Where was Murder She Wrote Filmed? Discovering the Iconic Locations

The beloved mystery television series, “Murder, She Wrote,” captured audiences’ attention not only through its intriguing storylines but also through its picturesque settings that brought the fictional town of Cabot Cove, Maine, to life.

Fans of the show and its star, Angela Lansbury, who played the indefatigable sleuth Jessica Fletcher, often find themselves curious about the real locations that stood in for the quaint coastal village where so many of Fletcher’s adventures unfolded.

While Cabot Cove is a creation of the writers, the actual filming locations offer a slice of nostalgia and a tangible connection to the series.

The heart of “Murder, She Wrote” filming took place in Mendocino County, California, with the town of Mendocino providing the perfect stand-in for the New England charm of Cabot Cove.

Beyond Mendocino, several other locations across California, from Hollywood to Long Beach, set the scene for Fletcher’s investigative escapades.

These spots not only served as beautiful backdrops for the series but also became characters in their own right, contributing to the show’s enduring appeal.

So, where was Murder She Wrote filmed? Let’s discover all the beautiful locations where the drama series came to life.

Key Takeaways

  • “Murder, She Wrote” featured false yet charming settings for Cabot Cove
  • California locales provided the backdrop for the series, with Mendocino at the heart
  • The filming locations have become intertwined with the show’s cultural legacy

Filming Locations Overview

When one thinks of the classic show “Murder, She Wrote,” images of the quaint, picturesque town of Cabot Cove come to mind. Yet, behind the charming facade of Jessica Fletcher’s fictional home, a blend of Californian locations stood in for the Maine setting.

Let’s peek behind the camera and discover where this beloved mystery series was brought to life.

Universal Studios

Los Angeles played a pivotal role as the backdrop for many indoor scenes of “Murder, She Wrote.”

The renowned Universal Studios provided the necessary sets where the indoor magic happened, making it a significant spot on the show’s filming roster.

From Jessica Fletcher’s house interiors to various other scene-setting locations, the studios’ versatility was a key asset.


In contrast to the studio environment, Mendocino, a charming town in Northern California, stands in for the idyllic Cabot Cove.

With its coastal cliffs, historic architecture, and a vibe that echoes New England’s charm, Mendocino captured the essence of the fictional Maine town.

The filming here infused the show with a sense of authenticity that studio sets alone couldn’t achieve.

Other Filming Locations

While Universal Studios and Mendocino are the primary filming locations, the production occasionally utilized other places around California to meet specific scenic needs.

These locations helped round out the setting, giving viewers the impression that Jessica Fletcher’s adventures spanned various places, possibly including the wider area around San Francisco.

The Fictional Town of Cabot Cove

The charm of “Murder, She Wrote” is often attributed to its setting in the serene but deceivingly dangerous Cabot Cove, Maine. Viewers may be surprised to learn that the quaint coastal town of Cabot Cove, despite its New England allure, was brought to life far from the rocky shores of Maine.

Inspiration Behind Cabot Cove

The idyllic village of Cabot Cove is every bit the archetype of a New England harbor town, complete with its lighthouses, cozy inns, and a close-knit community.

Mendocino, California, served as the primary filming location, standing in for the fictional Cabot Cove.

With its picturesque coastline and Victorian architecture, Mendocino provided the perfect backdrop, capturing the essence of a Maine setting—both on camera and in the hearts of the audience.

Interestingly, this coastal town has a bed and breakfast on the corner of Ford and Little Lake St that was featured as Jessica Fletcher’s home, enhancing that homey feel that resonates with fans.

Mendocino’s own features, such as its Noyo Harbor, were transformed into the busy docks of Cabot Cove, seamlessly blending California’s views with the narrative set in Maine.

This allowed the audience to buy into the fictive universe of Jessica Fletcher’s hometown—a place that feels so real and inviting, they often wish they could drop by for a visit, maybe catch a glimpse of Jessica’s bike, the one fans know from the opening shots, parked outside her picturesque home.

Iconic Sets and Their Real-life Counterparts

Exploring the filming locations of “Murder, She Wrote” offers a fascinating peek behind the curtain, revealing how the producers transformed everyday places into the suspense-filled world of Jessica Fletcher. Let’s talk about all places of where was Murder She Wrote filmed.

