Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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When one of Jessica's former students brings a play based on her novel to Broadway, she finds herself in the middle of a war between two rival critics.


E.W. Swackhamer (as E. W. Swackhamer)


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 6 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Lloyd Bochner ... Jason Richards
Miles Chapin ... Walter Knapf
Carole Cook ... Shayna Grant
Marilyn Hassett ... Barbara Blair
Rich Little ... Barney Mapost
Christopher Norris ... Denise Quinlan
Eugene Roche ... Lt. Aloysius Jarvis
Dean Stockwell ... Elliot Easterbrook
Philip Abbott ... Ed Cullen
John DiSanti ... Danny O'Mara
Penny Santon Penny Santon ... Mrs. Rizzo
Don Correia Don Correia ... Shayna's Assistant
R.J. Arterburn R.J. Arterburn ... Sergeant (as R. J. Arterburn)
Robert Rigamonti Robert Rigamonti ... Maitre D'


Producer Shayne Grant mounts Walter Knapf's play 'Mainely Murder', a reworking of JB Fletcher's mystery, who was one of his teachers. Only after the pre-premiere Broadway interviews, Walter admits he was railroaded into appalling changes. The critics do a destructive job on the play, worst of all by ever-condescending TV columnist, Elliot Easterbrook. Shortly after, the Chronicle newspaper critic, Danny O'Mara, who gave the only glowing review while also attacking Elliot's, is found murdered after Easterbrook shouted he should be permanently silenced. Jessica and the NYPD work their way through suspects among cast, crew and critical body, starting with Elliot, who was found there holding a gun but has a TV alibi, only to find the killer after examining notes and computer files. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

1 May 1988 (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?


Rich Little's character says that he has an ability to mimic the writing styles of various critics. Little is a professional impressionist, performing impressions of, among others, every U.S. president since Kennedy and several celebrities. See more »


Easterbrook (Dean Stockwell) refers to having been invited to "your little post-prandial party", when speaking about the premier after-party. "Post-prandial" means "after-meal". But Easterbrook is shown to be a pompous windbag, and simply not have known the proper meaning of what he said. See more »


[first lines]
Eliot Easterbrook: Good evening. Elliot Easterbrook with your "Live At 5:00 Mini Cam" at the Woolcott Theatre. Do you know that it has been said that the theater is a temple? If so, it is a temple which has frequently worshiped false gods. Only time and astute critical judgment will tell if "Mainely Murder", which opens here tomorrow night, will honor the gods or, yet again, profane them.
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Murder She Wrote Theme
Written by John Addison
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User Reviews

Jessica on Broadway
30 July 2017 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Miles Chapin is one of Jessica Fletcher's former creative writing students who has adapted one of her mysteries as a Broadway play which brings her down from Cabot Cove to see the opening.

But on opening night prominent critic John DiSanti who gave the play a good review was shot to death in his apartment. Everyone from director Lloyd Bochner to producer Carole Cook is suspected especially after the review is found to be a phony. But of course the suspicion settles on Chapin and there's Angela Lansbury ever ready to defend one of her former pupils.

Stealing this whole episode is this cynical critic and mortal enemy of DiSanti, Dean Stockwell. You really are in awe of how much of a hateful soul Stockwell is and how he even spurns Lansbury's offers to help him when he's under suspicion.

Good episode of a note so good view of the Great White Way.

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