Ellery Queen: Season 1, Episode 0

Too Many Suspects (23 Mar. 1975)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Family
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When a famous fashion designer is found murdered, Inspector Richard Queen of the NYPD is baffled by her dying clue, prompting him to bring in his son, mystery writer Ellery Queen, to help in the investigation.



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Title: Too Many Suspects (23 Mar 1975)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Carson McKell
Marion McKell
John Larch ...
District Attorney
Ben Waterson
Monaca Grey (as Nancy Mehta)
Warren Berlinger ...
Eddie Carter
Tom McKell
Gail Stevens
Victor Mohica ...
Ramon (as Vic Mohica)
Cora Edwards
Matthew Thomas Cleary


When a famous fashion designer is found murdered, Inspector Richard Queen of the NYPD is baffled by her dying clue, prompting him to bring in his son, mystery writer Ellery Queen, to help in the investigation.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Family | Mystery





Release Date:

23 March 1975 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film was made in two versions: the one broadcast (which ran for 90 minutes in the NBC Sunday Mystery Movie time slot) and the two-hour version which is shown in syndication. See more »


In the scene where Ellery tells his father that he knows who the murderer is, when looking at Ellery's face view he is wearing just a shirt, but when looking at his back he is wearing his brown jacket. See more »


[the radio show of "The Casebook of Simon Brimmer" is performed on the air by Brimmer, the cast and crew]
Actor: M-Mr. Brimmer, what are you doing here?
Simon Brimmer: Sorry for the interruption, Doctor, but I have an appointment with... a murderer.
Actor: Well, I - I don't understand.
Simon Brimmer: It's quite simple. You see, the man we've been looking for... is you.
See more »


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The pilot, titled "Too Many Suspects"
6 June 2009 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

The March 23 1975 broadcast of "Ellery Queen," now titled "Too Many Suspects," was scripted by the two producers, Richard Levinson and William Link, who went on to do similar work on the more successful MURDER SHE WROTE but may be best remembered for COLUMBO. For those of us who prefer the ELLERY QUEEN series that premiered in September '75 and only lasted 22 episodes, we remember the late Jim Hutton, who died at 45 in 1979, as a lighthearted, slightly absentminded version of Ellery, and David Wayne (1914-1995) as Inspector Richard Queen, from NY's homicide squad, who can always count on his son's capable assistance if the Inspector dangles the right bait. Both actors play off each other so easily, and the scripts are so well conceived, that one might actually assume they were truly father and son, and therein lies the greatest reason why this show is so fondly remembered. Another brilliant idea was the 1947 setting, with period cars and fashions, and other wonderful details that result in a "new" TV version of the kind of classic detective series that were so popular during the 30's and 40's, preventing the show from looking dated in succeeding decades. The network was pleased with this 96 minutes pilot, leading to the hour long series that followed in September. Also held over from the pilot was Tom Reese as Sgt. Thomas Velie, who provides the brawn when Ellery and his father need assistance (the only episode that Velie does not appear is "The Adventure of the Sinister Scenario," due to its Los Angeles setting). John Hillerman (MAGNUM P.I.) plays Simon Brimmer, another character who would return from the pilot for 7 additional episodes, a self important radio sleuth who usually barks up the wrong tree, but does occasionally come up with the key information that leads Ellery to the truth. In the pilot, Brimmer unsuccessfuly tries to buy Ellery's confidential files to use as stories for his show, "The Casebook of Simon Brimmer," but Ellery is quickly off to the apartment of fashion designer Miss Monaca Gray, who was murdered in her living room, leaving a dying clue by unplugging both the electric clock and TV set at exactly 10:25 PM. The murder gun is registered to Carson McKell (Ray Milland), who admits that he'd been seeing Monaca (but not the night she died) and bought her the gun for protection. Also under suspicion is McKell's wife Marion (Kim Hunter), who claims that she knew about the affair and was curious about her "rival," and son Tom (Monte Markham), who doesn't want to see either of his parents hurt. The murder victim is played by lovely Nancy Kovack (billed under her married name, Nancy Mehta), a busy TV actress in the 1960's (BEWITCHED, STAR TREK), but who would soon retire after this role, while John Larch, as the District Attorney, is more brusque than usual. James Lydon (Henry Aldrich) is briefly seen as a radio actor on Brimmer's show, and the announcer is played by an unbilled Harry Von Zell. Also unbilled is Franny Michel, as Ellery's niece Penny, and Jimmy Baio (SOAP), as a boy whose public graffiti provides a necessary clue for Ellery, whose absentmindedness is endearingly displayed by his always leaving his glasses behind (always the little, mundane things that he misses). And finally, when our hero figures out the solution, actor Jim Hutton breaks 'the fourth wall' in the middle of the scene, turns to the camera and asks the viewers if they got it too, a rare trait repeated in all 22 episodes.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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