We are now into what could very much be referred to as the “Whodunnit?” waiting game. We suspect that as we push deeper into fall, we will know more details about whether or not the excellent ABC summer reality series will be back for a second season. But for now, it’s all ambiguity and questions (much like trying to figure out how the murder was done each week).
The first thing to take note of is that ABC has made their new hire official. Lisa Berger, best known for her work at E!, has been brought in to help oversee reality programming following the exit of John Saade earlier this month. Berger does have an impressive resume, having worked to produce such hits as “The Girls Next Door,” “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” and even the late-night hit “Chelsea Lately.” None of these have much in common with a certain murder-mystery competition, but we hope that she can see the value in a show that increased its viewership as the summer progressed, and could have an even stronger season 2 thanks to word of mouth. When you air in the summer against everything from “True Blood” to “Dexter,” it is not always easy to build buzz in-season and convince people to catch up on something already into its run.
You already know our perspective on why a season 2 needs to happen (we’ve told you about it many times), but we wanted to also share with you some thoughts from someone who went through the experience earlier this year. We recently spoke with season 1 contestant Melina Alves about some of her thoughts on a possible renewal, and even casting suggestions should the show return.
CarterMatt – Since the finale aired, has the support among the ‘Whodunnit’ fandom stayed strong for a season 2? What sort of comments are you getting from fans these days?
Melina Alves – I am actually very surprised by the support of the ‘Whodunnit’ fans! They’ve stayed strong and have been holding out for a season 2. I’m on “ask.fm” and I get so many questions show related and not show related. Thankfully everyone has moved past asking ‘are the murders real’ to more behind the scenes questions. I get asked a lot how the murders were filmed… the simplest answer I have to that is it’s filmed with TV magic mixed with acting. But the biggest question is ‘Will there be a season 2?’ I’m working on figuring that out myself.
If you could talk to Lisa and tell her why the show needs to return, what would you say?
I think that ‘Whodunnit’ was the first of its kind…the original. And it offered TV viewers an interactive experience to primetime TV watching. I think the first season was a little bumpy at first due to advertising and marketing (I think most would agree), now that people are familiar with the premise of the series it would not only keep the followers they have now but also gain a large percentage of new followers. You cannot offer America ‘Whodunnit’ and just take it away. It’s still in it’s infancy stage. I think season 2 will do much better.
If the show does come back, do you have any suggestions to prospective people trying out?
If you are fortunate enough to be selected to audition you should keep some basic things in the forefront of your mind.
#1 – ABC and its affiliate are the ones running the show … meaning what they want to see on camera they will … that’s not your place to worry, so instead of trying to show them what you think they want to see … give them who you really are! They know how to get reactions out of people (Hello, don’t we all remember Dontae running through the house on FIRE! Yeah … they know what they are doing).
#2 – When it comes to reality TV, being able to tell a story is everything. If you are not able to deliver a story with a start, a middle, and an end while being engaging in the process … people will not be able to connect with you.
#3 – No matter what … remember they are looking for someone to play a game and make their show GREAT! So don’t take it personal if you are not selected … like I mentioned before, they [know] exactly what they are looking for and either you’re that person … or not. Nothing personal.
#4 – HAVE FUN! They know when you’re not having FUN and they always know when you are lying … no joke ;)
Thanks to Melina for her responses, and we’ll keep you updated with more on the show’s fate.