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I have mixed feelings about NBC’s plans to revive Murder, She Wrote.
On one hand, I am a big fan of Octavia Spencer, who has been cast in the lead role. On the other, I am a huge Fletcher fan, so even though the new series will only be loosely based on the original, I don’t like the idea of someone messing with perfection. (Apparently, neither does Angela Lansbury.)
From 1984 to 1996, audiences tuned in to see teacher turned mystery writer Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) solve crimes in her hometown of Cabot Cove, Maine and beyond.
For many years, the show was a weekly must-watch — along with The Dukes of Hazzard, The Golden Girls, and Falcon Crest — in the Barnes household. These days, I catch (all too infrequent) re-airings of original Murder episodes for the suspense, the ’80s nostalgia, and the never-ending parade of celebrity and before-they-were-famous guest stars like Milton Berle, Janet Leigh, George Clooney, Bryan Cranston, and Courteney Cox.
In October, Universal released TV Murder, She Wrote: The Complete Series ($135.55 at bn.com), a 63 disc set that includes all 12 seasons of the crime procedural. Fun fact: You’d have to watch around the clock for more than a week to see all 264 episodes. In binge-watching terms, that’s one epic TV marathon.