Thrilled by the rave reviews for its reboot of Ironside it hears inside its head, where everything is much nicer, NBC has ordered another revival of a classic show about a detective whose talents go unappreciated—much like a certain network, who similarly always enjoys imaginary victory. Now joining that Remington Steele sequel is Murder, She Wrote, a remake of the Angela Lansbury-starring CBS series about a detective whose chief disability was being a very nice old lady, which caused her to be repeatedly underestimated by all the thousands of murderers who were drawn to Maine’s beautiful harbors, which are ideal for stuffing dead bodies into. The Help’s Octavia Spencer is attached to star in this reimagining, which concerns “a hospital administrator and amateur sleuth who self-publishes her first mystery novel,” updating the story to the modern era by acknowledging that no one can be a successful author anymore. (These days, most murders are tweeted. #murder #wut)
According to Deadline, Spencer got the gig after telling NBC’s Bob Greenblatt that her ideal TV role would be “J.B. Fletcher meets Columbo”—and, since making Octavia Spencer a pestering, cigar-smoking detective in a rumpled trenchcoat would have been a stretch, even for an age that regards swapping genders and races and adding cell phones as a “reimagining,” Spencer concludes, “And here we are.” And indeed, here Murder, She Wrote will be, as written and executive produced by Alexandra Cunningham, who previously worked on NBC’s Prime Suspect—just another part of the network’s successful lineup of reboots that always get their man in the realm of fantasy.