Will ‘Unsolved’ Return For Season 2? The Anthology Could Take On Other High-Profile Cold Cases
Unsolved: The Murders Of Tupac And The Notorious B.I.G. dramatizes more than one investigation into the killings, but has yet to provide an answer as to why and by whom two of rap music's biggest superstars were gunned down in their prime. The Unsolved Season 1 finale on May 1 will bring this story to an end, however unsatisfying, but the series could move forward with other cases in future seasons. While USA hasn't confirmed that there will be a Season 2 of Unsolved, there are still many real-life cold cases worth revisiting.
Culture is experience a true-crime boom, which encompasses everything from chilling murder podcasts to investigative documentaries and television series inspired by real cases. And Unsolved is perfectly suited to cater to this broad audience. In an interview with Adweek, Chris McCumber, who oversees programming for USA Network, was optimistic about the future of the series. "If we see success, we could definitely see it being franchised into other seasons and other stories," he said.
So while there is an interest in more seasons of Unsolved, the show is limited by its name and concept — meaning that the show is designed to explore mysteries that have no conclusive answer. As if that weren't restrictive enough, some of the world's most notable unsolved mysteries have been adapted already in shows such as American Crime Story: The People Vs. O.J. Simpson and the film Zodiac.
Despite some of the most obvious subjects being taken already, there are still plenty of cold cases that have yet to be put to bed. If Unsolved is renewed, it could possibly center one of these high-profile mysteries:
Marsha P. Johnson
A gay rights activist and trans icon in New York and an instrumental figure in the Stonewall riots in the late 1960s, Johnson was found dead in the Hudson River in 1992, per The New York Times. Her death was ruled a suicide at the time, but in 2002, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office reopened the case, per the New York Daily News.
Johnson's place in history has only recently been getting long-deserved recognition, with the Times publishing a belated obituary for Johnson in 2018. Johnson's mysterious death was the subject of the 2017 documentary The Death and Life Of Marsha P. Johnson, but a dedicated season of Unsolved would give her legacy an even larger platform. Whether or not it would lead to more answers about her death, at the very least, it would educate more people about her impassioned, heroic life.
The mysterious death of Natalie Wood is one of the most shocking Hollywood-related tragedies of the 20th century. Wood died in 1981 in a mysterious drowning, as People reports, but while it was initially ruled as an accident, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reopened the investigation into Wood's death in 2011.
In 2018, the detectives clarified in a statement shared by E! News that the case has not been ruled a homicide, but that "this remains a suspicious death investigation. Her former husband, Robert Wagner, was confirmed to be a person of interest. (He has not been named as a suspect and he maintains that he had no involvement in her death. In a 48 Hours interview, Wagner claimed that he was not present when Wood entered the water.)
The intersection of police work with the culture of celebrity would certainly echo the Tupac and Biggie season, should Unsolved go this route.
One of the most discussed unsolved murders of all time, the death of JonBenét Ramsey has been a subject of public interest for over 20 years. The child's 1996 murder has inspired a number of different documentaries, but a drama series would be a new take. Much like how the first season of Unsolved used the Tupac and Notorious B.I.G. murders to comment on everything from the toxic culture of the music industry to the racial biases of American police departments, an Unsolved season about Ramsey could skewer the tabloid culture that sensationalized her death.
Unsolved could continue in future seasons to examine not just the facts of the case at hand, but the cultural implications of it as well. And putting a focus on cases that are reflective of social issues would help set it apart from other true crime series.