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Octavia Spencer to Play the new Jessica Fletcher in ‘Murder, She Wrote’ Remake

By Minyvonne Burke m.burke@hngn.com | Oct 25, 2013 02:38 PM EDT

Octavia Spencer
Oscar winner Octavia Spencer is joining the cast of "Insurgent," the highly anticipated sequel of "Divergent." (Photo : Reuters)

NBC is rebooting the classic crime show "Murder, She Wrote" with actress Octavia Spencer as the new Jessica Fletcher. According to Deadline, the network is planning on remaking the show featuring Spencer as a hospital administrator and amateur detective, who self-publishes her first murder mystery novel.

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"It's set in a day where sensational headlines inundate the news, this woman's avid fascination with true crime leads her to become an active participant in the investigations," Deadline reports.

In the original, Angela Lansbury played Fletcher an English teacher -turned-writer who solves murder mysteries in her spare time. The series was one of the most successful TV shows in history and ran for 12 seasons from 1984 to 1996 on CBS. According to the website nearly 23 million viewers tuned into the show every Sunday.

Spencer's involvement in the show began from an impromptu meeting with Bob Greenblatt, NBC chairman, Deadline reports.

"I've always considered myself an armchair detective and in a recent meeting with Bob Greenblatt, he asked me what type of character would be able to lure me to TV. Naturally, I said J.B. Fletcher meets Columbo.. And here we are," she said.

This will be her first regular role on TV series. The remake of "Murder, She Wrote" will be produced by David Janollari, "Six Feet Under," and written by Alexandra Cummingham, who was an executive producer for "Desperate Housewives."

"Octavia and I are both huge true crime buffs, amateur criminologists, and fans of Angela Lansbury," Cummingham said. "To get the chance to imagine 'Murder, She Wrote' for a dynamic and multi-faceted actress like Octavia is a thrill and a pleasure."

Like other TV show remakes including CBS' "Hawaii Five-O" and TNT's "Dallas," the new show will keep the original theme song.

There's no word on when the show will air but an hour-long "put pilot commitment" has already been given the green light.


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