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 and Tupper's successor, Mort Metzger, a former New York City cop. Sometimes, later in the series, Jessica would only serve as narrator. In later seasons, Jessica moved to Manhattan to teach criminology at fictional Manhattan University.Written by
Mike Hatchett <firstname.lastname@example.org>
As part of producing the series, Peter Fischer developed characters and scenarios within the "Murderer, She Wrote" format storyline, with the premise for specific "characters" leading off into another network weekly series. In 1989, two shows, Murder, She Wrote: The Grand Old Lady (1989) (aired October 8, 1989) and Murder, She Wrote: Jack and Bill (1989) (aired October 29, 1989) 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 in Long Beach, California, with a 1947 era mystery-murder scenario. The leading investigator and his sidekick 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 standard poodle, aiding in sniffing out the criminals. Neither pilot was picked up by CBS, 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", which could be filmed during her yearly summer hiatus. She could pick her property, cast and crew the project, producing the movie of the week, each year the series had been contracted. Angela and Peter Shaw's "Corymore Productions" never exercised the movie of the week deal option. When CBS and Les Moonvies axed the Universal-MCA Murder, She Wrote series, the four Murder, She Wrote movies of the week were offered as a contractual settlement. The Jerry Herman "Mrs. Santa Claus" musical "1996 Christmas Special movie of the week" was the whipped cream, cherry on the top, agreement to finalize the cancellation contract. Peter Fisher cut his ties with Universal-MCA and CBS when he departed the Murder, She Wrote series in June, 1992. See more »
Murder, She Wrote ranks #1 in the drama series category, and around #4 in the greatest shows of all time, right behind M*A*S*H*, All in the Family and Maude. I liked Jessica Fletcher, but also the antics of her crusty doctor friend, Seth Hazlitt, and the Sheriff. The sheer greatness of this show explains its long TV life of 12 seasons.
Angela Lansbury and William Windom both play the part to a T. I still enjoy watching seemingly endless reruns daily of the show on A&E.
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