Time to Play the Whodunit Game — ‘Murder, She Wrote’ Is on Amazon Prime Video!
When Murder, She Wrote debuted on CBS in 1984, skeptics thought it would die as quickly as one of the crime drama’s unlucky victims.
“Everyone I knew in television,” cocreator Richard Levinson told TV Guide Magazine in 1986, “was saying that we wouldn’t last more than a few weeks.” Did viewers really want to watch a cozy mystery starring Angela Lansbury, a woman of a certain age with zero television series experience?
The answer was a resounding yes. Tens of millions of folks tuned in week after week to see how small-town teacher turned author turned amateur sleuth Jessica Fletcher (Lansbury) helped struggling detectives catch another killer. (Amusingly, many of them lived in or passed through Cabot Cove, her supposedly sleepy hometown in Maine.)
The show’s success came as no surprise to its star, who earned an Emmy nomination for best actress in a drama each year during the show’s 1984–96 run.
“The key is that we have interesting locations, and characters that grip the audience, and the audience plays the whodunit game along with us,” Lansbury said during the show’s second season. “It’s a cerebral exercise.” Now that the first five seasons are coming to Prime Video, it’s time to give your brain another workout.
Murder, She Wrote, Seasons 1–5, Available for Streaming, Monday, April 1, Prime Video