Murder

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10 p.m. Tuesday, July 31
Spike


With so many viewers turned into armchair detectives, why not a series that asks everyday people to solve a real (but re-created) homicide? That's the premise behind "Murder," a show from executive producers Kevin Lee and Jon Murray in which two teams of three people try to figure out whodunit.

This isn't like accusing Professor Plum in the library with the candlestick. Each team visits a crime scene identical to the one police found. Team members look for evidence, watch videos of re-enacted police interviews and get a report from a real coroner. The team that does the best job of solving the crime gets to donate an unspecified amount of the producers' money to a victims charity.

Sounds like fun, right? In some respects, it is. But, as the advisory at the start of the show warns, this is not for the squeamish. The models aren't human, but they are a reasonable facsimile. And if the crime entails a victim's face being blown away, as the premiere does, you can count on quite a few graphic shots that look like something out of a Fright Night feature.

The crime-solving occurs over 48 hours, which means time is condensed and your ability to outguess the two teams depends on the editing. Still, it's a unique combination of reality and procedural and, happily, no one gets voted out of the detectives' room.
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