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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Angela Lansbury Does Not Appreciate Your Reboot: Weighs In On New Murder, She Wrote Series


Not too long ago we reported on Oscar winner Octavia Spencer taking on the lead role for NBC’s Murder, She Wrote reboot. Now, original star Angela Lansbury has given her professional opinion. And well, let’s just say she has the same opinion on reboots as most of us. 

The reboot has been described as “a light, contemporary procedural in the vein of Bones or Fargo,” in which Spencer’s character works at a hospital but has self-published a mystery novel. A location for the series wasn’t revealed but it seemed as if the basic premise of the show would stay the same and Spencer would be getting in on investigations.

Lots of folks were wondering what Lansbury thought of the project and Entertainment Weekly spoke with her to find out all the gritty details.

“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, and also enjoyed Jessica Fletcher, who is a rare and very individual kind of person,” she told them. “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.”

Lansbury touches on what many of us think when reboot projects surface of our fan favorites. Why do they have to call it that? Can’t they just make something new entirely? The answer is of course, yes, but then they wouldn’t be able to capitalize on the name, which is what they’re banking on for success. But while Lansbury may be disappointed with the project as a whole, she doesn’t appear to hold any ill-will against Spencer.

“I saw her in `The Help’ and thought she was absolutely wonderful, a lovely actress,” she said. “So I wish her well, but I wish it wasn’t in Murder, She Wrote.”

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  • Anonymous

    I’m not a fan of the original so I’m fine with it. Seems like much ado about nothing.
    I do however think it’s criminal that it took an awful film like The Help to get Ms. Spencer and Viola Davis to the masses.

  • Anonymous

    The plot sounds different enough that they could have used a different title but I guess they’re trying to cash in on the name though?

  • Lowprices

    Meh. Meh, I say. Murder, She Wrote is so inextricably linked to Lansbury that anyone who knows the original will be immediately turned off. And unless they’re drastically changing the tone from the weirdly cosy original I can’t see it bringing in a new audience. I give it one season before it’s cancelled.

  • Anonymous

    Murder She Wrote isn’t my thing, but yeah. It was more an Americanized Miss Marple than a show where the writer-detective thing was super important. So I don’t see who they’re trying to appeal to with the tie-in.

    I would suggest they reboot Remmington Steele instead… but that’s already happening.

  • Mark Matson

    Looks like that is a sequel to Remmington Steele, not a reboot. Sequels seem more honest and interesting to me. They also have the possibility of the original actors occasionally coming back in their original roles, which could be fun.

  • http://runt.org/ Adrian

    I’m just happy whenever we see examples of ladies supporting ladies in media; I feel like despite that Angela said she supports Octavia, we’re still going to see bullshit headlines like ‘Angela Lansbury SLAMS Octavia Butler’s New Show” with two out-of-context pictures of them both looking generally peevish.

  • Mark Matson

    If a reboot is what it takes to have a show with an African-American woman in the lead be marketed to older white America, I can live with that.

  • Anonymous

    They tried Kojak and Ironside, and failed. I’m not sure this will do any better unless they add some more substance beyond it being a procedural.

  • Anonymous

    They tried Kojak and Ironside, and failed. I’m not sure this will do any better unless they add some more substance beyond it being a procedural.

  • silvergray

    If it was named something else, and from the description alone, would you watch it?

  • Alyson L

    I think with a lot of female led detective show you need a set mystery series of books – like Bones. I am not aware of a series of books with an African-American woman as lead, not that I read a ton of mystery novels. So, instead they are taking a known title and going with that. BTW, men they can get away with their own unique led shows. Even with Castle having a strong female co-star, it was basically written for Fillion.

  • Alyson L

    If Tyler Perry wasn’t involved, probably.

  • Lucine

    And yet, as much as I love Fillion, if Becket went away, I’d totally give it up. Of course, I shouldn’t even like Castle, because the whole idea is so absurd it isn’t even funny.

  • Lucine

    Probably not. I’ve watched so many procedural shows that I can usually tell who done it (if they’re featured) within the first few minutes. It takes out a lot of the fun.

  • Anonymous

    I really don’t get Hollywood. They want fans of the original, but by rebooting it as something different, they alienate those people. And the ones that aren’t going to care, most of them weren’t fans in the first place, which means they’ll probably be turned off by the association. It’s a lose-lose prospect.

  • FacepalmingGeek

    I’m just sorry Spencer is putting her career into jeopardy by starring in this thing. She’s too good an actress to be wasted in rebooted, warmed-over shows that are a shoo-in to crash and burn. Maybe she’ll see the light and back out the way that Sons of Anarchy guy backed out of Fifty Shades of Recycled Twilight Fanfic.

  • Super Nick™

    Most of the original fan base of Murder, She Wrote is no longer with us. The rest of us either have a connection to our grandparents or parents watching it. I don’t see the point in using the name for the series. Why not come up with an original name and build on that? The NAME doesn’t make the show, the QUALITY of the writing & production make hte show.

  • http://garridon.wordpress.com/ Linda Adams

    One of the things I don’t like about all these reboots is that there seems to be a tendency for the networks to approach them as if the original show was broken and a reboot will “fix” it (Fantasy Island, Knight Rider, and The Bionic Woman all had this, and the producers actually bragged about fixing the shows!).

    I think the quest for instant hits on TV is killing network TV.

  • Melynda

    I agree. Murder, She Wrote = Angela Lansbury and pretty much always will. I don’t see the point of using a familiar title for something that, from the description, sounds more like a Castle ripoff (which I consider a more contemporary and slightly geekier rip off of M,SW anyway). I didn’t like the show when it was on – in fact, it was one of the tortures of my childhood because my grandma LOVED the show – but I don’t think using the same title will do anything but hurt the new show. They should find something else to call it.

  • silvergray

    My thoughts exactly. As it is “Murder She Wrote” nostalgia is their only hook right now.

  • silvergray

    Stupid question but: is he involved in this?

    Secondly, I get what Tyler Perry is doing… but I personally just can’t relate to anything he’s done (the medea series in particular). So yeah… That would be a BIG minus.

  • Alyson L

    No, thankfully.

  • Anonymous

    They don’t want fans of the original, they want the media to talk about it. If they had just announced a new tv show with Octavia Spencer, there would have been two mentions in Variety and Tv Guide. Because it’s a “Murder She wrote” Reboot, it’s all over the media; even more now with a little involuntary help from Ms. Lansbury.

    That’s why they only ever make “reboots”, “remakes”, “adaptations” and “reimaginings” now. It gets the media talking and get people talking. It’s a win win. It gets the hype going on its own.

  • Lucine

    His mom is great. I’d love to see her and Lucille Bluth have coffee.