American mystery documentary series, Unsolved Mysteries is enjoying a renaissance on Netflix with an all-new season this year. However for many viewers back in the late 80s and 90s as well as 2000s, the series was staple programming to catch, especially for budding super sleuths.
Created by John Cosgrove and Terry Dunn Meurer, Unsolved Mysteries took a new approach in television storytelling by documenting cold cases as well as paranormal mysteries and the unexplained. The main hook of the series was that in empowered viewers to interact with the show by reporting any relevant information to the cases presented via a call-in line.
The series made its debut on NBC in early 1987 as a series of specials hosted by Raymond Burr, Karl Malden, and Robert Stack. Following strong ratings, Unsolved Mysteries became a full-fledged series a little over a year later with Stack taking on sole hosting responsibilities. The veteran actor naturally became the face of the series as it went on for nine seasons at NBC.
The tenth season aired on CBS but it would only continue for two more seasons before it was shelved in 1999. Fortunately for fans of Unsolved Mysteries, Lifetime provided a temporary reprieve for the show where it continued on for 103 episodes before finally bowing out in 2002.
Although the series offered a mix bag of ‘mysteries’ throughout its run, including the usual Bigfoot and UFO episodes, a large part of the pull were the missing persons and crime cases the show presented. According to the show’s website, well over 260 cases were solved throughout its impressive 23-year run thanks to information and leads from the public who tuned in.
Recently, Netflix revived Unsolved Mysteries for a new audience, again highlighting several cold cases on the streaming platform. And just like the series of old, viewers can also submit a tip or information of the episodes that are currently on the streaming platform to help the authorities continue their investigation and bring justice to the families and victims of mysterious crimes.