Unsolved Mysteries was a 60 minute documentary reality series on NBC for its first nine seasons and then it moved to CBS. It was about unsolved murders, robberies, prison escapes, scams, missing persons, etc. Dramatizations of the unsolved event were enacted from the information that was known. Then a toll-free phone number was provided so that the viewing audience could call in with any further information or clues.
Unsolved Mysteries Cast
Robert Stack .... Host
Virginia Madsen .... Host (1999)
Keely Shaye Smith .... Correspondent (1996-1997)
Unsolved Mysteries Trivia
Unsolved Mysteries began as a series of seven TV specials. The first one was hosted by Raymond Burr ("Perry Mason"). The second and third ones were hosted by Karl Malden ("Streets of San Francisco"). The final four were hosted by Robert Stack ("The Untouchables") who went on to host the rest of the series!
The TV specials aired on January 1, 1987; May 25, 1987; September 15, 1987; November 29, 1987; February 5, 1988; May 6, 1988; and May 18, 1988. Then the first regualar episode aired on October 5, 1988.
Due to information phoned in from the Unsolved Mysteries viewers, nearly 100 missing persons were found! Approximately 150 criminals were apprehended with a total of 250 mysteries being solved!
Unsolved Mysteries amazed many viewers as to how many crimes go unsolved. Many wondered how the producers could come up with so many. Unsolved Mysteries' producer John Cosgrove once stated, "If you read the F.B.I. Uniform Crime Report, there are 6,000 unsolved murders every year. There's certainly not a lack of cases to choose from"!
Unsolved Mysteries began in a pretty sweet time slot on Wednesday evenings from 8:00 to 9:00PM! It had little competition from CBS for the first six seasons. In the seventh season, CBS finally hit on a winner with "Diagnosis Murder" starring Dick Van Dyke but they only left it there one season and replaced it with two 30 minute ratings losers "Dweebs" and "The Bonnie Hunt Show". Perhaps CBS had decided that they didn't want to compete with Unsolved Mysteries and the great 30 minute sitcoms that ABC was airing in that slot. Among them were "Growing Pains", "The Wonder Years", "Doogie Howser, M.D.", and "Boy Meets World". In the fall of 1992, the FOX Network also added Wednesday nights to their lineup with blockbuster shows like "Beverly Hills 90210" and "Melrose Place"!
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