According to Deadline, NBC is giving a put-pilot commitment (which basically means that the network may owe the studio a penalty if the pilot does not air) to a show from their own Universal TV house to a show that will be a re-imagining of the Angela Lansbury series all about a seemingly-ordinary woman who ends up becoming a master sleuth at solving murder cases. In this case, the prospective show would star Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer (“The Help”) and feature her character as a hospital administrator and self-published mystery writer who gets herself involved in the world of solving crime. It’s described as a contemporary version somewhat in the veins of “Bones,” where it will be a heavy procedural with humor to go along with the classic “solving cases” format.
In theory, this is as solid an idea as you can get for a drama series remake, but there is also a pretty substantial problem that should be clear from the get-go: The original “Murder, She Wrote” skewed to an older audience. Isn’t this going to be just another “Harry’s Law” all over again? We would have thought that NBC learned this year with “Ironside” that the people have had their fill of mystery-show remakes, even though we love Octavia as an actress.
Then again, you could also argue that some of what NBC really has going for them right now is their ability to twist properties ever so slightly and end up with something that viewers really love. For example, just look at what happened with “Hannibal” (even if the ratings aren’t that great) compared to the movies; you could also make an argument that there are some similarities between “Hannibal” and “The Blacklist.”
We’ll just have to wait and see whether or not NBC actually ends up giving this show a chance in the spring, when we’ll learn its fate alongside a bevy of other series that are coming up for the network.
Do you think that remaking “Murder, She Wrote” is a great idea, or just a recipe for disaster? Be sure to share some of your thoughts below!