TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Murder TV Poster Image
Gory reality show tests real folks' CSI skills.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Investigators work hard to solve the crimes. Occasional petty arguing between team members. The competition element is minimized, and the prize is a donation to charity.


The replicated crime scenes look real and are extremely gory. One episode shows a woman with her face completely blown off; her brains, bone, and tissue sprayed over the entire room. Photos of real corpses and crime scenes also appear.


Some episodes contain references to sexual relationships, including pedophilia. Corpses sometimes appear naked, though key parts are blurred.


Regular profanity -- including "hell," "ass," and "crap" -- as well as some bleeped words.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drugs or alcohol may be mentioned in the course of an investigation.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this gory reality show definitely isn't for younger viewers -- or anyone sensitive to violence and blood. The teams competing to investigate re-creations of actual homicides hear lots of details about violent murders, and although the crime scenes they work on are fake, they look completely real and often include massive amounts of blood, as well as pieces of body tissue like brain, bone, and hair (one episode showed a woman with her face completely blown away). Some victims appear naked, though key parts are blurred. While piecing together their theories, the teams discuss relationships connected to the victims, which may include sexual abuse, teen romance, domestic violence, and other mature topics.

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What's the story?

Reality competition series MURDER takes CSI wannabes through the process of investigating a homicide and trying to solve the crime. Using a real solved murder as the basis for each faux-investigation, two teams explore a re-created crime scene, watch recorded interviews with suspects, interview the real coroner, and get lab results from the evidence they collect. Based on this pile of information, the groups hash out their theories, ruling out suspects, mapping out the killer's possible movements, and piecing together their hypotheses before presenting their final scenario to Det. Tommy Le Noir, who is also their guide. After the teams present their final scenarios, the detective reveals the identity of the real killer as the circumstances that led up to the murder; the team that best solved the crime wins (the prize is a donation to a crime victims' charity).

Is it any good?

For fans of crime shows who try to solve the case before the cops do, this thoroughly grisly show is heady stuff. Some team members are up to the challenge, and watching the group think through the possibilities can be exciting, especially when they seem to be getting somewhere. But occasional clashes between team members are emphasized through editing, which can distract from the show's strength.

What's shocking about Murder are the intensely graphic crime scene re-creations, as well as glimpses of real photos from the actual crime. Shots of the real corpses appear onscreen, and the replicated scenes sometimes include massive amounts of very real-looking blood, tissue, and bodies. It's gruesome, and younger and more-sensitive viewers will want to stay far away.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what they see on the show. Do the replicated crime scenes have as much impact on you as a viewer as the ones you see on crime dramas like CSI? Does knowing that it's modeled after a real crime make it harder to see the re-created evidence on this show? What's the appeal of solving a crime? What draws people to this kind of work? How does the real work differ from what appears on fictional shows? Do you think this show gives participants a real taste of the work that goes into investigating a crime?

TV details

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