Ben Matlock is a very expensive criminal defense attorney who charges $100,000 to take a case. Fortunately, he's worth every penny as he and his associates defend his clients by finding the real killer.
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
Mike Hatchett <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The fictional "Cabot Cove" Maine setting for "Murder, She Wrote" is an actual harbor inlet in the town of Kennebunkport, Maine. The "Cabot Cove" is located on a main road leading from the township, with a bridge over the small inlet bay. Local motor-hotels and lobster-crab shack restaurants are nearby the cove, a short walk from the main village. The pilot episode town exteriors were filmed in Mendocino, California; subsequently, filming each season with a two hour (sometimes split airing as a two parter) show. The main (in town) Victorian mansion stood in for Jessica's house. The exterior Sheriff Station was the local Rangers Station. In 1992, this exterior was exchanged using a coastal bluff building on the main frontal street. Several small business shops were filmed for the exteriors of a beauty salon, a newspaper office, etc., with the "Hill House Hotel" utilizing the Mendocino town's largest hotel's exterior, grounds, parking, and interior lobby/check-in desk. The beach and bluff area filmed mainly for specific episodes. The Harbor of Fort Bragg was filmed for the docks, exterior pub/bar dressing decorated wharf buildings; interior restaurants above the harbor were also filmed as "Cabot Cove" sights. At Universal Studios' back lot, the Jaws Lake attraction was filmed as the exterior village. Actually, the show maintained the studio attraction's exterior buildings until cancellation in 1996, afterwards, falling into dis-repair. The exterior Victorian "Best Little Whorehouse" set, relocated from stage 12 feature filming, to a hill area on the back lot was a stand in for the Mendocino Victorian Jessica's house. The interiors of this house were filmed, redressed, repainted, redecorated, for many of the episodes for other story scenarios. See more »
I'm not quite sure why Murder She Wrote isn't still running. I'm willing to bet that Angela Lansbury could command any kind of deal she could have if she wanted to do more episodes of this wonderful series.
Angela Lansbury is maybe one of the kindest and most unselfish of players ever to grace the big screen, the small screen and the legitimate theater. Let's not forget she's a star in all three mediums. What I like best about her is the fact that she used her star power to give lots of work to her fellow performers from the golden age of Hollywood's studio system who weren't as lucky with their careers as she. Just look at the cast list of any random selection of Murder, She Wrote episodes.
For twelve years she got every weekend to show up the police in every corner of the globe that they had the wrong solution to a given murder. The amazing thing is that most of them simply went with the flow as far as her interference with their investigation. It was part of her charm for them and for us.
About half the episodes took place in the little New England coastal town of Cabot Cove where William Windom as the town doctor and first sheriff Tom Bosley and then sheriff Ron Masak got assistance from Jessica Fletcher every time she was in town at her home. I liked the Cabot Cove shows best and I suspect most viewers did. Though that presents a problem in that Cabot Cove given the percentage of the population might just have the highest murder rate in the country. Good thing she WAS around. But even there she never embarrassed Bosley or Masak in solving the cases.
Her best scenes are with William Windom, the crusty old town doctor, Seth Hazlitt. I suspect that back in their youth Jessic and Seth were an item and the way Lansbury and Windom are with each other, you can see the bonds are strong. The writers in Murder, She Wrote very wisely never made Dr. Hazlett any kind of buffoon the way Nigel Bruce was as Doctor Watson to Basil Rathbone's Sherlock Holmes. Windom played it absolutely straight and his medical knowledge occasionally helped Lansbury solve the case. I think it's a shame that William Windom never got an Emmy for playing Dr. Hazlitt.
My hope is that somebody gets the bright idea to have a reunion episode and maybe finally marry Jessica Fletcher and Dr. Seth Hazlitt. It would be the highest rated show of a given season.
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