It’s Throwback Thursday, and this week we’re featuring the year 1987. That’s the year Unsolved Mysteries premiered on NBC! The show started off as a series of specials before becoming a full-fledged series in 1988. It was on NBC for 10 seasons, before moving to CBS and later running on Lifetime and Spike TV. Netflix revived the show in 2020.
Robert Stack hosted the show for it’s entire original series run. A lot of his scenes were shot at a Masonic Temple in Pasadena. Netflix payed homage to Stack when they rebooted the show with a silhouette of him at the end of the opening credits.
The show covered a variety of subjects, including murder, missing persons, UFOs, ghosts, wanted fugitives, paranormal activity and more. Each show had 4 segments and an update on an older case. Covering 4 segments in each show was intentional, and was designed to attract more viewers.
Many famous actors and celebrities have appeared on the show over the years, whether as reenactors before they got famous, or in episodes where they had a connection to the events being featured. In 1992, a young Matthew McConaughey played a murder victim on an episode of Unsolved Mysteries – it was one of his first on-screen roles! Cheryl Hines, Daniel Dae Kim, and others also appeared on the program before making it big in Hollywood.
Unsolved Mysteries covered over 1,000 cases, and according to the show’s website, more than half of the episodes featuring wanted fugitives were solved. More than 100 separated families were also reunited, thanks to the show. Learn more here.