebrities like Kumail Nanjiani, Sharon Stone, Annie Murphy (Alexis on Schitt’s Creek), Conan O’Brien and Marshawn Lynch will have to improvise their lines and, with a little luck, figure out who the real killer is by the time the cameras stop rolling.

It’s called Murderville, and it’s a big, creative swing from Netflix. Arnett cooked up the idea, which he calls “Law and Order without a script,” and shopped it around to several networks, but Netflix was the only one that bit. They filmed a trial run with O’Brien, just to see if the idea even worked, and the finished result got Netflix excited enough to order the full series. So it’s a semi-scripted series — Arnett tells the Hollywood Reporter that the scripts were written in a sort of Choose Your Own Adventure format in an attempt to anticipate different guest’s possible decisions, but the cast also had to be prepared to chuck the whole script if the guest went completely sideways. So it’s also a game for the celebrity guest — can they keep up with the other characters and the script? And, more important, can they identify the killer?

Murderville will drop on February 3.

 

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