Tag Archives: Octavia Spencer

Angela Lansbury Lays Down The Law on Murder She Wrote Remake

Angela Lansbury. Photo by Terry Richardson

Angela Lansbury.  God love her!  I think, like most actresses her age, she’s been there, done that and seen enough to comfortably tell it like it is without the worry of any form of backlash.  I guess it’s why she’s come out against NBC’s idea to remake the iconic classic 80’s murder mystery series Murder She Wrote that made her a household name.

While she’s not so much against the idea of a remake, calling it ‘Murder She Wrote‘ is a big mistake according to the legendary star who spoke recently with The Guardian.  “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, who starred in the show from it’s start in 1984 to 1996, earned 12 consecutive Emmy nominations for her role as writer and sleuth Jessica Fletcher so it’s no surprise she’s somewhat sensitive when it comes to the talk of the shows ‘re-invention’.

I think it’s a mistake to call it Murder, She Wrote,” Lansbury said, “because Murder, She Wrote will always be about a 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 – even though they have access to it and it’s their right.”

Good on ya Angie!

Murder She Wrote….Again.

Oscar Winner Octavia Spencer. (Dove Shore/Contour by Getty Images)

Looks like the 80’s classic Murder She Wrote could be coming back to our screens in a ‘re-boot’ thanks to American network NBC.  It’s been announced that they are currently considering bringing back the iconic murder mystery series with Oscar winner Octavia Spencer stepping into the role previously played by Angela Lansbury.

Angela Lansbury

NBC have confirmed they have ordered a pilot episode which will see Spencer play an amateur detective in the re-boot produced by Alexandra Cunningham and David Janollari, with Cunningham writing the pilot.  The original series ran for 12 seasons from 1984 to 1996, spawned several stand alone TV movies and was basically required household viewing.

Deadline, who first broke the news, have described this re-boot as “a light, contemporary procedural in the vein of Bones or Fargo, it follows a hospital administrator and amateur sleuth (Spencer) who self-publishes her first mystery novel”.    They also noted that Angela Lansbury has been approached to be a part of the new series.

This re-boot would follow other classic shows that have been brought back to life (some fairing not so well) including Hawaii five-0, Melrose Place, Dallas and Beverly Hills 90210.

The original series of Murder She Wrote revolved around Jessica Fletcher, a retired English teacher turned successful mystery writer living in the small town of Cabot Cove.  It’s here she becomes an amateur sleuth working with the local law enforcement to help solve the numerous crimes (most always murder) that would occur.  Funnily enough, murder occurred with such regularity in Jessica Fletcher’s vicinity that the term “Cabot Cove syndrome” was coined to describe the constant appearance of dead bodies in remote locations.  A 2012 study of all episodes found that Cabot Cove had a murder rate of 1,490 per million, more than 50 percent higher than Honduras, which has the real world’s highest murder rate !

It will be interesting to see how NBC and Octavia Spencer go with the re-boot.  For me, there is only, and will only ever be one Jessica Fletcher!