Is Octavia Spencer the New Angela Lansbury?Dresden Shumaker
When Murder She Wrote originally aired in the mid ’80s, I remember casually watching the episodes with my grandparents. My grandmother was especially fond of Jessica Fletcher, brilliantly played by Angela Lansbury, and she always chuckled whenever the storyline got just a bit too far-fetched.
Decades later, when my grandmother was under the hazy layers of Alzheimer’s, I would come to depend on Jessica to help pull her out, for just a moment, to a time and place where she had some memories. By the early 2000s, Murder She Wrote was in reruns often enough that I could record several episodes to help entertain. While Jessica wasn’t always successful at bringing my grandmother fully to the present, she always took my grandmother on an adventure, and she was our daily lunch companion for years.
So many of us, in much younger demographics than the show reached for, have fond memories and associations with Jessica and Murder She Wrote. This is why I (literally) cheered today at the official announcement that NBC has Fletcher fever as well. The network has committed to shooting a pilot for an updated Murder She Wrote. So who will play the lady from Maine? Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer! This is a million kinds of awesome casting.
Murder She Wrote Returns!
The LA Times is reporting that “in the contemporary version, Spencer is a hospital administrator and amateur detective who self-publishes (naturally!) her first mystery novel.” The Hollywood Reporter is able to expand on that with more hints as to what we can expect. They share, “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.”
Octavia is currently on a tour promoting her first book, a mystery for children called The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit. While speaking to students about her book at Young Elementary School in Aurora, IL, she revealed she “always wanted to be a ninja and always wanted to be a detective.” Looks like part of her dreams are coming true!
NBC has become the network of nostalgia lately. In addition to Murder She Wrote, they are also hard at work on updates to Remington Steele and pilots based on classic comedies like The Money Pit and Reality Bites.
I think Octavia Spencer is going to be a great Jessica. What I want to know is will she live in Maine and how is her chowder?
What do you think about an updated Murder She Wrote? Will you watch?
Image Credit: PR Photo, Wikipedia
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