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OCT
24
11 MOS

'Murder, She Wrote' Reboot in the Works at NBC With Octavia Spencer

"Desperate Housewives" EP Alexandra Cunningham will pen the script with David Janollari on board to produce.

Octavia Spencer Murder She Wrote Inset - P 2013
Getty Images; Courtesy of Everett Collection
Octavia Spencer (Inset: Angela Lansbury)

NBC is revisiting Murder, She Wrote.

The Angela Lansbury drama is being reimagined at the network with Desperate Housewives alum Alexandra Cunningham and David Janollari producing a new take starring Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

The original drama ran for 12 seasons on CBS from 1984-1996 and is considered one of the most successful shows in history, drawing 23 million viewers during its heyday on Sundays.

NBC's take, which has been granted a put pilot commitment, is described as a reimagining of the series with a light, contemporary take a la Bones and Fargo, the latter of which is being reimagined as a limited series at FX starring another Oscar winner, Billy Bob Thornton. NBC's Murder will revolve around a hospital administrator/amateur detective (Spencer) who self-publishes her first mystery novel. It's set in a day where sensational headlines fuel the news and focuses on the character's fascination with true crimes, which propels her to become an active part of the investigations.

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Cunningham (Prime Suspect, Deception) will pen the script and will executive produce alongside Universal Television-based Janollari.

Should NBC's Murder move to series, it would mark Spencer's first regular role. The Oscar winner (The Help) most recently guest-starred on CBS' freshman Chuck Lorre comedy Mom. Spencer is repped by WME and Jackoway Tyerman.

CBS' Murder earned Lansbury 12 straight Emmy nominations and 10 Golden Globe mentions. She won the Globe for the role four times. 

This marks the latest high-profile reboot this development season. NBC is also rebooting Remington Steele as a comedy and 1990s feature Reality Bites, among others.

For Janollari, Murder marks his latest sale this season after returning to the development world following his stint at MTV. He's also reteaming with Awkward creator Lauren Iungerich for a comedy as well as efforts with Steve McPherson (CBS).

E-mail: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit