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Title screen used in seasons 1 and 2 of Diagnosis: Murder
|Also known as||Diagnosis Murder|
|Created by||Joyce Burditt|
|Starring||Dick Van Dyke
Barry Van Dyke
Scott Baio (1993-1995)
Charlie Schlatter (1995-2002)
Michael Tucci (1993-1997)
Delores Hall (1993-1995)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||8|
|No. of episodes||178 + 5 TV Movies (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Dean Hargrove
Dick Van Dyke
|Producer(s)||Viacom Productions, The Fred Silverman Company, Dean Hargrove Productions, and Paramount Network Television (Season 2 only)|
|Running time||45 minutes|
|Original run||October 29, 1993 – May 11, 2001|
|Preceded by||Mission: Impossible
|Related shows||Jake and the Fatman
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. 178 episodes 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 show aired in reruns on ABC Family (formerly The Family Channel) and on the Hallmark Channel in America, weekdays on the Hallmark Channel (UK), Alibi and BBC One in the United Kingdom and weekdays on Foxtel's TV1 channel in Australia. The show was produced by The Fred Silverman Company and Dean Hargrove Productions in association with Viacom Productions and Paramount Network Television (Season 2 only) and is currently distributed by CBS Television Distribution.
In the Jake and the Fatman episode, Dr. Mark Sloan was a widower with no sons. Dr. Amanda Bentley, is played by Cynthia Gibb in the TV movies and, finally, Victoria Rowell in the TV series. Stephen Caffrey played Dr. Jack Parker in the movies, a role that went to Scott Baio as Jack Stewart in the weekly series.
The first three TV movies were shot in Vancouver, British Columbia. The first few episodes of the series were shot (and set) in Denver, Colorado, before quickly (and without explanation) shifting to Los Angeles for the remainder of the show's run.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Cast
- 3 Episodes
- 4 Locations\ Administrators
- 5 Pilot\TV movies
- 6 Novels
- 7 International
- 8 DVD releases
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The plot centered around Dr. Mark Sloan (played by 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 Barry Van Dyke). Helping him was his friend Norman Briggs (played by Michael Tucci in seasons in 1-4), a hospital administrator. Also assisting Dr. Sloan, were his colleagues, medical examiner/pathologist Dr. Amanda Bentley (played by Victoria Rowell) and Dr. Jack Stewart (played by Scott Baio in the first two seasons), who later left and was replaced by a new resident, Dr. Jesse Travis (played by Charlie Schlatter from season 3 onwards).
- Dr. Mark Sloan (played by 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 gets involved. He is a 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 (played by 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 (played by Cynthia Gibb in the TV Movies set before the series), later Bentley-Livingston (played there by 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 an airplane crash. Later in the series, she adopted another boy, Deon.
- Dr. Jack Stewart (played by Stephen Caffrey in the TV movies, Scott Baio in the series from 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. In the first three TV Movies his name was Jack Parker.
- Dr. Jesse Travis (played by Charlie Schlatter, 1995–2001, seasons 3–8), a resident and handsome student at Community General Hospital who Mark took under his wing and who became best friends with Amanda. Another favorable/breakout character of the series, he often got involved in Mark and Steve's cases, with good intentions but not always good results. During the series, he himself became the prime suspect of the stuntwoman's killing, hence, he badgered Mark to call his old friend Ben Matlock (played by Dick's real-life best friend Andy Griffith) for help.
- Norman Briggs (played by 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 (played by 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.
- Rob Petrie (played by Van Dyke himself in the Dick Van Dyke Show) features in a cameo in the episode "Obsession, Part 2" where Dr. Sloan is in a radio station, and walks past a studio where (through use of CGI), Rob is trying his hand at radio DJ-ing. The footage of Rob as a DJ is taken from the Dick Van Dyke Show episode "One Hundred Terrible Hours". This scene moves Diagnosis: Murder into the realm of fantasy as Petrie is shown in black and white (which Sloan visible in a color insert behind him), after which Sloan breaks the fourth wall and looks at the audience before the story continues. This Scene will be in the Season 5 episode in the Diagnosis Murder The Complete Collection 51 Disc set.
