Wow – talk about coming out of left field!
NBC has announced that it is rebooting the Angela Lansbury detective drama series Murder She Wrote, with Octavia Spencer attached to star!
Alexandra Cunningham and David Janollari (Desperate Housewives) will produce, with Cunningham also writing the script for the reimagining, which will follow a hospital administrator who doubles as a detective enthusiast, who self-publishes her first mystery novel, which helps launch a more active career for her, as an investigator, assisting with real-life cases.
In the original, Angela Lansbury starred as mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher.
The series aired for 12 seasons from 1984 to 1996 on the CBS network. It inspired 4 TV movies and a spin-off series, The Law & Harry McGraw. It is one of the most successful and longest-running television shows in TV history, with close to 23 million viewers in its prime, and was a staple of its Sunday night lineup for a decade.
Should NBC order this reboot to series, it would be Octavia Spencer’s first regular TV series role.
While I’m a fan of Octavia Spencer as an actress, I can’t get too excited about this reimagining by NBC, if only because of the network’s recent track record with series that star black actors. I’m immediately reminded of the cancellation of Ironside (just last week), which stars Blair Underwood – itself also a reboot of an old TV series.
There was also Undercovers 3 years ago; and Deception last season.
Surely there must be something original out there that they can build around Spencer, if they really want her talents.
But kudos to Spencer on what could become stable employment. After all, more and more big screen actors are moving to TV these days – especially black actors.