As far as board games that can get the “let’s bolt a plot onto this thing and try to make a TV show” treatment go, Clue (or Cluedo, if you’re feeling British) is pretty hard to beat. Not only is the basic premise—color-coded weirdos solve a murder through simple deduction—cribbed liberally from classic detective fiction, but the brand even has a proven track record, in so far as “We can’t stop quoting Madeline Kahn doing the ‘Flames” bit from the Clue movie every damn day of our lives” constitutes a track record of sorts.
Hence, presumably, why Fox has announced that it’s teaming up with the perversely determined hustlers over at Hasbro’s entertainment division to make a new Clue animated series. Featuring animation from Bento Box—the studio that handles most of the network’s in-house cartooning these days, including Bob’s Burgers and the upcoming The Great North—the series will adapt the board game’s hot rope-and-candlestick action for the screen. And that’s kind of it for extant details at the moment—including questions of who’ll be writing it, how it’ll be structured, and whether the central mystery will be serialized, or whether there will be a different murder for the cast to commit/solve every week. We did laugh out-loud at this one tidbit from the press release, though: The helpful note informing readers that the original Clue board game “has 324 different plots for players to solve,” which we guess is, yes, technically true.
People have been taking stabs (shots, strangles) at Clue adaptations for a while now, of course. There’s the movie, obviously, but also Ryan Reynolds’ attempts to talk up a possible new film, and Jason Bateman’s, and The Muppets director James Bobin’s (some or all of which might be the same project at different points in time), plus a series of surprisingly successful comic book spins on the franchise, and a truly bizarre-looking British game show from the early ’90s in which celebrities would watch filmed murder mysteries and try to guess who, well, dunnit. (There’s also the YA book series that Scholastic Press published the paperback versions of back in the 1990s, where you had to try to solve the crimes yourself, but as we appear to be the only lonely children who were totally obsessed with these particular books, we’ll humbly just move on.)