Diagnosis Murder

Diagnosis Murder

Infobox television
show_name = Diagnosis Murder

caption = The cast, circa 1994: Victoria Rowell, Michael Tucci, Barry Van Dyke, Scott Baio, and Delores Hall, with Dick Van Dyke in the center
format = Drama
runtime = 60 minutes
creator = Joyce Burditt
executive_producer = Dean Hargrove
Fred Silverman
Dick Van Dyke
Lee Goldberg
Chris Abbott
William Rabkin
Michael Gleason
Tom Chehak
Gerald Sanoff
Joel Steiger
producer = The Fred Silverman Company
Dean Hargrove Productions
asst_producer = Viacom Productions
starring = Dick Van Dyke
Barry Van Dyke
Victoria Rowell
Scott Baio
Charlie Schlatter
Michael Tucci
Delores Hall
theme music = Richard de Benedictis|country = USA
network = CBS
first_aired = October 29, 1993
last_aired = May 11, 2001
num_seasons = 8
num_episodes = + 5 TV Movies

"Diagnosis Murder" is a mystery/medical/crime drama television series starring Dick Van Dyke as Dr. Mark Sloan, a medical doctor who solves crimes with the help of his son, a homicide detective played by his real-life son Barry Van Dyke. The series began as a spin-off of "Jake and the Fatman" (Dr. Mark Sloan made his first appearance in episode 4.19 "It Never Entered My Mind"), became a series of three TV movies, and then a weekly television series that debuted on CBS on October 29, 1993. The series struggled at first and was almost canceled at the end of the second season, it returned as a midseason replacement in the third season, and was regularly renewed thereafter. were made and aired in the show's eight seasons on the CBS network in the United States and two more TV movies aired after the series' cancellation on May 11, 2001. Since 1997, the popular show used to air in reruns on ABC Family (formerly The Family Channel). Currently, "Diagnosis: Murder" airs Sundays on the Hallmark Channel. [ [http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/publish/consumer/home/shows/diagnosis_murder0.html Diagnosis Murder ] ] in America, weekdays on the Hallmark Channel (UK) and BBC One in the United Kingdom and weekdays on Foxtel's TV1 channel in Australia. The show was produced by Viacom Productions and is currently distributed by CBS Television Distribution, the syndication arm of CBS Paramount Television.

In the "Jake and the Fatman" episode, Dr. Mark Sloan was a widower with no sons and Ally Walker played Dr. Amanda Bently, a role that went to Cynthia Gibb in the TV movies and, finally, Victoria Rowell in the TV series. That wasn't the only casting change. Stephen Caffrey played Dr. Jack Stewart in the movies, a role that went to Scott Baio in the weekly series.

The first three TV movies were shot in Vancouver, B.C. The first two seasons of the series were shot in Denver, CO and all the subsequent seasons in Los Angeles.


The plot centered around (Dick Van Dyke), a renowned physician who occasionally worked for the local police department as a consultant, and who could not resist a good mystery or a friend in need. Those cases often involved his son, Detective Steve Sloan (played by Van Dyke's real-life son Barry Van Dyke). Helping him were his colleagues, medical examiner/pathologist Dr. Amanda Bentley (Victoria Rowell) and Dr. Jack Stewart (Scott Baio), who later left and was replaced by a new resident, Dr. Jesse Travis (Charlie Schlatter).


