Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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Simon Says, Color Me Dead 

Jessica investigates when an artist is murdered and his prized painting is missing.


Kevin G. Cremin


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 4 more credits »


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Episode complete credited cast:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Diane Baker ... Eleanor Thane
Tom Bosley ... Sheriff Amos Tupper
Foster Brooks ... Simon Thane
Ann Dusenberry ... Carol Selby
Leonard Frey ... Felix Casslaw
Tess Harper ... Irene Rutledge
Steve Inwood Steve Inwood ... Cash Logan
Dick Sargent ... George Selby
William Windom ... Dr. Seth Hazlitt
Chris Hebert ... Tommy Rutledge
Phillip Clark ... Deputy Collins
Daryl Wood ... Martha Sommers (as Daryl Lynn Wood)


Irene Rutledge can't afford a bike for her son Tommy and Jessica lets him earn her husband's old bike by working in her garden. Artist Simon Thane says he has been working on a special canvas all summer but hasn't let anyone see it. When Simon is found dead and the mysterious painting has disappeared, Amos arrests Irene for murder. But Jessica is convinced that Irene is innocent. Written by mama.sylvia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Per the title, Simon Says is a children's game for three or more players where one is "it" and tells the others what to do when asked with a phrase beginning with "Simon says". See more »


[first lines]
Simon Thane: Checking to see if any of your books have been discounted, Jessica?
Jessica Fletcher: Simon, you know I really should be annoyed with you. The season's almost over and nary a phone call. I'm beginning to think that those stories about you becoming a recluse are true.
Simon Thane: They are. I should know. I started them myself.
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Murder She Wrote Theme
Written by John Addison
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User Reviews

Painting murder
10 August 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Have always been quite fond of 'Murder She Wrote'. It is a fun and relaxing watch that makes you think as you try to unwind in the evening. If one wants more complex, twisty mysteries with lots of tension and suspense 'Murder She Wrote' may not be for you, but if you want something light-hearted and entertaining but still provide good mysteries 'Murder She Wrote' fits the bill just fine.

After the disappointing "Death Takes a Dive", "Simon Says, Colour Me Dead" is a step in the right direction for the third season. Although the mystery itself is not a complex one, hardly obvious (you don't figure out correctly who was responsible at least or why, nor does it feel random or last minute) but there have been more shocking final solutions, "Simon Says, Colour Me Dead" is very entertaining and among the better episodes of Season 3.

Its only real weak point was Amos's fatherhood contemplation subplot. That was not necessary or interesting at all really, seemed there for padding reasons and a clumsy way of giving Amos development and it caused little more than groan-inducing unintentional humour.

Production values are slick and stylish as ever with 'Murder She Wrote'. The music has energy and has presence but also not making the mistake of over-scoring, while it is hard to forget or resist the theme tune.

Writing is thought-provoking, light-hearted and amiable and the episode is engaging from start to finish.

The very good cast add hugely to the appeal. Can't complain about Tom Bosley, William Windom and especially the ever terrific Angela Lansbury, and the guest turns from Foster Brooks, Tess Harper and a frosty Diane Baker in particular are more than up to their level.

In summation, solid episode and much better than the previous one, seeing Season 3 back on track. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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Release Date:

1 March 1987 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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