The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo
Created byAlan Goodman
ComposerBill Johnson
Country of origin
  • United States
  • Canada
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes41
Executive producers
  • Angelika Bartenbach-Kidd
  • Jim Burns
  • Stewart Harding
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time30 minutes
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseMarch 16, 1996 (1996-03-16) –
April 4, 1999 (1999-04-04)

The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo is a children's mystery television series that ran on Nickelodeon between 1996 and 1999.[1] A total of 41 episodes of 30 minutes each were produced. Episodes from the first three seasons were taped at Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, and was one of the few single-camera productions there, while the final season's episodes were shot in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


The series first aired in March 1996 as a six-episode test run, since Nickelodeon usually produced one major new series at a time and they were already producing Space Cases.[2] The success of the test run prompted Nickelodeon to re-introduce the series on SNICK in January 1997, along with seven new episodes.[2] During the show's third season, production stopped after eight of a proposed thirteen episodes were filmed due to a crew strike, as the show's budget did not cover the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees's demands, partly due to the decision to shoot film instead of videotape.[3] Production resumed in Montreal in February 1998, after Cinar agreed to co-produce the series.[4] As a result, the show's setting changed from Cocoa Beach, Florida to Boston, Massachusetts.

Starring Irene Ng as the title character, the series revolves around the adventures of a Chinese American teenage girl who lives with her innkeeper grandfather and works as a non-sworn intern at the local police department where she helps out with odds and ends around the office. Occasionally an intriguing case comes to Shelby's attention, prompting her to apply her unique insight and enlist the help of her friends to solve it. Her supervisors, however, do not appreciate her help, as she is only a teenager. Her grandfather also does not want her getting involved in cases, often reminding her "We are not detectives with warrant badges, we are innkeepers with brooms." Many of the stories, with three clear suspects, keep the audience guessing until the truth is ultimately explained.


Primary characters

Recurring characters


Series overview

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
16March 16, 1996 (1996-03-16)April 21, 1996 (1996-04-21)
27January 4, 1997 (1997-01-04)February 22, 1997 (1997-02-22)
38September 28, 1997 (1997-09-28)August 27, 1998 (1998-08-27)
420September 6, 1998 (1998-09-06)April 4, 1999 (1999-04-04)

Season 1 (1996)

No. in
TitleDirected by [5]Written by [5]Original air date [6]Prod.
code [7]
11"Fool's Gold"Chuck VinsonJames Ponti & Paul StubenrauchMarch 16, 1996 (1996-03-16)[8]104
A priceless gold coin is stolen from a local surf shop.
22"The Missing Dolphin"Chuck VinsonEric WeinerMarch 24, 1996 (1996-03-24)[9]105
A popular dolphin vanishes from a research facility in Cocoa Beach.
33"Wipeout"Maggie GreenwaldJoyce WadlerMarch 31, 1996 (1996-03-31)103
When a local surf champ is poisoned, his rival is blamed. Shelby must prove the man's innocence.
44"The Missing Astronaut"Chuck VinsonCarin Greenberg BakerApril 7, 1996 (1996-04-07)106
A NASA astronaut is kidnapped during a party held in his honor at Shelby's own house.
55"Hot Seats"Maggie GreenwaldAlan GoodmanApril 14, 1996 (1996-04-14)101
Shelby must clear a scalper's name when he's framed for giving out counterfeit concert tickets.
66"Hot Seats: Part 2"Maggie GreenwaldAlan GoodmanApril 21, 1996 (1996-04-21)102
Conclusion. The mystery tightens when the young man accused of selling fake tickets vanishes.

Season 2 (1997)

No. in
TitleDirected by [5]Written by [5]Original air date [10]Prod.
code [11]
71"The Alligator Mystery"Chuck VinsonSuzanne CollinsJanuary 4, 1997 (1997-01-04)207
A gambling addict goes missing in an alligator park.
82"The Alley Cat"Chuck VinsonAlan GoodmanJanuary 11, 1997 (1997-01-11)209
A criminal who eluded Shelby's grandfather resurfaces.
93"Tag, Not It"Chuck VinsonJames PontiJanuary 18, 1997 (1997-01-18)211
Shelby, Cindi, and Noah must clear Cindi's cousin's name when he's framed for graffiti.
104"The Smoke Screen Case"Allison LiddiSuzanne CollinsJanuary 25, 1997 (1997-01-25)210
Shelby investigates an arson that covered up the disappearances of animals.
115"Two Faced"Allison LiddiMarty Stevens-HeebnerFebruary 1, 1997 (1997-02-01)[12]213
It is a case of mistaken identity when Noah is kidnapped due to his resemblance to a son of a scientist.
126"Eye of the Storm"Maggie GreenwaldJames PontiFebruary 15, 1997 (1997-02-15)208
During a hurricane, a valuable watch is stolen from its safe.
137"The Case of the Knockout Gas"Maggie GreenwaldSusan KimFebruary 22, 1997 (1997-02-22)212
Cashiers at local mini-marts are being knocked unconscious by gas seeping through air vents. Who is responsible?

