News Briefs: NBC's Murder, She Wrote Reboot Is Dead

By Kaitlin Thomas

Jan 23, 2014


... NBC has put its Murder, She Wrote reboot starring Octavia Spencer on ice. I think I speak for at least a few people when I say, "DUH DOI!" Because let's be real: There is no Murder, She Wrote without Angela Lansbury and the project was ridiculous from the start. The network isn't ruling out the possibility of continuing with the project at a later date, but come on, it'd be pretty foolish to try to revive the series. Besides, there's probably no one even left in Cabot Cove at the rate people were dying anyway. Am I right or am I right? [Deadline]


... ABC has renewed its hit summer reality series Wipeout for Season 7. But unlike in previous seasons, the winners will be brought back at season's end for a Tournament of Champions. Because embarrassing yourself once on national TV isn't enough. [ABC via press release]

... NBC has renewed Days of Our Lives through September 2016, but before you celebrate, you should know that Alison Sweeney, who's portrayed Sami Brady for the last 21 years, is leaving the long-running daytime soap at the end of this year. So what's the point, you know? What's left to live for? [NBC via press release]

... Betty White's Off Their Rockers, which ran on NBC for two seasons before the network realized it was airing a series featuring elderly people playing pranks and canceled it, finally has a premiere date on its cable savior Lifetime. If it's your kind of show, set your DVR for February 28 at 9pm. [The Wrap]

... I'm just going to assume there was a huge blackout that swept most of the country at exactly 10:30pm on Sunday evening because I can't fathom any other reason why the ratings for Jonathan Groff's new series Looking are so low. Only 338,000 people watched the show live, and that number only rose to 606,000 when replays were factored in. Even Girls pulled in 799,000 viewers! Come on, America! Give it a chance! Groffles and the boys of San Francisco are way less self-absorbed and annoying than Hannah! [Vulture]

... In other ratings news, The Mindy Project and Brooklyn Nine-Nine both had a stellar week, pulling in 3 million and 4.5 million viewers, respectively, on Tuesday night. And over on The CW, Supernatural enjoyed its best episode since 2010's "Weekend at Bobby's," drawing 2.7 million viewers. Of course, it must be noted that ABC and CBS were in repeats, but in the Winchesters' defense, "First Born" was really, really good. [TV Line]


... Hello ladies... of Modern Family! Stephen Merchant has signed on to guest-star as Stevens, a hotel butler at Mandalay Bay in the show's upcoming Las Vegas episode. I would say something else, but Disney movies have taught me that if I don't have anything nice to say, I shouldn't say anything at all. So. [TV Guide]

... Arrested Development's Jeffrey Tambor is reuniting with Will Arnett on Arnett's new series The Millers. Tambor will be playing Ed Dolan, the owner of the television station where Arnett's character Nathan works, in an upcoming episode. [CBS via press release]

... Tim's sloppiness means this news bit didn't make it into yesterday's briefs, but that's okay, because it gives me the opportunity to talk about Kyle Chandler which is the number-one item on my list of things I love to do, so joke's on you Tim! Hahaha. Anyway, Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises) has been cast as Chandler's older brother in Netflix's new as-yet-untitled psychological thriller. He'll play the black sheep of the family whose return opens up old scars and brings to light old secrets. Chandler obviously plays the super awesome middle brother who takes care of the entire family. Kind of like that one time he was a football coach in Texas or whatever. [THR]

... Jaimie Alexander, who's currently my least favorite person in the world for how many times I've had to double check the spelling of her name, has been cast in Ryan Murphy's HBO pilot Open. She'll play Claire, the wife of Wes Bentley's character, and the character's defining traits are that she's suffering from postpartum depression and she realllllly likes her pills. Of course, Alexander will next be seen on your TV sets when she reprises her reprises her role as Sif in Episode 15 of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. [Deadline]


... Hey Sleepy Hollow fans, executive producers Len Wiseman and Alex Kurtzman chatted with TV Line about what's next for Abbie, Ichabod, Katrina, and Jenny. They also discussed how they pulled off that major reveal. [TV Line]

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  • lynna12000 Jan 28, 2014

    I'm glad NBC came to their senses and cancelled 'Murder, She Wrote'. Hopefully, they will find a show worthy of Octavia Spencer. If only the same would happen to the Roots remake. Just 'remaster' the original and broadcast that.

