Even in the age of remakes and reboots that we now live, I still find this announcement a little surprising. NBC has ordered a pilot for a new version of the classic mid-'80s to mid-'90s mystery series 'Murder, She Wrote,' according to Deadline.
Originally airing on CBS, 'Murder, She Wrote' starred Angela Lansbury as Jessica Fletcher, a successful mystery novelist that lived in the small coastal town of Cabot Cove, Maine. This small town evidently had a precipitously high murder rate, as Jessica found herself assisting the cops in a new investigation every week. For a modern day comparison, Richard Castle is basically a male Jessica Fletcher, a fact that the cast and creators are very much aware of. A fifth season episode of 'Castle' was even amusingly titled 'Murder, He Wrote.'
Taking over the lead role will be Octavia Spencer, who won an Oscar last year for her supporting role in the period drama 'The Help.' 'Murder, She Wrote' will be Spencer's first regular TV role, although she has guest starred on several series over the years. Spencer's Jessica Fletcher will have a slightly different backstory. This time out, Jessica works as a hospital administrator, but moonlights as an amateur detective. She has just recently self-published her first mystery novel when the pilot begins.
Is the world ready for a new 'Murder, She Wrote'? Is Octavia Spencer a good choice to play the lead?