July 18, 2005

Dick Van Dyke stumbles on 'Murder 101'

Dick Van Dyke is returning to the small screen in "Murder 101," an occasional mystery movie series that debuts in January on cable's Hallmark Channel.

Van Dyke, star of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and more recently "Diagnosis: Murder," will play a criminology professor who is less than brilliant when it comes to everyday tasks though incredibly smart when it comes to solving crimes.

"His short-term memory is not too good, and his long-term vision is not too good. He's going to have all the ailments that I have," Van Dyke, 79, said Saturday during the network's portion of the Television Critics Assn. summer press tour Saturday at the Beverly Hilton.

"What attracted me when I heard from Hallmark was the fact that ... I can trust them to do family entertainment, and the family can sit down and watch whatever they put on the air and not worry about being shocked," he added.

Van Dyke's son, Barry, will co-star.

"Murder 101" will join the once-a-month rotation of Hallmark Channel Mystery Movies, which already include "Mystery Woman," "McBride" and "Jane Doe." All air on Sundays.

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