It seems these days, any onscreen cop or investigator is afflicted with some kind of problem. Whether it’s a troubled marriage, various anxieties, clinically recognized illnesses—the breed of crimesolvers on the small screen have issues. Which is why we’re not entirely against the idea of a “Murder, She Wrote” reboot. Granted, whoever steps into the massive shoes left behind by Angela Lansbury has a big role to fill, but damn if CBS hasn’t made a pretty great choice.
Oscar winner Octavia Spencer will star in a brand new version of the show penned by Alexandra Cunningham (“Prime Suspect,” “Desperate Housewives“). The show will apparently be in the vein of “Fargo” and “Bones,” borrowing the medical angle from the latter it seems, with this new Jessica Fletcher working as a hospital administrator who writes mysteries on the side and of course, becomes involved in various investigations. We’re not sure we dig shoehorning the show into one kind of genre right off the bat; the beauty of the original was that it allowed Jessica to go anywhere, but as long as it keeps the same easygoing, watch-with-your-Mom spirit, we’re down. And Spencer? Yeah, an hour with her each week solving mysteries would be a blast.
The pilot is already ordered up, so we’ll see if it can make it to series. And then whether it can replicate the 12-season, multiple award-winning success of its predecessor is a whole other question. Until then, here’s the classic opening (in German—the original seems to be hard to find, probably due to dumb copyright stuff). [Deadline]