Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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The Committee 

Jessica is the first women to speak at a function at an all-male club, then a member is murdered.


Jerry Jameson


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

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Robin Dearden ... Lisa Sutton
John Kapelos ... Lt. Howard Tartarus
Norman Lloyd ... Philip Arkham
John McMartin ... Winston Devermore
Nicholas Pryor ... Theo Cayle
James Sutorius ... Lawrence Cayle
Robin Thomas ... Gerald Innsmouth
Edward Winter ... Edward Dunsany (as Ed Winter)
George Wyner ... Harcourt Fenton
Darrell Zwerling ... Doctor
Marabina Jaimes ... Nurse
Geoffrey Infeld Geoffrey Infeld ... Messenger
Judy Jean Berns Judy Jean Berns ... Fundraiser Organizer
Susan McWilliams Susan McWilliams ... Doris


Jessica happily accepts her New York friend Winston Devermore's invitation to be the first female author/guest speaker at the previously exclusive male bastion Avernus club. Ruthless, rude businessman Lawrence Cayle is ostracized for 'un-brotherly' (adulterous) conduct, but Harcourt Fenton refuses to join the collective vendetta proclaimed. Lawrence gets wind and still agrees to meet the secretly selected 'enforcer' at midnight in Avernus, but is shot with a club sports gun. Winston asks Jessica to help him find the killer before NYPD lieutenant Howard Tartarus collectively charges the executive committee. Shortly after, Harcourt dies in a car accident, his passenger Winston is seriously hurt (the accident is a result of sabotage). Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

1 December 1991 (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?


There are many in-jokes in "The Committee." The last names of characters Edward Dunsany, Gerald Innsmouth, and Philip Arkham all refer to works by H.P. Lovecraft. The name of Harcourt Fenton is an obvious reference to Star Trek (1966) rogue Harcourt Fenton Mudd, and the names of Lieutenant Tartarus and the Avernus Club both refer to mythological hells. This is no surprise, given that prolific SF author J. Michael Straczynski wrote this episode. See more »

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User Reviews

All-male club homicide
22 October 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Have always been quite fond of 'Murder She Wrote'. It is a fun and relaxing watch that makes you think as you try to unwind in the evening. If one wants more complex, twisty mysteries with lots of tension and suspense 'Murder She Wrote' may not be for you, but if you want something light-hearted and entertaining but still provide good mysteries 'Murder She Wrote' fits the bill just fine.

"The Committee" may not be one of the best episodes of Season 8 and there are better 'Murder She Wrote' episodes overall. It is a huge improvement over the disappointing "A Killing in Vegas", having a far more engaging mystery and not being hampered by awful younger cast actors. There are a couple of things that bring "The Committee" down from an outstanding episode to a very good one. It does stretch credulity in places and while the denouement is very clever and unexpected it is also on the convoluted side, it took me three viewings to fully understand it (no other 'Murder She Wrote' ending beats Season 2's "Menace Anyone" in confusion though).

On the other hand, "The Committee" is an unusually dark and very mysterious episode, the whole secret all-male club concept was done beautifully. The mystery mostly engages and intrigues, and benefits further from one of the season's better scripts with some fun quotes and delightful in-jokes (there are plenty of them).

Angela Lansbury is faultless and she is matched by a classy supporting cast with the standouts being Norman Lloyd, John McMartin, Robin Thomas and Nicholas Pryor.

Production values are slick and stylish as ever. The music has energy and has presence but also not making the mistake of over-scoring, while it is hard to forget or resist the theme tune.

In summary, very good and almost great, could have been better if credibility was more consistent and the ending did initially perplex as much. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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