It was such a hit in its first season, famous faces were flocking to be part of its sophomore year.
Hilarious, warm-hearted and witty and with marquee stars Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez, it’s no wonder Only Murders in the Building garnered a following with its first season.
And now the glitterati are flocking to be part of the buzz of its sophomore year.
The first season’s guest stars included Tina Fey, Sting, Jane Lynch and Nathan Lane. Many of them return for another round but bring with them the likes of Amy Schumer and screen legend Shirley MacLaine.
They’re not the only ones, although the others are being hush-hush for now.
Famous faces are banging down on the door, and co-creator and writer John Hoffman has had to – regrettably – turn some of them down.
“We got these incredible outreaches from the most incredible talents to say, ‘Hey, we love it, we would love to do something’,” he revealed to news.com.au.
“It’s so incredibly flattering but then I had to really step back with the writers and producers and say, ‘We have to be on story or we have to find characters that make complete sense for our story and our world and then cast appropriately’.
“It’s really something, the idea that someone like Shirley MacLaine, coming in at 87 years old to New York City to work with us and work with this cast, it moved everybody. The thrill on set those days when she was there with the crew, everyone was incredible.”
Only Murders in the Building is one of those shows that sounded strange on paper but leapt off the page in reality. The combination of Martin, Short and Gomez was, at first, baffling.
How does a pairing of two comedy legends with a one-time Disney child star in a cozy murder mystery make any sense? Martin and Short are known for having a styling that leans big while Gomez is very dry and straight.
They were also generations apart.
And yet, this strange alchemical mix was magic – and the cult around Only Murders in the Building was born. The trio was never a sure thing, not even to the people who threw them together.
Hoffman said it was “a surprise to pretty much everyone, including all of us, because we didn’t know that it would work like it does. It was a thrill and a bit of magic.”
Returning with its second season this week, the hit show will lean more into what made it such a success among audiences.
There will be more sleuthing, more mistakes and more banter between Martin, Short and Gomez. When you have something sparkling on your hands, don’t change it too much.
But there is an added element Charles (Martin), Oliver (Short) and Mabel (Gomez) now have to deal with: notoriety. With the previous season ending on Mabel standing over Bunny’s dead, bloodied body, signature knitting needle in hand, suspicion falls on our heroes.
Their 15 minutes in the spotlight as podcast detectives quickly turns from fame to infamy, and that’s a hard line to tread for any New Yorker, and certainly for a has-been actor, a hustling producer and an aspiring artist.
“They’re right on the edge of it all the time, and I view it as someone who loves and has been spending a lot of time in New York,” Hoffman explained.
“There’s a particular brand of New York famous, and if you’re on the front page of the New York papers, as our trio is at the start of the season, and especially with the jobs they have, it puts them in the spotlight in ways they’ve been spotlighted before.
“There’s a revival of interest in those persons of interest. So riding that edge of [on the one hand] the good things that come from people recognizing them again and being the talk of the town, and then the other [side of] the edge is a cloud of horribleness that they could fall into if they don’t find some way to get out from under that cloud or find out who’s behind the cloud that placed it over them.
“It’s the perfect edge to walk throughout the season and it makes for great comedy mess.”
Only Murders in the Building is streaming now on Disney+