Angela Lansbury says she is “relieved” the planned remake of her detective show Murder, She Wrote has been scrapped.
Due to star Octavia Spencer, who won an Oscar for The Help, a pilot episode was ordered last October.
According to Deadline, NBC had now pulled the plug on the show.
Angela Lansbury, who played amateur sleuth Jessica Fletcher in the original series, told the BBC she was “terribly pleased and relieved” by the news.
“I knew it was a terrible mistake,” she said.
“I didn’t want to sully the memory.”
Angela Lansbury added: “Octavia Spencer is a superb actress. She had no business being put into a situation that she couldn’t win.”
Angela Lansbury says she is “relieved” the planned remake of her detective show Murder, She Wrote has been scrapped
The original was one of the most successful series in TV history with Angela Lansbury playing mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher in 264 episodes from 1984-1996.
At the height of its popularity, Murder, She Wrote attracted 23 million viewers in the US.
Angela Lansbury won four Golden Globes and 12 consecutive Emmy nominations for her performance.
In the remake, Octavia Spencer was to be a hospital administrator who dabbled in detective work.
When the plans were announced, Angela Lansbury said she was not happy they were using the same title.
She told the AP: “I think it’s a mistake to call it Murder, She Wrote because Murder, She Wrote will always be about 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.
“So I’m sorry that they have to use the title Murder, She Wrote, even though they have access to it and it’s their right.”
However, Deadline suggested NBC may revisit a Murder, She Wrote revival in the future, with a different concept.
A reboot of Murder, She Wrote series is in the works, starring Oscar winner Octavia Spencer.
Octavia Spencer has signed on to appear in the pilot ordered by NBC, reports Deadline.
The new take will feature Octavia 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 Angela 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.
NBC is bringing back Murder, She Wrote, with Octavia Spencer playing Angela Lansbury role
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,” Octavia Spencer said.
“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 Octavia 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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