- Mike Connors reprised his titular character of 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 Dean Hargrove's Matlock series in Season 4 two-parter "Murder Two" (1997). In a sense, this brought Diagnosis: Murder full circle, as its parent series, Jake and the Fatman, was inspired by a Season 1 episode of Matlock in 1986.
- Barbara Bain reprised her role of Cinnamon Carter of Mission: Impossible in season 5 episode "Discards".
- Peter Graves, who starred alongside Barbara Bain on 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 Missions Force (also seen on Mission: Impossible).
- "Discards" also featured appearances by former TV spies Patrick Macnee (The Avengers), Robert Vaughn (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) and Phil Morris (the 1988 version of Mission: Impossible), 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 on 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."
- George Takei, Walter Koenig, Majel Barrett, Wil Wheaton, Grace Lee Whitney and Bill Mumy 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 Elliott Gould and Sally Kellerman from the original movie were guests in the "Drill for Death" episode. Christopher Norris also appeared who starred in the dramatic sequel series Trapper John, M.D..
- Randolph Mantooth and Robert Fuller, who worked together on NBC's Emergency! appeared together in an 1997 episode about the Malibu brushfires.
- The episode "Must Kill TV" features a number of small cameos by television personalities like Erik 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" (1998) features Erin Moran, Pat Morita, Don Most, David Lander, Leslie Easterbrook and Conrad Janis. All of these actors starred alongside Scott Baio in Happy Days or its spin-offs, Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy.
- The episode "Promises to Keep" (1998) features characters introduced in the Promised Land (a spin-off of Touched by an Angel) episode "Total Security" (1998) crossover into the show.
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.
Smaller 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 (Seasons 5 and 6) plays Susan Hillard, Jesse's longtime girlfriend, for 10 episodes.
- Susan Gibney (Seasons 5–7) plays Detective Tanis Archer, Steve's partner in 4 episodes. Susan Gibney was also in three other episodes as two different Characters.
- Charmin Lee (Seasons 7–8) is Steve's second partner Cheryl, who is in 11 episodes between seasons 7 and 8.
- Martin Kove (Seasons 6–7) is Captain Newman, for 3 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 and a comedian, in 2 episodes. Conway and Van Dyke had previously worked together on The Carol Burnett Show.
- Harry J. Lennix (Seasons 5–6) plays Agent Ron Wagner in 6 episodes.
- Fred Dryer (Season 5) plays Police Chief Masters in 3 episodes.
- Nancy Youngbut (seasons 4-5) plays Nurse Nancy Rush in 2 episodes.
- Mariette Hartley (1st and 2nd TV Movies only) plays Kate Hamilton the Administrator at Community General Hospital.
- Vernee Watson-Johnson (1st and 2nd TV Movies only) plays Esther Wiggins Dr. Mark Sloan's Secretary.
- Kimberly Quinn (episode "Dance Of Danger" and the TV Movie "Without Warning") plays Ellen Sharp a Tabloid News Reporter who Steve Sloan is Interested in. Steve Proposes to her in the TV Movie "Without Warning" and she says yes.
- Robert Bailey Jr. (Season 7) plays Colin Jesse or C.J. for short is Amanda Bentley's son. He was born in Season Three of the show and is played by Robert Bailey Jr. in three of the episodes he appeared in. C.J. appeared in a few more episodes before Season 7 as a different child actor.
- Aaron Meeks (Season 7) plays Deon a boy who Dr. Amanda Bentley adopts. He appears in 3 episodes.
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 of CSI).
List of Administrators at Community General Hospital
- Russell Havilland (was The Administrator at Clairemont Hospital in the Pilot of Diagnosis Murder "It Never Entered My Mind". He was murdered and Dr. Mark Sloan was framed.)
- Kate Hamilton (Was The Administrator at Community General Hospital in The 1st and 2nd Diagnosis Murder TV Movies. It was said in the Diagnosis Murder book "The Shooting Script" that Kate Hamilton decided to sell her home and use the proceeds to open a nonprofit food bank in the inner city.
