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You don’t need a magnifying glass or a beginner’s detective handbook to know that it was only a matter of time before the small screen took another crack and bringing the iconic female sleuth Nancy Drew to audiences. It’s happening now, as an updated take on the classic novels has been put into development at CBS, the network where procedural mystery dramas are destined to exist.
As CBS is a network that isn’t known for pulling in mass amounts of younger viewers, it should come as a surprise to no one that Nancy Drew will no longer be a teenager or even a twentysomething in this modern iteration of the material. She will be in her 30s and employed by the NYPD, where she’s a detective that uses her preternatural observation skills in order to solve cases. But it’s not just a job thang, as she’s also going to be dealing with figuring out all of life’s complexities. In other words, it’s basically just Nancy Drew in name alone. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be terrible.
Putting this project together are Joan Rater and Tony Phelan, neither of whom are strangers to popular primetime dramas. Both of them have been producers and writers on Grey’s Anatomy for many seasons, and both also had writer/producer roles on Madam Secretary and the short-lived spinoff Law & Order: Trial By Jury. According to Deadline, serving as an executive producer is Dan Jinks, who won an Academy Award for American Beauty and last executive produced the TV series Emily Owens, M.D. and Pushing Daisies. One can only hope Nancy Drew is as vibrant as either of those shows.
First making her way to readers in 1930 to take on The Secret of the Old Clock, Nancy Drew became a library mainstay over the following decades in dozens of books written by several different ghostwriters. Her legacy doesn’t just end on the page, though, as she’s been the subject of five different films, the latest of which was Andrew Fleming’s 2007 film with Emma Roberts in the title role. On the TV side of things, there was The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, which ran from 1977-1979 and took only a year to switch its focus from Nancy to the Hardys, and it was canceled in the middle of its third season. And there’s also the mega-successful video game series.
Although CBS has tried branching out with its programming in the past few years with shows like Zoo and Extant, procedurals like Nancy Drew are the network’s bread and butter. And who can blame them for sticking to it, as shows like Criminal Minds, NCIS, CSI and others have been huge hits. We'll let you know if the network ends up picking the show up to series.