New Murder-Mystery Series Will Take Place In The World’s Most Famous House

The White House is the setting of The Residence, a new murder mystery series starring Uzo Aduba.

By Phillip Moyer | Updated

Plenty of murder mysteries take place in giant houses, but there aren’t very many that take place in that most iconic of homes: the White House. While most people think of it as a government building, the president’s family lives there, attended to by chefs, maids, butlers, and other service staff as the head of state carries out his presidential duties. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the upcoming murder mystery series The Residence takes advantage of the building’s dual role.

The new Netflix series follows consulting detective Cordelia Cupp as she tries to solve a murder that occurred during a state dinner at the White House. The series reportedly takes a comedic approach to its murder mystery, focusing on Cupp’s “distinctive and – to some, unsettling – conversational style.” To solve the crime, she’ll have to make her way through the 157 suspects located across the White House’s 132 rooms.

Playing Cupp as she sleuths around the White House is actress Uzo Aduba, who rose to fame with her role in another Netflix series, Orange is the New Black. The Emmy-winning actress has also starred in In TreatmentMrs. America, and perhaps most prestigiously, My Little Pony: The Movie.

The Last of Us director Liza Johnson is set to direct the first half of the series. Who will direct the rest of the eight-episode, White House-focused series has not yet been released. 

The series takes its name from the Kate Andersen Brower book The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House. As you probably guessed from the title, the book is not a murder mystery. Instead, it’s a nonfiction book based on interviews with White House staff that have served presidents ranging from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama.

Since there has never actually been a murder inside the White House, it’s clear that The Residence is taking some liberties with the source material. The show reportedly uses the book as a “jumping off point” for telling its murder mystery — likely taking advantage of the detailed information about the White House’s inner workings to help craft the whodunit. 

The White House itself seems poised to be a major character in The Residence. The story is poised to explore every nook and cranny of the building as Cupp interviews the White House’s staff to try to solve the murder. 

Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx in White House Down

While a murder mystery set in the White House might be a novel concept, The Residence is far from the first piece of media to take place inside its walls. Shows like Veep and The West Wing famously deal with White House politics, and action films White House Down and Olympus has Fallen also take place within the building. 

The Residence is scheduled to release on Netflix sometime in 2023. However, very little information has been released about who will star in the show besides Uzo Aduba. Assuming the show will keep to its schedule, we’ll likely soon find out more information about who will be joining Aduba in the White House.