Murderville: Is the Entire Show Really Improvised?

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Murderville, Will Arnett's Netflix comedy, has a lot of unscripted moments, but it's not fully improvised.

Murderville's use of improv to create comedy is one of the show's main selling points, as it gives Arnett and his co-actors lots of opportunities to riff and have a good time.


The show introduces him to a diverse cast of characters, including talk show host Conan O'Brien, former NFL player Marshawn Lynch, and actors such as Kumail Nanjiani and Sharon Stone.

Each episode of Murderville opens with Terry Seattle introducing his new celebrity partner and stating that they have no idea what is going to happen, resulting in the series' improv style.

Is Murderville Entirely Unscripted?

Murderville, a six-episode comedy series from the BoJack Horseman and Arrested Development actor, debuted on Netflix in February 2022. Murderville stars Arnett as Detective Terry Seattle, a down-on-his-luck cop who works with a different partner each episode to investigate the latest murder case.


As viewers watch Murderville, the distinction between what is improvised and what is scripted becomes increasingly blurred. The truth is that the show incorporates a significant number of scripted or planned moments into its improvisational components. The guest stars are at the heart of Murderville's improvisation, as none of them receive scripts for the episode. It is entirely up to them what they say and do.

This allows Arnett and the rest of the core actors of Murderville to improvise as well. Seattle's first conversation with his new partners, for example, is fully improvised from the moment they walk into his office until the chief comes in to inform them about the new murder.

The Pleasures of Improvisation

Because the guest performers are utterly unaware of what is going to happen, the majority of Murderville is still improvised in some way. The show's spontaneous parts frequently result in the guest star or Arnett breaking character and laughing.


However, the show still requires structure and ways to obtain clues or see new suspects, which is why elements of Murderville must be scripted. Otherwise, if no one knew where the tale needed to go, the murder mysteries may spin out of control.