Entertainment & Arts

Dame Angela Lansbury 'relieved' as Murder, She Wrote remake is scrapped

Angela Lansbury Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Angela Lansbury, who is 88, is about to appear in the West End in Blithe Spirit

Dame Angela Lansbury says she is "relieved" a planned remake of her detective show Murder, She Wrote has been scrapped.

Due to star Octavia Spencer, who won an Oscar for The Help, a pilot episode was ordered last October.

Deadline reported that TV network NBC had now pulled the plug on the show.

Dame Angela, who played amateur sleuth Jessica Fletcher in the original series, told the BBC she was "terribly pleased and relieved" by the news.

"I knew it was a terrible mistake," she said. "I didn't want to sully the memory."

She added: "Octavia Spencer is a superb actress. She had no business being put into a situation that she couldn't win."

23 million viewers

The original was one of the most successful series in TV history with Lansbury playing mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher in 264 episodes from 1984-1996.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Spencer won an Oscar for her role in The Help

At the height of its popularity, Murder, She Wrote attracted 23 million viewers in the US.

Lansbury won four Golden Globes and 12 consecutive Emmy nominations for her performance.

In the remake, Spencer was to be a hospital administrator who dabbled in detective work.

When the plans were announced, Lansbury said she was not happy they were using the same title.

"I think it's a mistake to call it Murder, She Wrote", she told the Associated Press, "because Murder, She Wrote will always be about 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.

"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."

Deadline has suggested NBC may revisit a Murder, She Wrote revival in the future, with a different concept.

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