  • antmorris3511 Jan 25, 2014

    "CAUSE OF DEATH: HORRIBLE IDEA SYNDROME" LMAO!!! dON'T know how I missed that.

  • antmorris3511 Jan 25, 2014

    This comment has been removed.

  • antmorris3511 Feb 08, 2014

    how did that text get so big?

  • vampman87 Jan 25, 2014

    Oh Thank God! The last few reboots in the past 5 years tanked tremendously. (Ironside, Charlie's Angels, Bionic Woman, Knight Rider) To this day I've seen only TWO remakes that worked: Hawaii 5-0 (which was redesigned to pretty much become CSI: Hawaii) and Dallas, which was a continuation of the original series, but I'm betting will end by season 3 due to the Larry Hagman dying. Reboots just don't work, ESPECIALLY if the main character we know and love has been switched out for a black actor or actress (Ironside, and anyone remember the Ving Rhimes version of Kojack?) I might get called out as being a racist for saying this, but I can't see anyone other than Angela Landsbury in the role, just like Telly Savalas is THE Kojack and Raymond Burr as Ironside. They made the characters their own, and anyone trying to replace them, no matter their acting ablity, are just poor imitators. (Especially if Jerry O'Connel is n the show. Yeah, I'm looking at you, Munsters remake!)

  • englishboy Jan 24, 2014

    Absolutely awesome news about the aborted remake of Murder She Wrote!I remember saying on here when it was announced that it was a terrible idea. I don't know what's worse, the aborted remake or the upcoming remake of Roots.I'd actually say the latter so now they need to abort that idea. I'm glad that there seems to be more and more resistance, from the general public at least if not from producers, to all this remake bullshit,which I'm sorry, is exactly what it is. This is apart from the fact that it's lazy and uncreative to say the least.
    As for Sleepy Hollow, I'm sorry it's over for now, and wish that the producers had had more faith and gone for a 22 episode order instead of playing it safe and taking the easy option.

  • LaurenYetter Jan 23, 2014

    I don't understand why a murder, she wrote reboot is any more ridiculous than any other that's been pitched or is currently on tv... Isn't the whole point to bring interest to a new generation? I only vaguely remember the original, and I think most of my recollections are skewed thanks to Craig Ferguson... 'Has there been a murder?' I'm really just bummed for Octavia Spencer.

  • Gislef Jan 24, 2014

    It is as ridiculous as any other similar reboot that has been pitched or is on TV. As anyone who saw the new Ironside can tell you (come on, you five people - you can raise your hands), reboots don't usually go well, at least not with single-star shows with a central concept. See also the Kojak reboot a few years back.

  • dodge_hickey Jan 23, 2014

    For Octavia Spencers (and the fans sake such as myself) I am happy they canned the Murder She Wrote reboot.

  • JT_Kirk Jan 23, 2014

    Do we really need Wipeout champions tournaments? The entertainment of Wipeout is that the contestants don't know what to expect.

    I'm sorry, did Kaitlin just say "squee" about Kyle Chandler?

    Murder She Wrote reboot during a wasteland of network murder mystery shows with everybody investigating - cops, csi's, novelists, fake psychics, neurologists, anthropologists or whatever the hell Bones is, amateurs, multiple Sherlock Holmeses, Hawaiians, Naval intelligence, FBI, fairy tales, criminal masterminds, corrupt cops - so what the hell did NBC think a Murder She Wrote reboot could offer? There's already a writer solving murders on Castle, that leaves just 2 other choices: the character is black, and a woman. The latter nobody gives a shit about anymore, women solve crime all the time on tv and their shows get canceled just like men-folks. The former is just pandering if that's all they had to offer. It's not like the world is begging for Octavia Spencer to solve murders on tv. Goddamn NBC sucks so bad, way to piss more development money down the drain.

  • mrjimmyjames Jan 23, 2014

    Murder She Wrote's revival was never anything but a ridiculous suggestion to begin with. I'm impressed that NBC was at least this aware enough not to go through with it.

  • MarlboroMagpi Jan 23, 2014

    I am not really surprise about the lack of ratings for Looking. I was wondering if majority of straight guys would watch a show about gay men. They would totally watch L word, even girls but a show about lives of gay men so guess the show are left with gay men audience and some woman. Is that enough?

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