Film and television distributor FilmRise today announced that it has acquired worldwide digital distribution rights to the highly successful, long-running television series Unsolved Mysteries. The distributor will release episodes on digital and streaming platforms beginning this month. While the press release from FilmRise doesn't indicate which streaming service will air the series, The Wrap reports that two seasons of the show hosted by Dennis Farina are currently streaming on Amazon. Original episodes hosted by Robert Stack will start streaming on Amazon in 2017.
Unsolved Mysteries, which first appeared as standalone TV specials on NBC in 1987, was picked up as a regular series in 1988 and went on to spend more than 20 years on the air. After ten seasons on NBC, the show continued on CBS until 2002, featuring original host and enduring face of the series Robert Stack. When Unsolved Mysteries returned in 2008 with Dennis Farina (Law and Order) as host, mysteries from the original run were re-examined to reflect new findings. In the same tradition, many of the original, Robert Stack episodes have now been updated with crucial information about the status of those cases. FilmRise plans to release all episodes from both runs of the show.
Through interviews and reenactments, Unsolved Mysteries examined cold cases ranging from bizarre crimes and missing persons' reports to paranormal activity and historical events. Each episode included several segments on different topics, and audiences were asked to call in with any new information that could help solve the cases presented on the show. Unsolved Mysteries became the first television series to encourage viewer interaction in this way, leading to breakthroughs in many cases-particularly within the "Missing," "Lost Love," and "Wanted Fugitives" categories. Here's what Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise, had to say in a statement.
"We're pleased to be releasing this celebrated series to a large audience of fans both old and new. Unsolved Mysteries is an American tradition that FilmRise is excited to preserve."
Created and executive produced by John Cosgrove and Terry Dunn Meurer, the show was the recipient of several Emmy nominations and won approval from the FBI, US Marshals Service, and others for its contributions to law enforcement. "We're balancing two needs here," Robert Stack told the LA Times in 1990. "We're trying to produce theater and we're trying to do a public service." Here's what series creator Terry Dunn Meurer had to say about the FilmRise acquisition in a statement.
"Unsolved Mysteries has a long history of finding new audiences, and we're thrilled that the series is being given yet another life by FilmRise. We know the series will expand even further with their help and expertise."
The deal was negotiated between Fisher and FilmRise's VP of Acquisitions Max Einhorn with Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. FilmRise hasn't announced an exact date for the debut of Unsolved Mysteries on the Amazon streaming service at this time, but we'll be sure to keep you posted with any updates. It's possible that this show's debut on the Amazon streaming service could lead to a revival on a major network, but that isn't happening quite yet.