It was a good idea while it lasted – not!
It appears that NBC’s plan to reboot the long-running CBS drama Murder, She Wrote with Octavia Spencer (The Help) has been tabled indefinitely. Deadline reports that Peacock execs would rather find a different way to spin the tale about the amateur sleuth (assuming it goes the distance at all). More importantly, someone inside probably realized that it’s not so easy to revisit popular franchises. NBC did an impressive job of bringing back Prime Suspect with Maria Bello but the drama didn’t last a season.
When first announced as a pilot by NBC, the project was described as a “light, contemporary procedural in the vein of Bones or Fargo, it follows a hospital administrator and amateur sleuth (Spencer) who self-publishes her first mystery novel … [and her] avid fascination with true crime leads her to become an active participant in the investigations.”
Talk of the reboot eventually prompted original series star Angela Lansbury to speak out against the idea – or at least the use of the classic moniker. “I think it’s a mistake to call it Murder, She Wrote, because Murder, She Wrote will always be about a Cabot Cove and this wonderful little group of people who told those lovely stories and enjoyed a piece of that place, and also enjoyed Jessica Fletcher, who is a rare and very individual kind of person.”
The original drama aired from 1984 to 1996 on CBS and earned Lansbury 12 consecutive Emmy nominations.