ABC has given a series order to "Whodunnit?" a new reality format from "CSI" creature Anthony E. Zuiker.
The network announced on Wednesday (February 6) that the nine-episode format will premiere with summer with Cris Abrego ("The Surreal Life") executive producing along with Zuiker.
Described as a "mystery reality competition," "Whodunnit?" will pit 13 contestants against each other investigating evidence at a crime scene and attempting to discover which of them is the killer. The contestants will live together on a "glamorous estate," where they'll face a new crime each week. Players will be eliminated for failing to solve the crime. In  the end, three contestants will compete for the $250,000 prize in the finale.
So it's "The Mole" meets "Murder in Small Town X"?
"I’ve built a career telling crime stories, and if there’s one thing that I’ve learned, especially from ‘CSI,’ it’s that the audience loves to solve the mystery," blurbs Zuiker. "'Whodunnit?' allows everyday fans to be in the show themselves and get the chance every week to do what they love best, which is ultimately solve the case."
Adds Abrego, "'Whodunnit?' takes the best elements from the timelessly entertaining narrative form, the murder mystery, and infuses it with all the contemporary energy of a competition based reality show. The mystery fans who suddenly find themselves in the middle of an unfolding murder mystery won’t actually be playing for their lives, of course, but they’ll certainly feel like they are, and it promises to be just as engaging and suspenseful for the viewers at home."
This is ABC's second summer pick-up in the past week, following the Canadian drama "Motive."
A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.