* (Dick Van Dyke), Chief of Internal Medicine at Community General Hospital, and protagonist of the series. Son of a cop and father of another, in whose cases he often got involved. He is medical consultant to the LAPD. Dick Van Dyke was considered for the lead role after the positive reviews he received from his dramatic role in the 1990 movie "Dick Tracy" (although the character he played in the movie was villainous and very different from the role of Mark Sloan). In the pilot the character had interests in tap dance and clarinet playing; however, these were considered distracting and were toned down and eventually removed from the character as the series developed.
* Lieutenant Detective Steve Sloan (Barry Van Dyke), a police detective (later lieutenant) in the Robbery/Homicide Division of the LAPD and Dr. Mark Sloan's son. After an earthquake destroyed his apartment, he lived in a separate apartment in his father's beach house in Malibu. Steve often uses his patented dive to apprehend criminals.
* Dr. Amanda Bentley (Cynthia Gibb) in the T.V. Movies set before the series, later Bentley-Livingston (Victoria Rowell), resident Pathologist at Community General Hospital and assistant County Medical Examiner, who is also Dr. Mark Sloan's straightwoman and medical partner, involving in each of Mark's & Steve's cases, after the accident. As a favorable character of the show, she also dated Jack and was later Jesse's best friend. During the series, she married a military man, and had a son named C.J. Depending on the episode, she divorced him or he was killed in a plane crash. Later in the series, she adopted another boy, Deon.
* Dr. Jack Stewart (Scott Baio, 1993-1995, seasons 1-2), a doctor at Community General Hospital and Steve's best friend, whom he often helped in his cases. He left to open his own practice in Colorado.
* Dr. Jesse Travis (Charlie Schlatter, 1995-2001, seasons 3-8), a resident at Community General Hospital who Mark took under his wing. He often got involved in Mark and Steve's cases, with good intentions but not always good results.
* Norman Briggs (Michael Tucci, 1993-1997, seasons 1-4), administrator at Community General Hospital and a close friend of Dr. Mark Sloan, even though he is often exasperated by him.
* Delores Mitchell (Delores Hall, 1993-1995, seasons 1-2), Dr. Sloan's lively secretary.


One unique aspect of the series was that it frequently appropriated characters from various classic television series.
*Mike Connors reprised his titular character from "Mannix" in the season 4 episode "Hard-Boiled Murder". The episode's story was a sequel to the "Mannix" episode "Little Girl Lost".
* Andy Griffith reprised his titular role of Ben Matlock from "Matlock" in season 4 two-parter "Murder Two". In a sense, this brought "Diagnosis: Murder" full circle, as its parent series, "Jake and the Fatman", was inspired by an episode of "Matlock".
* Barbara Bain reprised her role of Cinnamon Carter from "" in season 5 episode "Discards".
* Peter Graves, who starred alongside Barbara Bain in "Mission:Impossible" as Jim Phelps did not return as his character, but did make a very brief cameo in part 1 of the Series 6 episode "Trash TV" Part 1 as "Dr. Sloane" [sic] in a mission impossible style illusion of his first tv pilot, later replaced during the show.
* Robert Culp also guest starred in the episode "Discards" as Dane Travis, a retired spy, tennis professional, and Dr. Travis' father. The character was similar to his Kelly Robinson character from "I Spy", though Travis was said to have worked with the Impossible Mission Force (from "").
* "Discards" also featured appearances by former TV spies Patrick Macnee ("The Avengers") and Robert Vaughn ("The Man from U.N.C.L.E."), though they did not play their original characters.
* Jack Klugman also guest starred in season 4 episode "Physician, Murder Thyself", as a character very similar to his famous role in "Quincy" . He guest-starred again, in season 6 episode "Voices Carry" as police detective Harry Trumble, the former fiance of Dr. Mark Sloan's late wife. Trumble reappeared in Lee Goldberg's Diagnosis Murder novel "The Past Tense."
* "Star Trek"'s George Takei, Walter Koenig, Majel Barrett, Wil Wheaton and Grace Lee Whitney together with Bill Mumy of "Lost in Space" and "Babylon 5" were guest stars in "Alienated!" one sixth season episode, which involved an alien abduction and coverup.
* A few members of the "M*A*S*H" television cast, including Jamie Farr, Loretta Swit and William Christopher, as well as Elliot Gould and Sally Kellerman from the original movie were guests in the "Drill for Death" episode.
* Randolph Mantooth and Robert Fuller of "Emergency!" appeared together in an episode about the Malibu brushfires.
* The episode "Must Kill TV" features a number of small cameos by TV personalities like Eric Estrada and Dr. Joyce Brothers playing themselves and a bigger one from Stephen J. Cannell as an over-the-top persiflage of a producer of action TV. The role is reprised in the two-parter "Trash TV".
* The episode "Food Fight" features the following actors: Erin Moran, Pat Morita, and Don Most (from "Happy Days"); David Lander and Leslie Easterbrook (from "Laverne & Shirley"); and Conrad Janis (from "Mork and Mindy").Over the run of the show, various episodes guest starred at least eight different members of the Van Dyke family:
* Dick Van Dyke and son Barry Van Dyke in the lead roles.
* Dick's brother, Jerry Van Dyke.
* One of Dick's daughters, Stacy Van Dyke.
* Barry's children: Carey Van Dyke, Shane Van Dyke, Wes Van Dyke, and Taryn Van Dyke.
* Rob Petrie (Van Dyke himself from the Dick Van Dyke Show) features in a cameo in one episode where Dr. Sloan is in a radio station, and walks past a studio where (through a bit of CGI magic), Rob is (failing at) being a radio DJ!

