In a friend's apartment, Jessica and her friends are amused and then puzzled by the strange drama unfolding on TV.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lt. Giordano
Dan Ferro ...
Roy Phipps
Barry Noble
Rob MacKenzie
Kitty Colfax
Aaron Lustig ...
Augie Grumbacher
Susan Constable
Mrs. Leah Colfax
Gwen Noble
Leo Kositchek
Darlene Faber (as Kathryn Cressida)
Axel Dorsey
Vince Howard ...
College Professor (as Vincent Howard)
Betty Freeman ...
Committee Member #1


Roy Phipps passes his n-th lie-detector test with NYPD Lieutenant Giordano, now for a bank robbery, and denies seeing his recently paroled ex-partner Leo Kositchek again. At the museum board of trustees' nomination committee meeting at her place, Jessica seconds nominating not only a fund-raising ideal CEO, as suggested by chairperson Gwen Noble (who gets a call from Roy), but also an anthropology professor. Superintendent Rob MacKenzie comes to repair Jessica's TV He's worried he can't afford a decent present for his girlfriend, Susan Constable. At Barry Noble's, where Darlene Farber gets a lesson in diamond cutting from Augie Blumbacher, Barry receives the title jeweler of the year from a singing telegram, which also photographs his safe with a hidden camera. Leo bumps into Kitty Colfax (the telegram singer) who didn't keep in touch while he was in jail, wondering if she knows where to get a 'job'. Kitty meets her ma, Leah Colfax, and old friend Jessica shopping. Leah tells Lt. ... Written by KGF Vissers

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

6 November 1994 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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When Leah answers her apartment door, you can see a spike mark for her on the floor. See more »

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User Reviews

Crime Does Not Pay for Freeloading Either
16 December 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This New York City-based episode combines various sub-plots centering around a jewelry shoppe, a museum board of trustees, a burglary ring, young love, a kidnapping and double homicide, and surveillance equipment providing fodder for "The Murder Channel."

By way of variety, let's begin with the law enforcement authority for the case, NYPD Lieutenant Giordano (John Capodice), who investigates a series of robberies and burglaries involving jewelry shoppes around his precinct.

Lieutenant Giordano has apprehended ex-convict Roy Phipps (Dan Ferro) to question on allegations of a recent bank robbery. Roy provides an alibi which holds up for now, before he promises Lieutenant Giordano that he hasn't had contact with Roy's ex-partner in crime, Leo Kositchek (Don Yesso), who has also recently been released from prison on parole. Instead, Roy secretly teams with accomplice Axel Dorsey (Stephen Quadros) to plot his next potential heist.

Roy's next burglary scheme seems to target the shoppe operated by Jeweler Barry Noble (Charles Hallahan), who, along with diamond cutter Augie Blumbacher (Aaron Lustig), entertains Darlene Farber (Kathryn Cressida) with a lesson in jewelry design, when he receives a singing telegram presented by Kitty Colfax (Heidi Kling), this honoring Barry as "Jeweler of the Year," while Kitty secretly photographs the store's safe by concealed camera.

Kitty has connections with Roy and Leo, the latter upon encountering her, questions her loyalty for not keeping in touch during his incarceration.

Kitty's mother, Mrs. Leah Colfax (Doris Roberts), protects her daughter, while not believing allocations from Lieutenant Giordano that Kitty may have crossed onto the wrong side of the law by associating with the likes of Leo Kositchek or Roy Phipps, who secretly infiltrates Kitty's apartment with a surveillance camera to monitor shady underworld dealings, as it serves as a headquarters of iniquity.

Leah appeals to her dear old friend, Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), who leases an apartment in the same building with Kitty, to intervene with the authorities on her daughter's behalf, to cease and to desist police harassment, as Roy and Leo secretly reteam to expand their den of thieves.

But Jessica already has her hands full, with her instructing a course in Criminology, while producing manuscripts, between meetings with her publisher and embarking on book tours and interviews, and spending part of the week in Cabot Cove (her standard J.B. Fletcher routines), but also serving on a New York City Museum Board of Trustees, which schedules a meeting in her apartment one evening.

Museum Board of Trustees Chairperson Gwen Noble (Jessica Walter) plans a fund-raising event, by naming an officer to oversee the project. College Professor of Anthropology (Vince Howard) seems a likely candidate for the position, and the meeting goes well enough (or at least as well as any "MSW" scene could with Jessica Walter on board), until Gwen receives a telephone call from Roy Phipps concerning a meeting at Kitty's regarding the tentative jewelry heist.

Jessica also simultanously has a problem with reception with her television set, and so she enlists her young Superintendent, Rob MacKenzie (Gary Hershberger), to correct the problem, which he efficiently manages to accomplish to Jessica's satisfaction through his wiring expertise.

Rob then consults Jessica regarding his indecision to present his steady, Nursing Student Susan Constable (Perrey Reeves), a friend and fellow tenant of Jessica's with a special birthday gift. When Rob decides upon the gift of flowers, Jessica suggest that he add a special little something to provide a lasting memory.

Remember Jessica's fine cable reception, Rob decides to present Susan with flowers plus free cable access to her television set, but in a freeloading sort of way, by rigging up the wiring in the apartment reception compartment to bypass subscription payments.

But, in the process, Rob accidentally connects Susan to the surveillance system in Kitty's apartment, after someone has already tapped into the system to scrutinize activity via closed-circuit television, and yet the results of watching an enigmatic production focused onto the table in an apartment seem to entertain Susan and the visiting Jessica, as neither is initially able to figure that what they are watching is soon to become "The Murder Channel."

After one victim becomes eliminated as a result of an automobile/pedestrian incident, another body is observed lying on the floor of the set of "The Murder Channel" from Susan's vantage point, as she attempts to describe the scene to Jessica via telephone, explaining that the program's cast of characters has changed.

But Susan then finds herself suddenly disconnected and kidnapped for witnessing a program not exactly dramatized for television after perpetrators discover the rigged wiring leading to her monitor, and receiving privileged information.

Jessica must then scurry to enlist Lieutenant Giordano to rescue Susan before it is too late, while trying to tie the pieces together concerning this double homicide and kidnapping.

The cast is rounded out by Betty Freeman as Margaret, committee member #1, James Kiriyama-Lem as Medical Examiner, and Bob Pepper as Fisherman.

This episode marks the first television acting credit for Kathryn Cressida, and the most recent appearance to date (and fifth of five "MSW" roles) for Vince Howard, who has been acting on television and in films since 1966. Charles Hallahan, acting since 1972, has unfortunately since passed.

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