Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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Steal Me a Story 

A bomb kills a TV producer who stole a plot from one of Jessica's books.


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 5 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Vincent Baggetta Vincent Baggetta ... Bert Puzo
Bradford Dillman ... Avery Stone
Fionnula Flanagan ... Freida Schmidt
Lenore Kasdorf ... Brenda Blake
Yaphet Kotto ... Lt. Bradshaw
Doug McClure ... Gary Patterson
Kim Miyori ... Gayle Yamada
Gail Strickland ... Kate Hollander
Ken Swofford ... Sid Sharkey
Gail Youngs ... Diane Crane
Joe Horváth Joe Horváth ... Sergeant Gates (as Joe Horvath)
Barry Pearl ... P.R. Staffer
Jeff Abbott Jeff Abbott ... Attorney
Kate Williamson ... Lady Customer


Young script writer Gayle Yamada warns Jessica that Hollywood producer Avery Stone insists on stealing the essential plot of one of her mystery books for his TV series starring celebrity Gary Patterson as Dr. Valiant. Shortly after Sid Sharkey, who decided to fire Gary and continue the plagiarist project himself with re-hired director Bert Puzo, dies from a bomb package. In an attempt to sleuth on the spot, LAPD Lieutenant Bradshaw being clueless, Jessica accepts Gary's request to 'ramrod the script'. Sid made lots of professional enemies, including his own assistant, Freida Schmidt, who says some of his files were stolen. Jessica devises a trap. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


[first lines]
Gary Patterson: [acting as Dr. Valiant] Well, now, Anne, lookee here. If that don't bat all. See that scar?
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References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »


Murder She Wrote Theme
Written by John Addison
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User Reviews

Dangerously Doctoring "Danger Doctor" Endangers Directors
5 November 2009 | by WeatherVioletSee all my reviews

This episode marks the second and final "MSW" appearance by Doug McClure, who has since unfortunately passed.

NTN Studio, in Hollywood, California, produces the prime-time medical detective program "Danger Doctor," starring Actor Gary Patterson (Doug McClure) as the countrified Doctor Balliard, and Actress Brenda Blake (Lenore Kasdorf) as his right-hand citified Nurse. Together, Doctor Balliard and Nurse prove major draws to the program, as the characters solve mysteries each week, centering around crimes brought before them along with hospital patients.

"Danger Doctor" is produced by Avery Stone (Bradford Dillman), directed by Bert Puzo (Vincent Baggetta), and overseen by Executive Producer Sid Sharkey (Ken Swofford) and his Executive Secretary Freida Schmidt (Fionnula Flanagan), Producer Kate Hollander (Gail Strickland), and Diane Crane (Gail Youngs), who socializes closely with Gary Patterson.

But when Producer Avery Stone asks Script writer Gayle Yamada (Kim Miyori) to borrow the plot from the latest mystery by J.B. Fletcher, Gayle approaches Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) at a local book-signing, to disclose the order to "Steal Me a Story."

Jessica's telling Gayle that she admires her sense of conscience and fair dealings, with her volunteering to co-author an original script, leads to an upset at NTN Studio, and because producers had been negotiating with her publisher for film rights to her mystery "Murder at the Asylum" to create a potential mini-series.

Back on the set many arguments ensue among those who request time off from the program to appear on the new Buddy Pearlman new series, but are held under contract, some who wanted to remain with the program but are discharged, and those who are otherwise threatened and seek revenge, all to the effects which, subsequently lead to murder by a explosive device.

Because of the intended breach of her source material to plot an episode of "Danger Doctor," Jessica is considered an unwelcome "Persona non grata" on the set--or at least until Gary Patterson, with Diane Crane's help, enlist Jessica to write for his benefit.

Lieutenant Bradshaw (Yaphet Kotto), with Sergeant Gates (Joe Horváth) on hand, arrive to question Jessica and all of the other females on the set because the taps of high heels were heard in the nearby office corridor shortly before the explosion, and Jessica in particular because a remnant of an appointment notice with her was discovered in the aftermath.

But Jessica take a different approach from the officers, by searching the studio for motives, to devise a plan of her own to expose the killer of one to "Steal Me a Story."

The cast is rounded out by P.R. Staffer (Barry Pearl), Attorney (Jeff Abbott), Lady Customer (Kate Williamson), Assistant Director (Scott Lawrence), Second Assistant Director (Jay Roberts Jr.), Heavy (Bill Dunnam), Policeman (Chris Hubbell) and Male Secretary (Matt Stetson).

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Release Date:

15 November 1987 (USA) See more »

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Universal Television See more »
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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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