Friday, February 7, 2020

Show Notes: Episode 7-6: Murder, She Wrote

*Murder, She Wrote aired on CBS for 12 seasons and 264 episodes from September 1984 to May 1996, and there were also 4 TV movies.  The first 5 seasons are available on Prime Video, and the complete series is on DVD.

*Season 1 Episode 19, Murder Takes the Bus, premiered Sunday, March 17, 1985, at 8:00 P.M. on CBS. Preceding it was 60 Minutes, and following it was Crazy Like a Fox and Trapper John M.D.

ABC countered with Ripley's Believe It or Not, Brubaker (the 1980 Robert Redford film), and Foul-Ups, Bleeps, and Blunders. The NBC lineup that night included Silver Spoons, Punky Brewster, Knight Rider, and a rerun of The Burning Bed.

*Angela Lansbury played Agatha Christie sleuth Miss Marple in 1980's The Mirror Crack'd, which was originally supposed to kick off a series. Liz Taylor, Rock Hudson, and Kim Novak co-star. Sadly, they are among the only stars who didn't show up on Murder, She Wrote.

*A guest star who IS in this episode of Murder, Terence Knox, was indeed still a regular on St. Elsewhere when this aired.'

*Mike mentions on the show what Jimmy Hoffa says in The Irishman about facing a knife as opposed to a gun. Here is the quote from the source material, the book I Hear You Paint Houses:

Frank Sheeran tells Charles Brandt: "Bill Isabel told me that Jimmy said, 'You always run away from a man with a knife and toward a man with a gun.' I don't know about that. You have to know the circumstances.  He's right if you can startle the man with the gun, because he doesn't expect you to come at him. Jimmy did the right thing in these circumstances. But if you go toward the man with a gun who cannot be startled, the closer you get the more you improve his aim.  Most of the time you don't see the knife until you're cut with it. The best thing to do is to be a choirboy."

*Angela Lansbury won numerous Golden Globes for the series yet never won an Emmy despite a record 12 nominations. She lost Emmys to: Tyne Daly, Sharon Glass (Cagney and Lacey), Dana Delany (China Beach), Patricia Wettig (Thirtysomething), Kathy Baker (Picket Fences), and--most surprising to me--Sela Ward for Sisters.

*At this time, there are over 40 official "Jessica Fletcher"novel in our world. In the Murder, She Wrote world, who knows how many novels she wrote? We're not sure she even keeps track.

*Father Dowling Mysteries with Tom Bosley aired 1989-1991 on NBC and then ABC.

*This series was a top-10 show in 8 of its first 11 years, never finishing lower than #13.  It crashed in its final season, falling to #58 overall after an ill-fated move from its longtime Sunday 8:00 timeslot to Thursday at 8:00/

*You can see a clip from Lansbury's Positive Moves exercise video in this week's YouTube playlist. We chose a PG-rated selection.

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