- Norman Briggs (was The Administrator of Community General Hospital for the first 4 seasons of Diagnosis Murder. According to the book "The Shooting Script" it sounds like Norman was fired by the new owners Healtcorp International.)
- Harold Lomax ( he appeared in a few episodes like "Do No Harm". In the book "The Shooting Script" When Community General Hospital was sold to Healthcorp International they brought in General Harold Lomax who'd spent ten years running battlefield medical operations for the U.S. marine Corps. Harold Lomax later resigned with an Extreme case of Irritable Bowel syndrome and left behind a hospital literally in ruins, decimated by a serial bomber "Catlin Sweeney" who was stalking Mark for putting her brother "Carter Sweeney" in prison.
- Noah Dent (he appeared in the books "The Shooting Script" and "The last Word". He ended up being hired by the new owners of the hospital "Hollywood International" and had a personal Vendetta against Mark Sloan for Catching "Tanya" who murdered a rapist who raped her and killed a homeless War Veteran who seen her kill him. He ended up firing Mark, Amanda, and Jesse's girlfriend Susan. Jesse ended up finding out and blackmailed mailed him into giving everyone back their jobs. He ended up leaving Community General Hospital.
- Janet Dorcott (she appeared in the book "The Last Word". She ended up firing Jesse and Susan Travis, after being framed for Murder and Amanda Bentley was also fired for selling body parts from dead bodies and fired mark because she blambed him for all the scandal around Community General Hospital.
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 jewelry store, travel agency and a bank. It is often frequented by the hospital staff as an alternative to the hospital cafeteria. 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 Bob's were occasionally filmed.
The Sloans' beach house
Starting in the third season, Mark and Steve Sloan live in a beach house in Malibu, with Steve in the basement. The basement was often redressed to act as other sets. The actual house is on Broad Beach Road in Malibu, CA.
Pilot The Pilot of Diagnosis Murder was called "It Never Entered My Mind" from Jake and The Fatman. In the Pilot Mark Sloan was a widower with no sons. The Hospital is called Clairemont Hospital instead of Community General Hospital, and there is no Jack or Amanda. His friends who helped him clear his name are,
- Richard (Steven Eckholdt)
- Josie (Alley Walker)
- Thad (Kristoff St. John)
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.
- Diagnosis Murder: Without Warning, 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, 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 Past Tense is a prequel to the 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.
Crossover with Monk
Two of the characters in The Death Merchant later reappeared in Lee Goldberg's series of novels based on the television series Monk:
- Lt. Ben Keoloha appears in Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii as the Kauai police lieutenant that Adrian Monk and Natalie Teeger assist in solving several unsolved cases on the island.
- Ian Ludlow appears in Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants as the private consultant for the Los Angeles Police Department. In the course of that novel, Ludlow frames several people such as Natalie, Monk's first assistant Sharona Fleming, and Sharona's ex-husband Trevor Howe, for a series of bizarre murders. But later on Monk proves that Ludlow committed all the crimes himself, .
- Australia: TV1 and Eleven.
- Czech republic: TV Prima
- Estonia: TV3.
- France: France2
- Finland: YLE TV1.
- Germany: ProSieben and Kabel1.
- Hungary: Viasat 3.
- Italy: Rete 4 and Canale 5.
- Japan: NHK and Super! drama TV.
- Philippines: ABC 5
- Slovenia: POP TV and TV3 Slovenia.
- Spain: Telecinco, TV3 (Catalonia).
- Sweden: Kanal 5 and Kanal 9
- United Kingdom: BBC One (until November 2011), BBC Two (until March 2007), Alibi and the Hallmark Channel.
- United States: CBS (original run) PAX TV ran reruns of the show from the summer of 2003 to the spring of 2005. Hallmark Channel(ran reruns until the fall of 2008), Hallmark Movie Channel (movies and 2-parts only). Currently airing on Encore Suspense weeknights at 10pm ET.
- Turkey: TNT Turkey.