Season 3 (1997–98)

No. in
TitleDirected by [5]Written by [5]Original air dateProd.
code [13]
141"The Macbeth Mystery"Maggie GreenwaldSusan KimSeptember 28, 1997 (1997-09-28)[14]320
Accidents begin to plague a play.
152"The Hit and Run Case"Allison LiddiSuzanne CollinsOctober 5, 1997 (1997-10-05)[15]314
Detective Hineline is framed for a hit and run.
163"Mystery in the Wilderness"Allison LiddiAlan GoodmanOctober 12, 1997 (1997-10-12)316
A thief steals a computer chip during Shelby, Cindi, and Noah's nature trip.
174"The Mascot Mystery"Maggie GreenwaldJames PontiOctober 26, 1997 (1997-10-26)317
The school mascot assaults the soccer champ.
185"The Hot Dog Mystery"Allison LiddiBobby BowmanNovember 2, 1997 (1997-11-02)319
Students get sick from eating the school's hot dogs.
196"The Shell Game Mystery"Allison LiddiJames PontiJanuary 4, 1998 (1998-01-04)[16]315
Someone takes advantage of a campaign to help sea turtles to commit robberies.
207"The John Doe Mystery"Directed by: Maggie Greenwald
Additional scenes: Adam Weissman
James PontiAugust 25, 1998 (1998-08-25)TBA
An amnesiac man may play a role in the search for a missing satellite
218"The Seminole Mystery"Directed by: Maggie Greenwald
Additional scenes: Adam Weissman
Suzanne CollinsAugust 27, 1998 (1998-08-27)TBA
An authentic Seminole weapon is stolen.

Season 4 (1998–99)

No.TitleDirected by [5]Written by [5]Original air dateProd.
22"The Paul Revere Mystery"Adam WeissmanAlan GoodmanSeptember 6, 1998 (1998-09-06)[17]TBA
Shelby is a suspect when someone steals a silver bowl made by Paul Revere.
23"The Spare Parts Mystery"Adam WeissmanSuzanne CollinsSeptember 13, 1998 (1998-09-13)[18]TBA
Shelby has to find who has been stealing parts from cars being worked on at the school's auto shop.
24"The Toy Store Mystery"Allison LiddiBeth StewartTBATBA
A popular doll and its accessories begin to malfunction.
25"The Skin Deep Mystery"Lorette LeblancSteve Purnick & Danno SullivanTBATBA
Shelby goes undercover at a beauty pageant where mysterious accidents are occurring.
26"The UFO Mystery"Lorette LeblancSusan KimTBATBA
Shelby sets out to disprove a UFO sighting.
27"The Robot Mystery"Jim DonovanDavid HoffmanTBATBA
A brilliant inventor has been attacked, and some of his blueprints have been stolen.
28"The Haunted House Mystery"Lorette LeblancRobert BowmanTBATBA
Shelby helps a woman who believes her house is being haunted.
29"The Big Cheese Mystery"Jim DonovanCarin Greenberg BakerTBATBA
A bank robber wears a cheese costume from a popular children's show while committing the crime.
30"The Racetrack Mystery"Adam WeissmanMatthew SalsbergNovember 15, 1998 (1998-11-15)[19]TBA
A race horse about to retire goes missing.
31"The Art Attack Mystery"Jean-Marie ComeauHeather ConkieTBATBA
A new outdoor art exhibit has been trashed and the artist disappears shortly thereafter.
32"The Mystery of The Mice That Roared"Allison LiddiJohn BoniDecember 20, 1998 (1998-12-20)[20]TBA
Someone is playing pranks on the diners at a new restaurant.
33"The Jinxed Campaign Mystery"Jean-Marie ComeauSusan KimJanuary 3, 1999 (1999-01-03)[21]TBA
Shelby gets involved with politics when someone tries to get a mayor candidate to drop from the race.
34"The Moon Rock Mystery"Adam WeissmanJames PontiTBATBA
A rock from the Moon is stolen from an exhibit at a space camp.
35"The Itchy Shorts Mystery"Adam WeissmanSusin NielsenTBATBA
Someone has stolen the basketball team's money and put itching powder in their uniforms.
36"The Baseball Fan Mystery"Adam WeissmanPeter BakalianJanuary 31, 1999 (1999-01-31)[22]TBA
Shelby investigates the disappearance of four valuable baseball cards.
37"The Movie Star Mystery"Lorette LeblancDennise FordhamFebruary 7, 1999 (1999-02-07)[23]TBA
When a detective movie is being filmed in town, one of the stars goes missing, and Shelby is on the case.
38"The Mystery Under Our Noses"Adam WeissmanAlan GoodmanFebruary 21, 1999 (1999-02-21)[24]TBA
When the President of the United States is planning a visit, the itinerary is stolen from the police station.
39"The Train Mystery"Lorette LeblancJohn BoniFebruary 28, 1999 (1999-02-28)[25]TBA
An architect is thrown off of a train on a trip from Boston to Washington DC.
40"The Yearbook Mystery"Lorette LeblancDavid Preston & Edith ReyTBATBA
Shelby and her friends investigate why page 86 is missing from most of the yearbooks.
41"The Egg Mystery"Adam WeissmanSuzanne Collins & James PontiApril 4, 1999 (1999-04-04)[26]TBA
In 1926, a priceless Faberge egg vanished from what later became the Easterly Breeze. 70 years later, Shelby's grandfather attempts to reenact the crime.