maller recurring roles

* Joanna Cassidy (Season 7) plays Madison Wesley, a doctor friend of Mark Sloan, and Dean of Community General's Medical School. She is in 8 episodes.
* Kim Little (Season 6) plays Susan Hillard, Jesse's long time girlfriend, for 11 episodes.
* Susan Gibney (Seasons 5-7) plays Detective Tanis Archer, Steve's partner in over 7 episodes.
* Charmin Lee (Seasons 7-8) is Steve's second partner Cheryl, who is in 7 episodes between seasons 7 and 8.
* Martin Kove (Seasons 6-7) is Captain Newman, for 5 episodes.
* Shane Van Dyke (Seasons 4-8) is Alex Smith, the third year medical student, who appears in 14 episodes. He is also seen as a boxing student in "Never Say Die" and an actor in "Frontier Dad". (Both these episodes star the rest of Barry Van Dyke's children also.)
* Carey Van Dyke (Seasons 4-8) plays various characters: Mr. Kelso, Terry Marshall, Kyle Lewis, Brendan Kelly, Carl Simpson, and Craig Wilson.
* Kevin McNally (Seasons 3-8) as the ubiquitous EMT in 19 episodes.
* Tim Conway plays Tim Conrad, an old friend of Mark's. Also a comedian in over 4 episodes.
* Harry J. Lennix (Seasons 5-6) stars Agent Ron Wagner, in 6 episodes.

pecial guest stars

* Adrienne Barbeau
* Lauralee Bell
* Julie Benz
* Elizabeth Berkley
* Bill Bixby
* Eric Braeden
* Kimberlin Brown
* Dixie Carter
* Kathryn Cressida
* Leslie Charleson
* Brett Cullen
* Doug Davidson
* Dom DeLuise
* Phyllis Diller
* Roma Downey
* Fred Dryer
* Patrick Duffy
* Bernie Kopell
* Will Estes
* Morgan Fairchild
* Robert Fuller
* Brian Gaskill
* Andy Griffith (Played Ben Matlock)
* Kathie Lee Gifford (played a talk-show hostess)
* Tracey Gold
* Robert Guillaume
* Danielle Harris
* Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs
* Ken Howard
* Sally Kellerman
* Ken Kercheval
* Andre Khabbazi
* Jack Klugman
* Eva LaRue
* Vicki Lawrence
* Shelley Long
* Jamie Luner
* Randolph Mantooth
* Kent McCord
* Mary Elizabeth McDonough
* Martin Milner
* Bill Mumy
* Chad Michael Murray
* Kathleen Noone
* John O'Hurley
* Regis Philbin (played a talk-show host)
* Michelle Phillips
* Wendy Phillips
* John Pleshette
* Sally Jessy Raphael
* Helen Reddy (played a song-writer with Alzheimer's)
* Melody Thomas Scott
* Sabine Singh
* Marina Sirtis
* Kristoff St. John
* Holland Taylor
* Heather Tom
* Deirdre Quinn
* Dick Van Patten
* Joyce Van Patten
* J. Eddie Peck
* Reginald VelJohnson
* Adam West
* Betty White


"Diagnosis: Murder" had a total of eight seasons and 178 episodes which were broadcast on CBS between 1993 and 2001.


Community General Hospital

Community General Hospital is the main set for the show. It is six to seven floors depending on the episode. It holds about 400 beds, with three trauma rooms, two psych wards, and one Intensive Care Unit. Dr. Mark Sloan is Chief of Internal Medicine. The Marriott Hotel in Woodland Hills, California was used as the exterior of Community General Hospital in the final, three seasons of the show (it was also used as a casino in the pilot for CSI).

