Angela Lansbury Calls NBC's 'Murder, She Wrote' Reboot a 'Mistake'

Octavia Spencer, left, and Angela Lansbury in "Murder, She Wrote"
Octavia Spencer, left, and Angela Lansbury in "Murder, She Wrote"
 Getty Images; Courtesy of Everett Collection

Angela Lansbury says "it's a mistake" for NBC to call a new series Murder, She Wrote.

News broke last month that the network plans to reboot the show with Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer as its star. Spencer acknowledged her new TV project on Twitter last month.

Lansbury, who will accept an honorary Academy Award later this week, said Murder, She Wrote was her "greatest doorway to the world."

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"I suddenly became a worldwide-known character as Jessica Fletcher and really built an enormous audience, which I have to this day," the 88-year-old said in a weekend telephone interview from her New York home. "That was the thing that really made me a star in the minds of everybody."

Lansbury already had three Oscar nominations and four Tony awards when she joined the CBS drama, which aired from 1984 to 1996, earning her 12 consecutive Emmy nominations and international acclaim. 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. Lansbury is sensitive about the show's reinvention.

"I think it's a mistake to call it Murder, She Wrote," Lansbury said, "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."

Lansbury said she admires Spencer's work.

"I saw her in The Help and thought she was absolutely wonderful, a lovely actress," Lansbury said. "So I wish her well, but I wish it wasn't in Murder, She Wrote."

Representatives for Spencer did not respond to an e-mail from the AP seeking comment. 

Lansbury's remarks come as the former stars of another reboot -- Charmed -- said it was too soon for CBS to remake the 1990s drama.  

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