Murdoch Mysteries or (The Artful Detective in the USA) is a Canadian detective drama television series set in Toronto in the last decade of the nineteenth century and the first decade of the twentieth, based on the novels by Maureen Jennings.
Murdoch Mysteries originally came to Canadian television in 2004 as a two-episode made-for-TV movie, starring Peter Outerbridge in the lead role. One episode was broadcast in 2004, and the other in 2005.
Its original title at that time was Murder 19C: The Detective Murdoch Mysteries. In 2006, the former TV movie was picked up for a 13-episode series, which would again star Outerbridge. But there were questions about Outerbridge’s continuing availability, since he was already starring in another series, ReGenesis. By 2007, it was announced that Yannick Bisson would become the lead in what was now called Murdoch Mysteries. The new version of Murdoch Mysteries debuted on Citytv in late January 2008.
The program was well-received, both by the audience and by the critics: in the summer of 2008, it was nominated for 14 Gemini Awards by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. Critics were surprised, however, that Bisson was not among the nominees. The critics were also surprised in November when Murdoch Mysteries won only two Geminis.
Meanwhile, Murdoch Mysteries was renewed for 2009, and again in 2010. In 2010, the program, which had previously been filmed only in Canada, went to Bristol, England to film an episode. In August 2010, it was announced that there would be a fourth season. One big fan of the show was Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who agreed to play a small role in one of that season’s episodes. The episode in which he appeared, playing a “clueless cop who fails to recognize then-prime minister Wilfrid Laurier,” aired in late July 2011.
On September 27, 2011, Rogers Media announced that it would not be continuing the series beyond its fifth season. Then, on November 15, 2011, it was reported that CBC had picked up the show and ordered a sixth season, which premiered on January 7, 2013. On April 2, 2013, CBC renewed the show for a seventh season, with 18 episodes, which started on September 30, 2013. In April 2014, the show was renewed for an eighth season. On March 4, 2015, CBC renewed Murdoch Mysteriesfor a ninth season. It remains one of the CBC’s most highly rated programs, regularly watched by more than 1.4 million viewers.
On March 31, 2016, CBC announced the tenth season of Murdoch Mysteries, ten days after the ninth season finale.