Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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Corned Beef and Carnage 

Jessica gets involved when her niece Victoria is believed to be connected to the murder of her lecherous boss.


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 3 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Susan Anton ... Christine Clifford
Warren Berlinger ... Jim Ingram
Jeff Conaway ... Howard Griffin
Genie Francis ... Victoria Brandon Griffin
Peter Haskell ... Leland Biddle
Richard Kline ... Larry Kinkaid
Bill Macy ... Myron Kinkaid
James Sloyan ... Lt. Spoletti
David Ogden Stiers ... Aubrey Thornton
Ken Swofford ... Grover Barth
Marcia Wallace ... Polly Barth
Phil Rubenstein Phil Rubenstein ... Deli Clerk
Russ Fega ... Delivery Man
David Starwalt ... Officer


Visiting her niece Victoria Brandon Griffin, Jessica finds her crumbled by her job in advertising to give husband Howard financial comfort to pursue his acting career, while he feels guilty for being a kept man. However Vicky gets arrested after finding her mean boss, Larry Kinkaid, skull smashed with an award her fingerprints are on, just after she resigned refusing to court a married client. Jessica forces NYPD lieutenant Spoletti to look further, notably the security guard's list of building visitors, including an obvious alias she traces to Christine Clifford, the man-eater from an agency which competed with Kinkaid for the Corned Beef Castle account, and the delivery of a sandwich. Furthermore she looks into the agency's office politics, notably Larry's older brother and heir Myron Kinkaid and senior account manager Aubrey Thornton, whose position was most precarious... Written by KGF Vissers

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Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

2 November 1986 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title refers to the traditional Irish meal of corned beef and cabbage which is consumed on St. Patrick's Day that is more common in America than in the Irish homeland. See more »


The bill for Kincaid's sandwich was $5.50, but Kincaid tossed a $5 bill on the desk to pay for it. See more »


[first lines]
Larry Kinkaid: We're goosing up the 18 to 34 demographics by, uh...
Victoria Brandon Griffin: 17 million impressions.
Larry Kinkaid: If we can squeeze the franchise holders another two percent of gross for advertising, we're gonna have Grover Barth's Corned Beef Sandwich over the billion served this year.
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Murder She Wrote Theme
Written by John Addison
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User Reviews

Loses Points for a Horrible Title ... and Some Very Bad Acting
18 March 2010 | by WeatherVioletSee all my reviews

Robert E. Swanson shares the record with Robert Van Scoyk in the category of penning scripts for the most "MSW" episodes, each with 25, next to Tom Sawyer, with 24 writing credits for this series, these three penning a total of nearly 3/10th of the series' episodes.

In addition to his writing duties, Robert E. Swanson also serves in the capacity of Supervising Producer and Executive Story Editor for several seasons, as he also writes many more interesting episodes besides "Corned Beef & Carnage."

This time around, Jessica's niece Victoria Brandon Griffin (Genie Francis) and nephew-in-law Howard Griffin (Jeff Conaway) relocate from San Francisco to New York City, where Victoria accepts a position at Kinkaid Advertising Agency, while Howard continues to struggle for acting roles.

Larry Kinkaid (Richard Kline) operates Kinkaid Advertising Agency along with elder brother, Myron Kinkaid (Bill Macy), and employee Aubrey Thornton (David Ogden Stiers), who along with Victoria, works on Myron's pet project, "Corned Beef Castle" account, which promises to keep Kinkaid Advertising Agency from the verge of bankruptcy.

Grover Barth (Ken Swofford) and wife, Polly Barth (Marcia Wallace), who share secrets of their own, operate "Corned Beef Castle," a delicatessen, which they plan to launch into a franchise chain of restaurants, should the advertising campaign generate sales.

Christine Clifford (Susan Anton), meanwhile, attempts to gain the "Corned Beef Castle" account for the Biddle Advertising Agency, operated by Leland Biddle (Peter Haskell), as she schemes to lift Victoria's ideas, and they, together, scheme to offer Harold an advertising spokesperson position on the condition that he recruit Victoria to the Biddle Agency.

Grover Barth has his reasons for sticking with the Kincaid Agency, namely to associate closely with the lovely Victoria, who confronts her employers during an argument with Larry, Myron and Aubrey, each who seeks his own agenda during the advertising battles.

After Victoria resigns her position, she has second thoughts while Howard is left alone to entertain their visiting Aunt Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), who encourages Victoria to continue along with her busy schedule.

And so Victoria enters one of the offices one evening after hours, to greet Security Guard Jim Ingram (Warren Berlinger), before screaming, after stumbling across a body bludgeoned with an advertising award trophy.

Lieutenant Spoletti (James Sloyan) investigates the murder and, naturally, arrests Victoria, whom Aunt Jessica, quite naturally, defends, as she launches an investigation of her own to prove Victoria's innocence from "Corned Beef & Carnage."

The cast is rounded out by Marleta Giles as Receptionist, David Starwalt as Officer, Phil Rubenstein as Deli Clerk, Russ Fega as Pizza Delivery Man.

This episode represents the first of two "MSW" guest roles each for Susan Anton, Peter Haskell, Bill Macy and David Starwalt, the first of three for David Ogden Stiers, the second of three for Warren Berlinger, and also the second of three for Genie Francis in her role as niece Victoria Brandon Griffin, the second of four for Jeff Conaway, including two as Howard Griffin, the first of seven for James Sloyan, including his five as Robert Butler in Dennis Stanton episodes, and the second of eleven for Ken Swofford, including his six as Lieutenant Catalano in Dennis Stanton episodes.

Phil Rubenstein, acting on television and in film since 1976, has unfortunately since passed.

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