- Ireland: RTÉ Two
On September 12, 2006, CBS Home Entertainment (with distribution by Paramount) 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 5, 2008, according to Amazon.co.uk 
On June 26, 2012, Visual Entertainment released "Diagnosis Murder - The Movie Collection" on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time. In the US, the release was distributed by Millennium Entertainment. The three-disc set featured all three TV movies that aired in 1992/1993 and spawned the weekly TV series as well as the two TV movies that aired after the series ended.
On December 31, 2012, it was announced that VEI had acquired the rights to the series and planned on releasing the remaining seasons on DVD in 2013. They subsequently released the fourth and fifth seasons both as two-part volumes and as a complete set on August 27, 2013. The sixth season will be released on November 12, 2013 (Canada only) followed by the seventh season and the eighth and final season on November 19, 2013 (Canada only). VEI Is also going to release The Complete Collection On November 12, 2013. It will include all 178 Episodes, all 5 of the TV Movies, The "Jake And The Fatman" Episode "It Never Entered My Mind", and A Episode of "Mannix" Called "Little Girl Lost" which was A Prequel to the Episode "Hard Boiled Murder" on a 51 Disc set. It will also have an Exclusive to The Complete Collection a clip of Van Dyke as Rob Petrie In Obsession Part 2.
|DVD Release||Episodes||Originally aired||Release date|
|Region 1||Region 2|
|Television Movie Collection||5 TV Movies||1992–2002||June 26, 2012||N\A|
|The Complete First Season||19 + Pilot||1993–1994||September 12, 2006||May 5, 2008|
|The Complete Second Season||22||1994–1995||June 12, 2007||February 9, 2009|
|The Complete Third Season||18||1995–1996||December 4, 2007||July 13, 2009|
|The Complete Fourth Season||26||1996–1997||August 27, 2013 (Canada)
September 24, 2013 (USA)
|The Complete Fifth Season||25||1997–1998||August 27, 2013 (Canada)
October 1, 2013 (USA)
|The Complete Sixth Season||22||1998–1999||November 12, 2013 (Canada)
November 26,2013 (USA)
|The Complete Seventh Season||24||1999-2000||November 19, 2013 (Canada)
|The Complete Eighth Season||22||2000–2001||November 19, 2013 (Canada)
|The Complete Collection||178 Episodes + Pilot + The 5 TV Movies +Little Girl Lost +Bonus scene.||1991–2002||November 12, 2013||TBA|
- Murder, She Wrote - An earlier show with a similar premise which was parodied in the sixth season episode Write, She Murdered.
- Quincy, ME - An earlier show with a doctor and an older medical examiner.
- Matlock - The courtroom drama about the Atlanta lawyer Benjamin Matlock who appears in the two-part episode "Murder Two".
- Jake and the Fatman - The series that spun-off Diagnosis: Murder when Dr. Mark Sloan was introduced in the episode "It Never Entered My Mind".
- Mannix - The series about detective Joe Mannix who appears in the episode "Hard-Boiled Murder", the sequel to the Mannix episode "Little Lost Girl".
- "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. January 16, 2008. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- Howard Rosenberg (October 29, 1993). "TV REVIEW : 'Diagnosis Murder' Is DOA". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- "WITH AN EYE ON . . . : Diagnosis: Here's a part that came very naturally to actor Barry Van Dyke - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. June 5, 1994. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- www.xuni.com. "The Official Website of Lee Goldberg". Diagnosis-murder.com. Retrieved November 23, 2012.[dead link]
- "Diagnosis Murder - Complete 1st Season : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". Dvdtalk.com. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- "Diagnosis Murder - The Second Season : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". Dvdtalk.com. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- "Diagnosis Murder - The Third Season : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". Dvdtalk.com. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- "Diagnosis Murder - Season 1 [DVD]: Amazon.co.uk: Diagnosis Murder: Film & TV". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- "Diagnosis Murder DVD news: Update about Diagnosis Murder - Television Movie Collection". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- How Would You Like 'The Complete Series' with Dr. Mark Sloane in 2013?
- Diagnosis: Murder at the Internet Movie Database
- Diagnosis: Murder at TV.com
- Lee Goldberg's Diagnosis Murder novels site
- Diagnosis Murder Episode Guide at TV Gems