Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Murder They Wrote

In 1980, Angela Lansbury starred as Agatha Christie's snooping sleuth Miss Marple. The movie was only a modest success, but it sparked CBS into thinking a weekly series starring Ms. Lansbury as Miss Marple might be a good idea.

However, negotiations with Agatha Christie's estate proved difficult and the costs prohibitive. Failure? Not really. Make the leading character a mystery writer, change her name to Jessica Fletcher and move her from the U.K. to Cabot Cove, Maine. Voila! CBS had a hit show without the costly licensing fees. Murder, She Wrote ran for twelve seasons.