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Octavia Spencer to star in 'Murder, She Wrote' reboot

Oct. 25, 2013 at 5:44 PM ET

Image: Octavia Spencer
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"I've always considered myself an armchair detective," Octavia Spencer told Deadline about taking on the role.

"Murder She Wrote," featuring the mystery writer turned murder detective made famous by Angela Lansbury, is being rebooted by NBC. Deadline was first to report the story.

According to NBC, Oscar winner Octavia Spencer will star as a "hospital administrator and amateur sleuth who self-publishes her first mystery novel. Set in a day where sensational headlines inundate the news, this woman's avid fascination with true crime leads her to become an active participant in the investigations."

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The show, which has been ordered for a pilot episode, is described as "light, contemporary procedural in the vein of 'Bones' or 'Fargo.' "

"I've always considered myself an armchair detective and in a recent meeting with (NBC chairman) Bob Greenblatt, he asked me what type of character would be able to lure me to TV," Spencer told Deadline. "Naturally, I said 'J.B. Fletcher' meets 'Columbo'… And here we are," she said.

"A happy day for me indeed: my MSW secret is out, new ep of #Scandal is on 2night, & having fun promoting my book RandiRhodes #NinjaDetective," Spencer tweeted on Thursday, Oct. 24.

The original classic "Murder, She Wrote," ran from 1984 to 1996 on CBS. Lansbury's character was a retired and widowed English teacher turned detective, who always managed to outsmart the real investigators by piecing together the clues, asking the right questions and eventually, finding the murderer. The hit series was set in Cabot Cove, a coastal town in Maine.

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The English actress was nominated for 10 Golden Globe Awards and 12 Emmys for her role on the hit series.

And as for Lansbury making a return appearance?

During an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2011, she made no secret about her desire to return to Cabot Cove.

"Well, I sort of do see it happening when I'm in a dream state," she said. "The people involved — Universal and CBS — they have to get together. They don't realize what an exciting thing it would be if we did that!"

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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