Only Murders In The Building's Showrunner Sees Plenty Of Spin-Off Potential

The second season of "Only Murders in the Building" may have just wrapped up, but that doesn't mean that the show is slowing down. If anything, things are just kicking up into high gear. As with season 1's finale, the latest "Murders" episode teased the next season's killing — and it's sure to be a show-stealer. But as much as Mabel, Charles, and Oliver have stolen our hearts, showrunner John Hoffman is planning on taking advantage of the show's wide cast of rich characters, rather than just limiting himself to stories that involve the main trio.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Hoffman revealed that he thinks the show would be perfect for spin-offs:

"I could see a lot of versions of potential for [spinoffs], absolutely. There is something endlessly fascinating about a great mystery. That's been proven, and we're in the tradition of it, and I like the tradition of it. I also like playing with the forms. I love a New York story. I love an unexpected way in which to come at that story. So, if we have various murders in various buildings, you never know, with various characters. I could certainly see various ways we can continue this."

While spin-offs can sometimes feel like a franchise-building project rather than an attempt to actually build upon a world for art's sake, "Only Murders in the Building" is almost the perfect show for a side project. The murder mystery has been invested in developing its side characters, especially those who live in the Arconia, from the very first episode. After all, the more we know, the more likely each character could be the next killer. But by now, numerous characters have semi-developed backstories, each of which could lead to very compelling spin-offs.

A spin-off could take some pressure off

A spin-off with a predominantly new cast could also be a great way to breathe some new life into the Murder-verse. While the show has done a great job of introducing new characters and incorporating twists to keep viewers guessing whodunit, let's be honest — some of the characters just don't feel like threats anymore. It was easy to assume that Howard killed to protect his cat in season 1, but after seeing his wholesome, lovable side for so long, it's safe to rule him out as a future murder suspect. Even Nina, who seemed cold-hearted and ruthless for so long, just doesn't feel intimidating anymore. "Only Murders in the Building" does a great job at giving closure to side characters' storylines, but more often than not, it dwindles down future suspect lists in the process.

On the other hand, if a spin-off were to focus on life outside the Arconia, it would inevitably introduce a whole slew of potentially threatening characters. Maybe Nina discovers a murder when dealing with the development firm, throwing most of its employees (and perhaps even employees of a competitor's firm) into suspicion. Maybe one of the podcast superfans decides to take up the torch and solve a mystery of their own — bonus points if the other fans are suspects. Regardless, a spin-off would be a great way to preserve the original show's alluring sense of mystery while keeping the number of characters relatively manageable.

The show is already starting to outgrow its original premise

While "Only Murders in the Building" is still a delight to watch, the show may only be able to sustain its podcast's original premise — namely, that they'll only cover murders committed in the Arconia building — for so long. Hoffman explained that the premise has been exciting to write around, telling The Hollywood Reporter:

"I know there have been funny discussions about how many murders can there be in one building, but I think that's a fun challenge, too."

But even if the real-life inspiration for the show was far more scandalous, "Only Murders in the Building is definitely starting to push up against its self-imposed boundary. The murder at the end of season 2's finale was very clearly committed outside the Arconia building, though presumably the writers will find a way to tie the death to more than a couple of Arconia residents (or the main trio will be framed once again). Hoffman even told Salon that the writers are being "very conscious" of future murders' locations, signaling that the podcast's title might have to become a little more broad — and that the original premise has gotten a bit too restrictive.

That being said, "Only Murders in the Building" widening its scope isn't necessarily a bad thing (personally, I'm excited to see how expansive the show can get) — it's just a sign that the show will be exploring new horizons. Only time will tell how the writers will keep things fresh.