A mystery with a lighter side. Netflix’s new series Murderville combines two TV genres beloved by the streaming service’s subscribers: crime and comedy.
Based on the BBC series Murder in Successville, Murderville follows Senior Detective Terry Seattle (Will Arnett) as he tries to solve a new murder every episode. In each installment of the series, the Arrested Development alum will be joined by a celebrity guest star who will help him uncover clues.
The catch, however, is that the show is fully improvised. “I do think people liked the idea that they could come in, they didn’t have to learn any dialogue and they could be themselves and just go for a ride,” Arnett told The Hollywood Reporter in January 2022. “And I have to give these people credit because it’s freakin’ scary as s–t.”
The Canada native’s first casting request went to Conan O’Brien, who plays himself in the comedy. Between his background as a writer for The Simpsons and his lengthy career as a late-night host, the Harvard University grad was a natural. “Conan really understood the game of it,” Arnett explained to THR.
Though many of the show’s guest stars are comedians, there are also a couple of participants who gained fame far outside the comedy world. Sharon Stone, who appears in one episode, has tried her hand at humor before, but she’s far more well known for her roles in dramatic thrillers including Basic Instinct and Casino.
Marshawn Lynch, former running back for the Seattle Seahawks, is another surprising guest star on deck, but Murderville actually isn’t his first foray into acting. The Super Bowl champion appeared in the third season of Westworld, which aired in 2020.
Jeffrey Wright, who plays Bernard on the HBO series, didn’t have any scenes with the athlete on the show, but that didn’t stop him from having a fan boy moment when he met the former NFL star.
“I had to go over and just meet him, say hello,” the French Dispatch actor said during an April 2020 episode of The Rich Eisen Show. “He’s a great dude and a great character, really open, really loving being on set with us. And then, cut to what? Two months later, he’s back on the field. That was the first time I’d ever experienced that, having a castmate who later went on to run for a couple touchdowns in the NFL.”
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