Peter S. Fischer Dies: ‘Murder, She Wrote’ Co-Creator & Longtime Crime Series Writer Was 88

Peter S. Fischer, co-creator of Murder, She Wrote and writer on dozens of crime series such as Columbo, Ellery Queen and Murder spinoff The Law and Harry McGraw, has died. Grandson Jake McElrath confirmed his passing to The Hollywood Reporter. Fischer was 88.

Peter S. Fischer is best known for co-creating the juggernaut Murder, She Wrote franchise with Richard Levinson and William Link. He wrote 264 episodes of the CBS series, including the pilot, which ran from 1984-1996. The lighthearted mystery drama landed in the Top 10 for eight of those seasons and the Top 15 for the first 11.

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Fischer also created and wrote 15 episodes of spinoff The Law and Harry McGraw, starring Jerry Orbach. It spotlighted McGraw, a private investigator who appeared in three episodes of Murder, She Wrote. It ran for one season from 1987 to 1988.

The year after the Angela Lansbury-starring show ended, Fischer wrote a TV movie featuring the Jessica Fletcher character called Murder She Wrote: South By Southwest, which aired that November. It would be his final screen credit.

While his work on Murder, She Wrote would be a career in itself, Fischer created other series – including The Eddie Capra Mysteries and Blacke’s Magic – and wrote on dozens of the era’s biggest crime shows over the course of 30 years, including Marcus Welby, M.D., Kojak, Baretta and McMillan & Wife.

After leaving TV, Fischer wrote books, including Me and Murder, She Wrote and 22 self-published crime novels collectively known as the “Hollywood Murder Mysteries.”

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