NBC has issued a pilot commitment for a contemporary remake of the hit CBS series Murder, She Wrote, with Octavia Spencer attached to star.

The series will have a lighter tone than the original series, which starred Angela Lansbury and ran for 12 seasons from 1984 to 1996. The story centers on a hospital administrator (Octavia Spencer) whose first self-published mystery novel leads her to become an active part of several crime investigations.

Alexandra Cunningham (Desperate Housewives, Deception) is writing the pilot script and executive producing with David Janollari. Here's what Octavia Spencer had to say about the project, which stemmed from a meeting with NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt.

"I've always considered myself an armchair detective and in a recent meeting with Bob Greenblatt, he asked me what type of character would be able to lure me to TV. Naturally, I said J.B. Fletcher meets Columbo. And here we are. I'm ecstatic to have the opportunity to work with David Janollari again, and Alex Cunningham is a brilliant writer who shares my love for all things mysterious and Angela Lansbury."

Alexandra Cunningham also released the following statement.

"Octavia and I are both huge true crime buffs, amateur criminologists, and fans of Angela Lansbury. To get the chance to reimagine Murder, She Wrote for a dynamic and multi-faceted actress like Octavia is a thrill and a pleasure."

Octavia Spencer, Bob Greenblatt and David Janollari previously worked together on the 2001 Sci-Fi Channel series The Chronicle.

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