Was This Episode Of ‘Murder, She Wrote’ Based In Shreveport?
Angela Lansbury, a massive star of movies, television, and theatre, died at the age of 96.
Through her legendary career, Lansbury won an Academy Award, 6 Tony Awards, 6 Golden Globes, and was nominated for a Grammy Award, and 18 Primetime Emmy Awards. Her Academy Award came as the 2013 Academy Honorary Award, and her Golden Globes were for The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Manchurian Candidate, and Murder, She Wrote.
She recently served as the narrator for the 2022 performances of Beauty and the Beast stage plays at the London Palladium, and will appear posthumously in the Netflix film Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery this November.
Additionally, Lansbury was very well known by children of the 1990s through her role as Mrs. Potts in the Disney animated feature Beauty and the Beast.
But she was truly best known for her 12 seasons, and 4 movies, as Jessica Fletcher in the Murder, She Wrote franchise.
One episode from Murder, She Wrote is the focus of this post. It comes from season 4 of the show, an episode titled "Old Habits Die Hard" which debuted on October 11th, 1987...freaky. It was one of the most viewed episodes that season, with over 30 million people tuning in for the premiere of the episode.
This episode takes place in Louisiana, for sure. But the exact location in Louisiana is up for debate. This particular episode is centered around a convent in Louisiana, named Immaculate Heart Convent. The city it is supposed to be in is called Bergen Falls...which is a fake location.
However, real Louisiana cities are mentioned by name in the episode. Like Blanchard, Grand Bayou, and Shreveport. But there are some weird statements made too. Here's what the Murder, She Wrote fan page "Murder, She Watched" says about the episode:
"Jessica is visiting a former Kappa Delta sorority sister, Claire, now Reverend Mother at the Immaculate Heart Convent in Louisiana.
The convent is in the jurisdiction of a town called Bergen Falls, however there is no town of such a name in Louisiana. From a number of clues throughout the episode, it seems like the convent is located somewhere in northwestern Louisiana — there’s mention of places like Blanchard, Shreveport, and Grand Bayou — however, at one point mother superior mentions that they have “the scrawniest tomatoes east of the Mississippi”, which would put it in a small wedge at the southeast of Louisiana."
So was it supposed to be Shreveport, and someone decided that the setting didn't look right? Or were they afraid it might offend someone in Shreveport to set the show there? To mention the local towns means they were very aware of the area, but they wanted to do Bergen Falls for some reason.
The other suggestion would be that Bossier City might have been worrisome to say. Since many people from outside the area mispronounce it, so maybe they swapped "Bossier City" for "Bergen Falls" and called it good. Either way, Shreveport had their moment in Murder, She Wrote.