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TV review

‘Whodunnit?’ a cheesy murder mystery game

During the past decade that reality competitions have come to prominence in prime time, networks have tried to launch murder mysteries without much success.

In ABC’s latest effort, “Whodunnit?” (9 p.m. Sunday), 13 contestants are confined to a house where they take orders from a butler (Gildart Jackson), who acts as an intermediary for the “killer,” who is one of the contestants.

A player “dies” early in the premiere and the remaining house guests work to solve her “murder.” Each player presents his or her theory to an empty room that the killer is monitoring and afterward the killer marks each player “spared” or “scared.” Two “scared” players are marked by the end of the episode and then one of them dies.

“Whodunnit?” asks its contestants to become actors when they are chosen to be killed off, which gives this show a cheesy vibe.