Tele-Tuesday: The Return of the Two Hour TV Mystery

A few years ago, the Hallmark Channel aired a new two-hour TV Mystery Movie every Friday night.  These programs were very entertaining and mystifying, and created character adoration with audiences that lasted a couple of seasons each before suddenly stopping.

These mysteries include…

Mystery Woman

Mystery Woman stars Kellie Martin as Samantha Kinsey, the young Nancy Drew-like sleuth who inherits an old-fashioned book store.  Samantha’s book store assistant who has a background as a government secret agent (played by Clarence Williams III), and her best friend who also happens to be the assistant district attorney, help her drive the town’s chief of police crazy by sticking their noses in cases where they clearly don’t belong as civilians.


McBride stars John Larroquette as M. “Mac” McBride, a former detective turned defense attorney who works with an over-zealous young assistant and his adorable dog.  McBride takes cases that no one else will, and the police and his ex-girlfriend/lead detective (Marta DuBois) laugh at his chances in court, despite his win/loss record.

Jane Doe

Jane Doe stars Lea Thompson as Cathy Davis, a stay-at-home puzzle maker and mom who can’t stay away from her days at the Central Security Agency, especially when her old partner (Joe Penny) returns repeatedly asking for her to step aboard in a consulting role.

Murder 101

Murder 101 stars the great Dick Van Dyke as Dr. Jonathan Maxwell, an expert criminology professor at the local university who assists the local police solve numerous crimes with his down-on-his-luck nephew (Barry Van Dyke), a former detective turned private investigator.

While we mourn and remember these television mysteries, now we can look forward to the return of the two-hour TV mystery as TNT brings us Mystery Movie Night with a new story each week (sometimes two) until the end of the year, starting tonight.

November 29thScott Turow’s Innocent stars Bill Pullman as a judge suspected of killing his wife decades after he was charged and cleared of killing his mistress…also starring Richard Schiff, Alfred Molina, and Marcia Gay Harden.

November 30thRicochet, based on the novel by Sandra Brown, stars John Corbett as a detective who finds himself in a sticky situation while investigating a judge, having an affair with the judge’s wife, and investigating a murder…also starring Gary Cole and Julie Benz.

Meeting Sandra Brown at DFWcon 2011

December 6thHide, based on the novel by Lisa Gardner, stars Carla Gugino as a police detective investigating the mummified remains of six murder victims…also starring Bridget Regan, Kevin Alejandro, and Mark-Paul Gosselaar.

December 7thSilent Witness, based on the novel by Richard North Patterson, stars Dermot Mulroney as a defense attorney, once accused of murder himself, defending his long-time friend for the murder of one of his students…also starring Michael Cudlitz, Anne Heche, and Judd Hirsch.

December 13thGood Morning, Killer, based on the novel by April Smith, stars Catherine Bell as a FBI agent working undercover as she tracks a serial killer…also starring Cole Hauser and William Devane.

December 20thDeck the Halls, based on the novel by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark, stars Kathy Najimy as a former maid turned private investigator working with her detective friend as they search for two missing persons hoping to solve the case before the holidays…also starring Scottie Thompson.

Set the DVRs now!  Which of these new TNT mystery movies are you most looking forward to?

Did you watch the Hallmark Channel Mystery Wheel?  Which story did you enjoy the most?   Which of your favorite mystery novels would you like to see adapted to the small screen?  I’d love to hear from you!

16 Replies to “Tele-Tuesday: The Return of the Two Hour TV Mystery”

  1. Oh I LOVED the Hallmark Channel Mysteries! Was SO sad when they discontinued them. I’m looking forward to enjoying some new mysteries! Would love to see the Scumble River series by Denise Swanson put into movies. They would be fun!

  2. Thanks for the heads up on these mystery movies! I’ll be watching the first one tonight! I’d have to say Hide piques my curiosity the most. I wondering how those murder victims became mummified! Eeek! Nice post, Tiffany.

  3. Squeeeeee! This makes me very happy. I used to love Murder 101.

    I think I’ve actually read a couple of these, Deck the Halls and Silent Witness. I hope we don’t have any DVR conflicts for these shows. I want to see them all!

  4. This is great. I am going to set the DVR. I mourned the loss of more than one of those shows, so I’m glad to see a fresh batch of mystery movies coming out. I love a good puzzle.
    (Amy – I grew up on Columbo. Loved it!)

  5. Thanks for the reminder, Tiffany. When I got a new HD Dish receiver I lost all my DVR history. I’d forgotten to re-enter Jane Doe and Mystery Woman. I’ve seen every one of those more than once, but I still watch them every time they come around.

  6. Oh wow, I hadn’t heard of any of these! But I’m excited because Mystery Woman in particular sounds just like My Kind of Thing. Thanks so much for the share, I’m definitely gonna check it out!

  7. *mwah* Did you feel that big ol’ virtual kiss I gave you for telling me about this? I would never have known but for you, Tiffany! I love a good mystery, so I’m all over this now. I love the words “based on the novel by” for all of these shows too. Let’s give some great mystery authors screen space, shall we?

    On a personal note, I was at DFW Con 2011. Why didn’t I meet you then? I’ll be back for 2012 to get my pic with James Rollins…or the great Tiffany White. 🙂

  8. Decades ago there had a mystery every Friday night [I think Fridays] that were so popular that instead of being shown once a week and rotating between the different shows they all got a weekly showing. There were Kojak and of course I just drew a blank. dang it… The one with the New Mexico marshall living in NYC and two more. Really drawing a blank. But there were good. From the 70s.

  9. How cool! I missed the Hallmark mysteries, but these TNT mysteries look awesome. Do you ever theorize that TV is taking the place of movies? I sincerely believe the programming (and writing) has gotten better in the last decade or so.

    I would really like to catch the Sandra Brown installment (which I see is on tonight) or the Lisa Gardner installment. I enjoy both of these wonderful women’s books, so I think I’d enjoy a movie made about the book. 😀

  10. I’ll have to check some of these out. I like the 2 hour part. No commitment like with a series.

    This Sunday is a cool mini-series of Neverland, are you going to check it out? It looks fun.

  11. Never watched the Hallmark series but have really enjoyed the TNT shows so far. I missed the first one, Innocent, because I mistakingly took it for the first movie. Thankful that TNT has brought back a Mystery Night. Much better than the reality tv alternatives.

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