Jessica Fletcher’s Home

Jessica Fletcher’s charming Victorian home, central to so many of her sleuthing adventures, is not tucked away in the fictional Cabot Cove, Maine, as many would believe.

In reality, exteriors of this quaint residence were often filmed at the Universal Studios backlot in California, which has been the face of many other iconic homes in the film and television industry.

Hill House

Hill House plays a key role in various episodes of the series, serving as a place shrouded in mystery and drama.

This critical setting is not a mere stage creation but often is a real structure used to capture the essence of the fictional locale. The producers made sure that the real-life architecture mirrored the storylines’ Victorian ambiance.

The Blair House Inn

Fans often wonder about the cozy inns where Jessica Fletcher finds herself unraveling new mysteries.

The Blair House Inn, a name reminiscent of the warm and inviting guesthouses found in New England, takes its form in reality from various inns and exterior shots that give us a glimpse into the old-world charm associated with the series.

While not an exact one-to-one match, these locations collectively help create the illusion of Jessica’s frequent haunts and the small-town feel that is so integral to the show.

Behind-the-Scenes Anecdotes

The long and successful run of “Murder, She Wrote” was not without its fascinating behind-the-scenes moments, from celebrity appearances to filming hurdles that the production team deftly overcame.

Celebrity Guest Stars

Throughout its 12 seasons, Murder, She Wrote graced television screens with a stellar roster of guest stars.

Actors and actresses took temporary residence in the fictional town of Cabot Cove, bringing their own flair to the series.

Notable celebrities joined Angela Lansbury, who effortlessly portrayed the enigmatic Jessica Fletcher, and Tom Bosley, the affable Sheriff Amos Tupper.

Many of these guest stars were friends of Lansbury, adding an intimate feel to the episodes they appeared in.

Production Challenges

The production of Murder, She Wrote was not without its challenges.

Locations had to be carefully selected to capture the quaint charm of Cabot Cove, which was, in reality, the scenic Mendocino.

Structures like the First Congregational Church and the redwood and Douglas fir trees characteristic of the area became a backdrop that viewers associated with the quiet, yet mysterious, village.

Filming frequently occurred in this serene setting, with the production crew ensuring that each site—from the detailed interiors crafted by Giovanni Smeraldi to the bustling docks—was perfectly aligned with the show’s aesthetic.

Despite these efforts, logistical challenges arose, including unpredictable weather and coordinating the filming schedule with the availability of high-profile guest stars.

But, true to the spirit of Jessica Fletcher, the cast and crew consistently delivered episodes that charted top ratings for CBS, showcasing their dedication to the television series and its fans.

Cultural Impact and Legacy

“Murder, She Wrote” left an indelible mark on television history, cementing its place through numerous awards and shaping pop culture with its iconic portrayal of an amateur sleuth.

Awards and Recognitions

Over its 12-season run, “Murder, She Wrote” notched an impressive array of accolades.

Legendary actress Angela Lansbury, who brought the charming author and detective Jessica Fletcher to life, garnered 12 Emmy Nominations for her portrayal, though, surprisingly, never took home the award.

The show itself, revered for its engaging mystery series format, was frequently a comfortable presence in viewers’ homes, a testament to its quality and Lansbury’s captivating performance.

Influence on Pop Culture

The series’ influence extended beyond awards to reach a deep cultural status.

The image of Jessica Fletcher hammering away at her typewriter—or in later seasons, a computer—became an archetype for the amateur sleuth.

The character of Fletcher was often seen as a nod to Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, evolving the trope into a modern context.

The series also inspired a considerable number of novels by Donald Bain, expanding the universe further.

The show’s formula has been mirrored in numerous other series and even sparked interest in launching a reboot featuring Octavia Spencer.

With its plethora of recurring characters, each episode felt like a reunion, welcoming the audience back to a familiar world filled with suspense and intrigue.

This sense of familiarity and comfort is a key reason the series retains a high rating on platforms like IMDb even after its final season aired.

Written by Alexander