Ellery Queen (also known as Too Many Suspects) was the 78-minute pilot film for a TV series based on the fictional intellectual author/sleuth created by cousins Frederick Dannay and Manfred Lee. Jim Hutton plays Ellery (the tenth actor to do so on screen!), while David Wayne is his police inspector father. The plot, set in 1947 Manhattan, involves the murder of a fashion model. Fifteen minutes before the fade-out, Ellery turns to the audience, presents the clues, and asks us to solve the murder--a cute if unnecessary trick, since Ellery's got the case all worked out and the killer is no surprise to anyone who's watched TV murder mysteries in the last 25 years (the actor in question has said "I did it!" so often that it's a wonder he can walk the streets without being apprehended). Ellery Queen was a pet project of the TV writing team of Richard Levinson and William Link (of Columbo) fame. After the subsequent Queen TV series expired after a single season, Levinson and Link revived the notion of a murder-solving novelist and changed the gender of the protagonist--and the result was Murder She Wrote.
by Hal Erickson synopsis