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A ton of reboots of books, movies and even older TV shows are all in the works right now. One of these is the Nancy Drew project, which is moving forward over at CBS. While Nancy Drew was ghostwritten by a lot of different authors over the years, she was generally depicted as a young blonde woman, even in the most recent film adaptation. However, that’s not going to be the outlook any more, as CBS says the network is looking at a variety of girls from different ethnicities who could all be a good fit for the role.
She is diverse, that is the way she is written. [She will] not [be] Caucasian. I'd be open to any ethnicity.
After years of not always featuring the most diverse casts, CBS has made a move to attempt to be more all inclusive in recent years. When Supergirl’s cast was first announced, the most noticeable change in that cast from the comics was to Jimmy Olsen, who isn’t a freckled awkward dude in the comics but is instead played by the extremely smooth Mehcad Brooks. Now, the character of Nancy Drew is getting a similar treatment, but I’m honestly a little more worried about the plot than the fact that Drew could be played by a black or latino woman.
We’ve known for a while that CBS’ Nancy Drew wouldn’t be the character from our childhoods. The story will take place at a much later time and will pick up when Nancy Drew is in her thirties and working as a detective for the NYPD. Basically, the only thing that the drama will keep is Nancy Drew’s “uncanny observational skills,” which helped the character in the original novels to track down burglars, sort out wills, figure out why various estates seem to be haunted and more. Nancy Drew stories often revolved around clever or weird cases. We can only hope that CBS urban-oriented version of Nancy Drew will also feature fun but odd cases rather than simply a murder-of-the-week format. With CBS’ track record, however, it's not looking likely.
CBS has been home to case-of-the-week stories for years. A lot of them are still on the air, including NCIS and its numerous spinoffs, Elementary, CSI: Cyber, Hawaii Five-0 and others. In fact, a lot of what Nancy Drew is good at, sleuthing-wise, has been seen on TV before with the visionary detective trope extending to The Mentalist, Psyche and Elementary to a degree. The coolest thing about Nancy Drew was her youth in the original novels and her relative freedom at age 18 to travel around in her little blue roadster and solve cases that stumped the best of them. Making her an adult with NYPD resources sort of takes the Nancy Drew out of Nancy Drew. This doesn't mean the project will necessarily be bad, but it's Nancy Drew in name alone.
We still have some time to wait before CBS actually makes a decision regarding whether or not Nancy Drew will move forward. The drama is currently only in development and Nancy herself hasn’t been cast, much less other familiar characters like George and Bess. We really only know that Dan Jinks, Tony Rater and Joan Phelan will executive produce the series, according to THR.
While we wait to hear about next fall’s premieres, you can find out what is coming up this winter with our midseason TV premiere schedule.