Oscar winner Octavia Spencer ("The Help") is set to play the new look Jessica Fletcher in NBC's planned reboot of the "Murder, She Wrote" franchise.
Spencer would succeed Angela Lansbury in the role which was essentially a 1980s American spin on Agatha Christie's famed Miss Marple character. Jessica 'J.B.' Fletcher character was a middle-aged widow and successful author of detective fiction who resided in the sleepy town of Cabot Cove.
She sported a seemingly endless collection of relatives and friends, and traveled extensively. In each episode she would solve at least one murder (sometimes several) after the police prove incapable of doing so.
The series ran twelve seasons from 1984 through to 1996, and was followed by several telemovies with the last airing in 2003. It remains one of the most successful and longest-running television shows in history. At its height, it pulled in up to 23 million viewers a week, and was a massive global success.
The new hourlong series is being penned by former "Desperate Housewives" executive producer Alexandra Cunningham, will be produced by David Janollari ("The Chronicle").
In this version, Fletcher (Spencer) is a hospital administrator and amateur sleuth who self-publishes her first mystery novel. Her avid fascination with true crime leads her to become an active participant in investigations.
The tone is said to be a "light, contemporary procedural" in the vein of "Bones".
Source: The Live Feed