Angela Lansbury star of the original Murder, She Wrote mystery drama says NBC’s plan to reboot the show for a new audience will prove a mistake.
Star of stage, big screen and television drama Lansbury believes that the show, to work, should be given a new name and not attempt to cash-in on the brand which has proved to be a curse for previous television series’.
I think it’s a mistake to call it Murder, She Wrote, 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.
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. – Landsbury speaking to Associated Press.
Lansbury starred as author Jessica Fletcher for twelve series of the show which has proved successful in the UK with runs on both ITV and the BBC.
The Aunty Mame star was bestowed 12 Emmy nominations and four Golden Globe wins for her role as Fletcher in the original CBS series which was produced between 1984 and 1996 running for 264 hour-long episodes and four television movie-length specials. The series continues to screen in repeats around the world.
Lansbury also suggested the show couldn’t work as there is only one Jessica – and thats her, the character was in her words a ‘rare and very individual kind of person’.
The NBC reboot will see Octavia Spencer in the lead role of their Murder, She Wrote. However the setting and character will be entirely different. Spencer will play a hospital administrator and author who is a part-time amateur sleuth.
I wish her well, but I wish it wasn’t in Murder, She Wrote. – Landsbury speaking to Associated Press.
Other failed ‘cash-ins’ on classic brands include Carlton Television’s Crossroads of 2001 which was as the company described ‘a new soap’ yet used the brand of a saga which ran for 24 years from 1964. The ‘new’ Crossroads lasted less than three years in the UK and in Australia A Country Practice was revived by Network Ten following the show being dropped by Channel 7. However with only a few links to the past and set in an entirely new town it failed to capture the audience of the original.