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'Mystery 101' Update: Why I'm Worried About The Next Movie

Mystery 101 Deadly History Amy Winslow Jill Wagner Hallmark Movies and Mysteries
Dean Buscher / Crown Media United States LLC

When is the next “Mystery 101” movie premiering? Not as soon or as certainly as fans once thought. In a stunning twist, the fate of the next movie in the Hallmark Movie & Mysteries series appears to be in a grim holding pattern. One that spells more foreboding trouble than the show’s somewhat unofficial theme song, Men at Work’s “Who Can It Be Now?”.

“Mystery 101” star Jill Wagner has spoken out about the standstill the next (highly-anticipated) movie has found itself in, posting a candid video back in mid-April on Instagram. In it, Wagner sadly confirmes the status of the next movie is up in the air. Cut to June and Eclectic Pop has the latest.

In preparing for this piece, Eclectic Pop reached out to Crown Media for comment on June 1 regarding the future of the TV movie series. To which a rep responded, there is no update at this time. 😬 It is a worrisome update and it fits with some of what Jill Wagner had to say in her Instagram video:

“I wanted to hop on here and address something. There’s been a lot of chatter online, and there’s also been a lot of people DM-ing me, asking me what the deal is, and asking me why I left “Mystery 101.” I wasn’t going to say anything, but I just want you guys to know that I love “Mystery 101.” 

I love the people that I worked for and with. I think it has nothing to do with my desire to do another one. Or anybody’s desire to do another one except for the big boy, Hallmark. I think that they are probably going in another direction. I don’t know. I’m not privy to that information. 

So, for my own peace of my mind, I just wanted to tell the fans of the show that I love the show. And if I’m ever given an opportunity to do another one, I certainly will. It has nothing to do with any of that. I just want you guys to know that and to know that I haven’t abandoned the ship. I wish I could give you more detailed information, but I don’t have it.”

For more of what Jill Wagner had to say, you can watch the full video here. In it, Wagner clarifies that moving forward on the next movie installment for “Mystery 101” is in Hallmark’s court. Wagner also reiterated that she and her co-star, Kristoffer Polaha remain committed to continuing the series or providing a proper end to the mystery staple. 

Regardless, they are powerless at the moment, and time will tell what Hallmark decides. As you can tell, Jill Wagner is being transparent with fans, and while it is not the news many “Mystery 101” fans want to hear, it is an answer. Kudos to Wagner for speaking out about it. The stalled production plot twist is equally as surprising than the one that rocked the latest “Mystery 101” movie.

The cliffhanger ending the series left off with saw Travis reveal that the next murder victim was Amy’s fiancé. Thus, leaving fans to wait with bated breath as Amy and Travis’ long-awaited romantic relationship appeared to hit its own brick wall. Fans have been left hanging by the thinnest of plot threads ever since, eager for a resolution, and a new movie.

Where Things Stand

The seventh and to-date latest installment in the TV movie series, aired towards the end of 2021, and there is still nothing happening as of summer 2022. Making that development all the more surprising is that at one point, the next movie in the beloved and popular Hallmark Movies & Mysteries series seemed a definite go. In other words, the next movie appeared undoubtedly forthcoming. As 2022 has worn on, production has failed to materialize.

At the end of 2021, Kristoffer Polaha responded to a “Mystery 101” fan on his Instagram with an exciting update. In a since-deleted Instagram post, Polaha indicated plans for the next movie to film in 2022. Cut to summer 2022 with the year halfway over and his co-star Jill Wagner has shared that the next installment is stuck in a nightmarish pause.

The production update, including Jill Wagner’s insight, comes as Hallmark faces a changing cable landscape. The one-time monopoly on the romantic comedy cable movie genre is facing stiff competition from the new kid on the block, GAC. Due to exclusive development deals, Hallmark has already lost several of its tentpole talents to its rival. High-profile stars who have already switched include Danica McKellar, Trevor Donavan, Jen Lilley, and Candace Cameron Bure.

Hallmark Has Already Cancelled a Beloved TV Movie Series

Bure’s shocking exit from Hallmark in favor of striking an exclusive development deal with GAC marked the end of “The Aurora Teagarden Mysteries.” Instead of going the recast route, the beloved series got canceled, leaving Hallmark Movies & Mysteries without one of its marquee mystery series. It is important to note that neither Jill Wagner nor Kristoffer Polaha has signed an exclusive with Hallmark or GAC, and despite that “Mystery 101” is still in limbo.

The whole situation is devastating and utterly confusing. “Mystery 101” is a highly popular mystery series for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Considering the network’s title, you would think having a successful mystery series would be at the top of their priority list. As much as I enjoyed “Cut, Color, Murder,” it would be great to see it on the network alongside “Mystery 101,” not replacing it.

Hopefully, Hallmark does not go the way of other networks and cancel a beloved series mid-cliffhanger. There is a precedent for keeping hope alive. There was a three-year break between the fourth and fifth installment of the delicious Hallmark Movie & Mystery movie series, “The Gourmet Detective.” My dream scenario? Fans get another episode of “Mystery 101” and “The Gourmet Detective.” Fans deserve the treat!

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[Writer Note: Special thanks to @craftysassyshawn and @it_is_just_me_joanna on Instagram for pointing me in the right direction when I asked what post everyone was talking about Jill Wagner saying something “Mystery 101.” 🧡]

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