May 16, 2022
Press Releases

Selena Gomez, Steve Martin and Martin Short, Stars of Hulu's Smash Hit Only Murders in the Building, Talk On- and Off-Screen Connection in Emmy Magazine

With 140 years of show-biz experience between them, it's not surprising that Selena Gomez, Steve Martin and Martin Short formed a human connection both on and off the screen while shooting the wildly popular Hulu series Only Murders in the Building. As they launch their second season, the cast and producers talk to emmy about keeping things fresh but still familiar for their legions of fans. The award-winning official publication of the Television Academy is on newsstands May 17.

When Only Murders in the Building debuted in 2021, it delivered the largest-ever audience for a comedy premiere in Hulu's history and quickly became the platform's most-watched comedy. It all started with a TV series idea that had been rattling around in Steve Martin's brain for decades about three residents of New York's Upper West Side who investigate murder in their building. "I didn't really want to pitch it to anybody," Martin says. "But my agent thought it was brilliant and wanted me to share it."

While there was immediate interest from Dan Fogelman (This Is Us) and his producing partner Jess Rosenthal, persuading Martin to take on a lead role was a challenge. He would only agree if his close friend—and fellow comedy icon—Martin Short signed on to the show. With the two funnymen on board, producers searched for an actress to play the third amigo. "We needed someone who could be straight-up honest about what she's going through and make these two more self-obsessed men stop in their tracks and wake up to a feeling of responsibility," says the show's co-creator, John Hoffman.

Chart-topping singer, actress and true-crime aficionado Selena Gomez fit the bill. "I recognized in our first conversation that she has an old-soul quality about her. She's so laser-focused and dry and clever and has her own way of delivery with just a withering line," says Hoffman. "I don't think we or the writers knew exactly what the show was going to be before we started shooting," adds Martin. "But it quickly evolved, and I would say that the relationship of the three of us turned out to be something that people seem to like."

In "Elevator Pitch," Fogelman explains what has made the show a success. "It's really hard to cut through all the content out there and go into the collective consciousness. But if you put Steve and Marty and Selena together, you have a real opportunity to have an audience that will pay attention. And if you make something good on top of that great cast, you might really have something." Keeping the show fresh in season two has proven to be the ultimate challenge for producers. "It's a constant battle to push ourselves," Fogelman continues. "The show is always going to be funny with the cast, but we want to take something that is great and make it better."

In season two, debuting June 28, fans can expect some new faces in the mix, including Cara Delevingne, Shirley MacLaine and Amy Schumer. "They're all so brilliant," says Hoffman. "And we're so fortunate in that this cast has become magnets for the greatest people in the world to guest star."

Despite all the challenges of shooting the series during a pandemic, it was a labor of love for the cast and crew. "You know, we have fun doing this," Short says. "I mean, that's an obvious thing to say; but I've always felt that when you do anything—whether it's a movie or a play—the obligation is to have fun. Because you don't know how it's going to turn out. There's never a guarantee that anything will be a hit."

Additional feature highlights from the new issue include:

  • With five Dateline segments and a podcast with 20 million downloads about the true-crime saga of Pam Hupp, NBC needed a fresh approach for the six-episode limited series The Thing About Pam. In "Truth Retold," emmy talks to series star and executive producer Renée Zellweger and showrunner Jenny Klein about mining the story and the built-in viewer base, ripe for expansion.
  • In "Within Reach," emmy talks to the cast of Kung Fu about the show's representation of Asian American culture in the midst of high-profile anti-Asian hate crimes across the country. Picked up for a third season, The CW series delivers an inside look at a modern American family of immigrant parents and their children.
  • When Epix set out to produce the eight-episode series Billy the Kid, they knew they needed a new take on the famed outlaw. In "Law of Their Lands," emmy talks to executive producers Michael Hirst, Otto Bathurst and Donald De Line about the raw and visceral "pre-Western."

About emmy
Emmy, the official publication of the Television Academy, goes behind the scenes of the industry for a unique insider's view. It showcases the scope of television and profiles the people who make TV happen, from the stars of top shows to the pros behind the cameras, covering programming trends and advances in technology. Honored consistently for excellence, emmy is a six-time Maggie Award winner as Best Trade Publication in Communications or the Arts and has collected 52 Maggies from the Western Publishing Association. Emmy is published 12 times per year and is available on selected newsstands and at for single print and digital copies as well as subscriptions.

Download the press release here.

For issue/coverage contacts:
Carla Schalman

Stephanie Goodell

breakwhitelight for the Television Academy

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