On December 28, 2011, TeenNick aired the episode "The Smoke Screen Case" on The '90s Are All That block. The series began airing on a more permanent basis in late October 2015 on The '90s Are All That's successor block, The Splat.

Home media

All 12 episodes from seasons 1 and 2 are available for purchase on the iTunes Store and Amazon Video. Season 2 is available for purchase on Vudu.

On November 24, 2014, the entire series was released on DVD exclusive to in region 1.[5]


  1. ^ The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo: The Complete Series (DVD) (Media notes). Viacom International Inc. 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Shelby Woo, Relentless Girl Detective". The New York Times. 16 February 1997. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Woo producer: lousy weather, unruly unions". Orlando Business Journal. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  4. ^ Brendan Kelly. "Cinar picks Nick to 'Woo'". Variety. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo: The Complete Series (DVD). Viacom International Inc. 2014-11-21. ASIN B00NWRKFJ4.
  6. ^ "The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo (Season 1)". Prime Video. Retrieved 2021-04-11.
  7. ^ "The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo (Season 1)". Nickelodeon. Archived from the original on 2000-02-29. Retrieved 2021-04-10.
  8. ^ Moore, Colleen (1996-03-16). "Beach is backdrop for TV teen sleuth". Florida Today. Cocoa, FL. pp. 1D–2D. Retrieved 2021-04-11.
  9. ^ Baker, Kevin (1996-03-22). "What's the mystery about Shelby Woo? Find out Sunday on Nickelodeon". The Courier-Journal. Louisville, KY. p. C1. Retrieved 2021-04-11.
  10. ^ "The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo (Season 2)". Prime Video. Retrieved 2021-04-10.
  11. ^ "The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo (Season 2)". Nickelodeon. Archived from the original on 2000-02-29. Retrieved 2021-04-10.
  12. ^ "Today's Highlights". Kenosha News. p. B5. Retrieved 2021-04-11.
  13. ^ "The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo (Season 3)". Nickelodeon. Archived from the original on 2000-05-11. Retrieved 2021-04-10.
  14. ^ "Florida Television Magazine (Week of Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 1997)". The Tampa Tribune-Times. 1997-09-28. p. 7 (of FL TV Magazine). Retrieved 2021-04-11.
  15. ^ "Sunday's Highlights". The Leaf-Chronicle. Clarksville, TN. 1997-10-05. p. 7 (of TV Week). Retrieved 2021-04-11.
  16. ^ "Program Notes". The Gazette. Cedar Rapids, IA. 1998-01-04. p. 5E. Retrieved 2021-04-11.
  17. ^ "Shelby Woo "The Paul Revere Mystery" air date". The Leaf-Chronicle. 6 September 1998. p. 67.
  18. ^ "Shelby Woo "The Spare Parts Mystery" air date". The Palm Beach Post. 13 September 1998. p. 213.
  19. ^ "Shelby Woo "The Racetrack Mystery" air date". The Advocate-Messenger. 15 November 1998. p. 50.
  20. ^ "Shelby Woo "The Mystery of the Mice that Roared" air date". The Advocate-Messenger. 20 December 1998. p. 52.
  21. ^ "Shelby Woo "The Jinxed Campaign Mystery" air date". The Leaf-Chronicle. 3 January 1999. p. 57.
  22. ^ "Shelby Woo "The Baseball Fan" air date". The Morning Call. 31 January 1999. p. 128.
  23. ^ "Shelby Woo "The Movie Star Mystery" air date". The Leaf-Chronicle. 7 February 1999. p. 71.
  24. ^ "Shelby Woo "The Mystery Under Our Noses" air date". The Leaf-Chronicle. 21 February 1999. p. 63.
  25. ^ "Shelby Woo "The Train Mystery" air date". Detroit Free Press. 28 February 1999. p. 225.
  26. ^ "Shelby Woo "The Egg Mystery" air date". The Leaf-Chronicle. 4 April 1999. p. 75.