Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
6 user

Murder Among Friends 

The producer of a hit TV show featuring an ensemble cast is about to kill off one of the characters when she is found dead in her office.


Vincent McEveety


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 2 more credits »

On Disc

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Episode cast overview:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Bill Brochtrup ... Gene Gains
Frederick Coffin ... Lt. Roy Flint
Robin Curtis ... Rosemary Tynan
Cameron Dye ... Alex Bower
Terri Hanauer ... Joy
Gary Hershberger ... Timothy Flint (as Garrison Hershberger)
Cindy Katz ... Ricki Vardian
Allison Smith ... Carly McAllister
Nicolas Surovy ... Leo Vardian
John Terlesky ... Vince DeNisco
Barbara Alyn Woods ... Dyan Emery
Kirk Thornton ... Policeman
Jim Bockelman Jim Bockelman ... Fifth Bud


Jessica is filming her PBS documentary series on murder mysteries but the real action seems to be nearby on the set of Buds, the number 1 hit comedy on television about 6 young people living in New York. The show's producer, Ricki Vardian, is under pressure to reduce costs and let's it be known that 1 of the 6 stars of the show is to be written out with a cliffhanger in the last episode. She refuses to say who the 'victim' will be, however. Some on the show would like to be cut allowing them to pursue other interests but for most, their greatest fear is the unemployment line. Vicki isn't well liked by anyone, including her husband, so there is no shortage of suspects for Jessica to look over when Vicki is found dead in her office on the last day of shooting. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

8 February 1996 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The theme song for the fictitious show "Buds" (playing after Murder She Wrote intro) is very similar the theme song for the sitcom Friends (1994) which is a similar show to "Buds" See more »


[first lines]
Ricki Vardian: Oh, the network's driving me crazy, Vince. We're the number one series on TV. And just to save a few pennies they're bugging me to eliminate some of the series regulars. I told them, forget it.
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References Strangers on a Train (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

Blondes, Brunettes, and Redheads in Search of Handy Weapons
19 January 2010 | by WeatherVioletSee all my reviews

After CBS Television Network reschedules the "Murder, She Wrote" weekly time slot after eleven seasons from Sunday evening to Thursday evening, "MSW" begins to experience unfounded audience share competition, including that from an NBC Network block, which includes popular Sitcom "Friends."

So, now we're up to the episode which purports to respond to this series' competitive new time slot, to appeal to the demographic market segments interested in programs similar to "Friends," but while "Friends" is running in process...and while many "MSW" fans during its original run may have received the impression that the series had been canceled before this point in time.

And, as a result of this popular series' attempting to reach a wider target audience than its time slot may afford, "Murder Among Friends" is born, which combines state of the art fashion and set design with an abundantly youthful cast, along with an innovative modern weapon -- but then turns around and recycles a "MSW" plot from ten seasons past.

Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) visits Timothy Flint (Gary Hershberger), a young friend in Hollywood, who has been cast in a role on a television situation comedy, "Buds," and invites her to the studio for rehearsal of an episode's taping.

Head writer Ricki Vardian (Cindy Katz) controls the cast and crew of "Buds" with a no-nonsense approach to comedy, while husband and co-producer Leo Vardian (Nicolas Surovy) attempts to support and encourage the program's employees with creative input, but to no avail.

Timothy's co-stars include Carly McAllister (Allison Smith), Dyan Emery (Barbara Alyn Woods), Joy (Terri Hanauer), Vince DeNisco (John Terlesky) and Fifth Bud (Jim Bockelman) although the male co-stars are given very little air time and little to do but to adorn the set.

Gene Gains (Bill Brochtrup) receives an ultimatum to vacate the premises after experiencing a verbal altercation with Ricki Vardian, as her attacks extend to production crew member Alex Bower (Cameron Dye) and consultant Rosemary Tynan (Robin Curtis).

If these problems aren't enough to cause frustration and discord on the set, Ricki announces her plans to eliminate a cast member from the lineup without notice, merely to write off one character, a tactic which will be announced via the next day's script alteration.

But that night, after Timothy mends an unusable laptop computer in the "Buds" front office, someone bludgeons a victim with it, leaving only the victim's and Timothy's fingerprints upon the murder weapon.

Lieutenant Roy Flint (Frederick Coffin) and Policeman (Kirk Thornton) arrest Timothy for the "Murder Among Friends" with no one to defend him except Jessica, who believes in his innocence.

This episode marks the second of two "MSW" guest roles each for Bill Brochtrup, Cameron Dye and Kirk Thornton, the third of three each for Jim Bockelman, Gary Hershberger and Nicolas Surovy, and the fourth of four "MSW" performances for Frederick Coffin, who has been acting on television and in film since 1973, and has since passed.

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