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Beware, Bigfoot: Unsolved Mysteries Is Back

Netflix reboots series as producers aim to solve a murder
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2020 9:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – Paging armchair detectives: Netflix has revived Unsolved Mysteries because, as the New York Times puts it, "2020 isn't scary enough." The updated version of the docuseries—which first premiered on NBC in 1988, exploring everything from mysterious murders to Bigfoot sightings—premieres Wednesday with "much of the original creative team" intact, per the Times. The "blend of fact and folklore" remains, too, though there are "fewer reenactments and a greater emphasis on interviews and archival sources." Fans will also notice there's no host, following the 2003 death of Robert Stack. And each 50-minute episode from 21 Laps Entertainment will now focus on one mystery. The six episodes debuting Wednesday, as well as at least six more coming later this year, explore three deaths, a missing person's case, a wanted person, and UFO encounters from 1969.

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The show resolved some 34% of cases during its long run, including nine seasons on NBC. (It later bounced from CBS to Lifetime to Spike; Amazon has been streaming episodes since 2017.) But creators hope to crack even more cases in reaching Netflix's 180 million subscribers. It's the hope "that mitigates the darkness,” writer-producer Terry Dunn Meurer tells the Times. Producers particularly believe the April 2004 death of a young black man named Alonzo Brooks, who vanished after a party in La Cygne, Kan., could be solved. The FBI reopened the case in June following inquiries from the show's producers. But be warned: "There's almost no inquisitiveness or curiosity to the storytelling at all" in this series, Daniel Fienberg writes in a review at the Hollywood Reporter. "Mystery One: Why anybody thought this was a good idea." (Read more TV shows stories.)

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