BBQ Bob's

BBQ Bob's is a restaurant that Jesse Travis and Steve Sloan co-own starting in the sixth season. Mark Sloan is also a silent partner. It is located in a small strip mall very close to Community General Hospital. Other stores around it include a jewelery store, travel agency and a bank. It is often frequented by the hospital staff as an alternative to the hospital cafe. All staff members get discounts. The exterior of BBQ Bob's was based on a storefront at the Whizin's Center in Agoura, California, where exterior scenes of BBQ Bobs were occasionally filmed.

TV movies

"Diagnosis Murder" had five TV movies between 1992 and 2002, three of which aired prior to the TV series.

*"Diagnosis of Murder", the first TV movie, aired before the regular series, January 5, 1992 on CBS.
*"The House on Sycamore Street", the Second TV movie, aired before the regular series, May 1, 1992 on CBS.

*"A Twist of the Knife", the third TV movie, aired before the regular series, February 13, 1993 on CBS.

*"A Town Without Pity", the fourth TV movie, aired after the end of the regular series, February 6, 2002 on CBS.

*"", the fifth and final TV movie, aired after the end of the regular series, April 26, 2002 on CBS.


Between 2003 and 2007, there have been eight original novels published based on the TV series. All of them were written by Lee Goldberg, a former executive producer and writer on the TV series. According to his website, [ [http://www.diagnosis-murder.com/news.html Diagnosis Murder Novels - News] ] there will be no more books based on the show. The books are, in order:
*"Diagnosis Murder: The Silent Partner"
*"Diagnosis Murder: The Death Merchant"
*"Diagnosis Murder: The Shooting Script"
*"Diagnosis Murder: The Waking Nightmare"
*"Diagnosis Murder: The Past Tense"
*"Diagnosis Murder: The Dead Letter"
*"Diagnosis Murder: The Double Life"
*"Diagnosis Murder: The Last Word"The book "The Past Tense" is a prequel to the "Diagnosis Murder" episode "Voices Carry," which guest-starred Jack Klugman as Harry Trumble, and chronicles Dr. Mark Sloan's first homicide investigation. The final book in the series, "The Last Word," is a sequel of sorts to the episodes "Obsession" and "Resurrection" and features the return of Carter Sweeney, who was played by Arye Gross in the TV series. The character of Lt. Ben Kealoha in "The Death Merchant" reappears in the "Monk" novel " [Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii] ", which was also written by Goldberg.


* Australia: TV1.
* Czech republic: TV Prima
* Estonia: TV3.
* Finland: YLE TV1.
* Germany: ProSieben
* Germany: Kabel1.
* Hungary: Viasat 3.
* Italy: Rete 4 and Canale 5.
* Japan: NHK and Super Channel.
* Slovenia: POP TV and TV3 Slovenia.
* Spain: Telecinco, TV3 (Catalonia).
* United Kingdom: BBC One and Hallmark Channel.
* United States: CBS (original run), Hallmark Channel (reruns).
* Turkey: TNT Turkey.

DVD releases

On September 12, 2006, CBS Home Entertainment released the complete Season 1 of "Diagnosis: Murder" on Region 1 DVD. The set included the "Jake and the Fatman" episode 4.19, "It Never Entered My Mind," which introduced the character of Dr. Mark Sloan. It did not however, include the TV movies that were made prior to the show's premiere. Seasons 2 and 3 are also now available. After two years since the release of the first season on Region 1 DVD, a Region 2 DVD of "Diagnosis: Murder - Series 1" was released on May 5th 2008, according to Amazon.co.uk [ [http://www.amazon.co.uk/Diagnosis-Murder-Series-1/dp/B0014CDVEA/ref=pd_bbs_sr_4?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1203784025&sr=8-4 Amazon.co.uk - Diagnosis: Murder - Series 1 (Region 2 DVD)] ]

ee also

* "Murder, She Wrote", An earlier show with a similar premise which was parodied in the sixth season episode Write, She Murdered.


External links

* [http://www.diagnosismurder.co.uk/ DiagnosisMurder.co.uk]
* [http://www.diagnosis-murder.com/ Lee Goldberg's Diagnosis Murder novels site]
* [http://dvd.monstersandcritics.com/reviews/article_1331130.php DVD Review of Season 2 at Monsters and Critics]

TV movies

*imdb title|id=0104100|title=Diagnosis Of Murder" (1992 TV movie)
*imdb title|id=0104451|title=The House on Sycamore Street" (1992)
*imdb title|id=0108411|title=A Twist of the Knife" (1993)

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