Murder, She Wrote 6.17 “Murder–According to Maggie”

It’s Murder, She Wrote–but this time “she” refers to Jessica Fletcher’s favorite student, Mary Margaret “Maggie” McAuley. That’s right, it’s another “bookend” episode. Maggie is a writer in Hollywood who created the hot TV detective show called “Beat Cop”; but things aren’t going smoothly on the set at FBS Network’s Monolith Studio.

Just the facts:

Click on the text below to reveal spoilers.

Click to reveal the victim It was Keith Carmody, an FBS network executive!
Click to reveal the killer It was Andy Butler, a Beat Cop series regular!
Click to reveal the weapon It was a gunshot!
Click to reveal the location It happened in a screening room at Monolith Studio!
Click to reveal the motive Andy was angry that Keith was responsible for cancelling the show in which Andy was a star, thereby forcing him to be merely a supporting actor on ‘Beat Cop’!

Cast of characters:

The action all centers around the (fictional) TV series Beat Cop and the people involved in its production.

  • Diana Canova plays Maggie McCauley — Jessica Fletcher’s former student and the creator of Beat Cop. This is Canova’s second of three total appearances on MSW.
  • Paul Kreppel plays Leo Kaplan, Maggie’s agent (who also happens to be the agent for the stars of the show)
  • Miriam Flynn plays Vi, Maggie’s secretary. (If your’e wondering where you know her from, Flynn played Cousin Catherine in the National Lampoon’s ‘Vacation’ movies.)

The cast of Beat Cop includes:

  • Tim Thomerson as Bert Rodgers, the star. This is Thomerson’s second and final appearance on MSW.
  • Leann Huley as Dana Darren, the co-star. This is Hunley’s second of three total appearances on MSW.
  • Bruce Kirby as Andy Butler, a series regular. This is Kirby’s first of two total appearances on MSW. Kirby also had a recurring role on Columbo.

The executives in charge of production include:

  • Gary Sandy as Keith Carmody, an executive at FBS Network. This is Sandy’s second and final appearance on MSW.
  • Talia Balsam as Julie Pritzer, a co-executive at FBS Network
  • Dwayne Hickman as Brian Thursdan, President of Monolith Studio
  • Ann Morgan Guilbert as Harriet De Vol, Chair of the Board at Monolith Studio. Guilbert is probably best known for playing Yetta Rosenberg, Fran’s grandmother on The Nanny.)

The show’s crew members include:

  • Tom Troupe as the show’s director.
  • Ben Slack as the stage-hand, Burnsie. This is Slack’s first of two total appearances on MSW.
  • Greg Norberg as prop manager, Phil Dooley. This is Norberg’s third and last appearance on MSW.
  • Vince Howard plays a projectionist. This is Howard’s third out of five total appearances on MSW.

The police investigation is headed by:

  • Denis Arndt as Lieutenant Vincent Palermo — the detective in charge of the investigation, and also Maggie’s friend and perhaps romantic interest.
  • Other law enforcement includes: Ron Steelman as a ‘Door Cop’; Myles O’Brien as a Uniformed Cop; and Paul Ganus as another Uniformed Cop. This is Ganus’s second and final appearance on MSW. He previously appeared in “No Laughing Murder“.

Final thoughts and other trivia:

I haven’t been able to hunt down much trivia around this episode. As is usual with the bookend episode in Season 6, it was hoped that this could be a pilot for a new series, but that didn’t pan out. It’s too bad because I think if you take the bookend episodes on their own merits, many of them are quite good and would make interesting series.

I’ll end this post by saying that I’m quite jealous of Maggie’s ergonomic desk set up.

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