Angela Lansbury Calls The ‘Murder, She Wrote’ Reboot A ‘Mistake’


Last month we learned the somewhat surprising news that Academy Award winning actress Octavia Spencer has signed on to star in a reboot/remake of the long-running TV series Murder, She Wrote that famously starred Angela Lansbury from 1984-1996. Today we learn that Lansbury is NOT keen on the idea of rebooting the series she holds so dear. In a new interview where Angela was asked specifically to give her opinion on the Murder reboot, she makes it plainly clear that she is not a fan of the idea of remaking the series — at all. Click below to read Angela Lansbury’s comments and find out exactly how she feels on the matter.

Angela Lansbury has spoken about the upcoming Murder, She Wrote reboot for the first time. Octavia Spencer has signed up to lead the cast for NBC’s reworking of the classic crime drama, which ran for 12 seasons on CBS from 1984 to 1996 and starred Lansbury as mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher. The 88-year-old actress told The AP that she is a fan of Spencer’s work, but is not fond of the reimagining. “I saw her in The Help and thought she was absolutely wonderful, a lovely actress,” Lansbury said. “So I wish her well, but I wish it wasn’t in Murder, She Wrote.” She went on to say of the reboot: “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. “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” … She added that her role of Jessica Fletcher in the crime drama was “the greatest doorway to the world” because of the mainstream popularity of her character. The new version will focus on a hospital administrator and amateur sleuth who publishes her first mystery novel.

Learning that Angela Lansbury is not a fan of this remake shouldn’t really surprise anyone. Considering how many years Lansbury “lived” the life of Jessica Fletcher, I’m sure it would be extremely weird for her to think of another cast of characters taking up new adventures using the name of her show. She’s right, tho, the producers have every right to use the name and I’m certain they will … they just can’t count on Angela appearing on the new show as a special guest star. I’m so torn about remakes … about half the time I’m all for them and the other half, I’m not. I guess, over all, it’s probably better that things are left well-enough alone. Remakes/Reboots/Etc. tend to be disappointing … but, then again, sometimes they turn out alright. Essentially, we have to get used to this kind of entertainment. As long as there are old ideas to exploit, we can look forward to many reboots to come.


  • Kim-E

    Don’t forget it was Angela’s husband who created and produced the show. He had a stroke and for a while she did these shows by telling other people’s stories and having other characters take over while she nursed him back to health. After that her son started producing, writing, and directing with the show.

    It must be painful to have such a familial project belong to others and begin to air without her family’s involvement. Oh well, let’s hope they throw some Brady Bunch actors and also old Battlestar Galatica actors into the mix just for old time sake’s and I’ll watch.

  • Pheefs

    I’m afraid I agree with her!
    Murder She Wrote was about a small town woman, a sassy widow who was a retired teacher & damn PROUD to be a teacher…
    She & her small town friends (including the most lovable cranknpuss doctor ever!) were an essential part of the formula.

    If they are leaving out Cabot Cove & the teacher part, how can I trust them to make a smart funny show that tackles current political topics with a gentle hand & always winks an eye at Young Love.
    I am increasingly doubtful that they can recapture my beloved “Murder with a Smile”

  • Nathan

    I’ve never watched an episode of this show and I won’t watch the remake either.

    Everyone is always going on about children’s creativity. Fostering their creativity. Blah blah blah. Yet so many movies, TV shows and music is remakes/covers of previously popular things.

    I’ll admit to loving the Hawaii 5-O remake though. ….This is partly due to the fact that I’m in love with Alex O’Loughlin.

    • @Nathan — “I’ll admit to loving the Hawaii 5-O remake though”

      See, this is my problem, too. Most remakes are terrible … but occasionally, a good one comes thru.

  • Paul

    “The new version will focus on a hospital administrator and amateur sleuth who publishes her first mystery novel.”

    Let me see if I can predict this one. Someone in the hospital mysteriously dies. The amateur sleuth and hospital administrator solves the case. Then someone else in the hospital mysteriously dies.