Entertainment & Arts

Murder, She Wrote reboot ordered

Octavia Spencer
Image caption Octavia Spencer won an Oscar for her role in The Help in 2012

A new version of US drama Murder, She Wrote is in the works, starring Oscar winner Octavia Spencer.

The Help star has signed on to appear in the pilot ordered by US network NBC, reports Deadline..

The new take will feature Spencer as a hospital administrator who is also an amateur detective.

The original series, which starred Angela Lansbury, ran for 12 seasons on rival network CBS from 1984 to 1996.

At the height of its popularity, it attracted some 23 million viewers in the US and earned Lansbury four Golden Globes for the role, as well as 12 consecutive Emmy nominations.

NBC has ordered a "put pilot", which guarantees the episode will air, but does not guarantee it will be commissioned for a full series.

It has been described as a "light, contemporary procedural in the vein of Bones or Fargo".

"I've always considered myself an armchair detective and in a recent meeting with [NBC chairman] Bob Greenblatt, he asked me what type of character would be able to lure me to TV," Spencer said.

Image caption Angela Lansbury starred in the original series which ran from 1984 - 1996

"Naturally, I said JB Fletcher meets Colombo… and here we are."

The pilot will be produced by David Janollari, who worked on Six Feet Under, and will be written by former Desperate Housewives executive producer Alexandra Cunningham.

If the show gets picked up, it will be the first regular series for Spencer, who has previously guest-starred on numerous shows including Ugly Betty, The Big Bang Theory and Chuck Lorre's latest comedy Mom, starring Anna Faris and Allison Janney.

Murder, She Wrote is NBC's latest "re-imagining" - it is also re-working 1980s crime series Remington Steele and 1994 film Reality Bites.

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