Former high school English teacher and famed mystery writer Jessica Fletcher has a gift for solving mysteries. You see, it seems murder follows her around, whether it be to the houses of her seemingly endless number of friends, nieces, and nephews or right in her hometown of Cabot Cove, Maine. Jessica is sometimes assisted by her friend Dr. Seth Hazlitt or the local sheriff, Amos Tupper (later Sheriff Metzger). Sometimes, later in the series, Jessica would only narrate the episode, which would be a dramatization of one of her novels. In later seasons, Jessica moved to New York City to be closer to her publisher and also closer to crime. Written by
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Did You Know?
As part of producing the series, Peter Fischer developed characters and scenarios within the "MSW" format storyline, with the premise for specific "characters" leading off into another network weekly series. In 1989, two shows, (6.3) "The Grand Old Lady" (air-8 Oct 89) and (6.5) "Jack and Bill" (air-29 Oct 89) were potential film series pilots, with Angela introducing each of the shows narrative. The two pilots were filmed at the end of the fifth season - June, 1989, after Angela and Peter Shaw had departed for their summer break. Angela's filming for each of the new show's preliminary introductions and last line wrap up, were filmed at the start of the new 1989-90 season, filming the intros in September, 1989. The "Grand Old Lady" was filmed aboard the Queen Mary (Hotel) in Long Beach, with a 1947 era mystery-murder scenario. The leading investigator and his side kick intended as the basis for another mystery show spin off, establishing a 1947-50 period environment. The contemporary "Jack and Bill" pilot involved two detectives with a bright pink (dyed) standard poodle, aiding in sniffing out the criminals. Neither pilot was picked by CBS TV, but the two shows were offered, independently, to both ABC, and then NBC, after CBS answered "no thanks". What was unusual with Lansbury's contract with CBS, Angela's "Corymore Production" company had an option for a "movie of the week" (two hour) which could be filmed during her yearly summer hiatus. She could pick her property, cast and crew the project, producing the MOW, each year the series had been contracted. Angela and Peter Shaw's "Corymore Productions" never exercised the MOW deal option. When CBS and Les Moonvies axed the Universal-MCA MSW series, the four MSW MOW projects were offered as a contractual settlement. The Jerry Herman "Mrs. Santa Claus" musical "1996 Christmas Special MOW" was the whip cream cherry on top agreement to finalize the cancellation contract. Peter Fisher cut his ties with Universal-MCA and CBS TV when he departed the MSW series in June, 1992. See more
Referenced in Murder He Wrote