Angela Lansbury set the worst kind of Emmy record, losing 12 consecutive Best Drama Actress bids for CBS’ “Murder, She Wrote” beginning in 1985. On Thursday, news came that NBC is eyeing a reboot of the mystery series to star awards darling Octavia Spencer. Can she do what Lansbury never could and win an Emmy for playing Jessica Fletcher?
If the just-announced pilot makes it to series, Spencer could earn her first career Emmy nomination thanks to the notoriety of the character that Lansbury created. The actress is an industry favorite who won an Oscar in 2011 for her supporting role in “The Help.” She’s also guested on a slew of TV series in recent years including “30 Rock,” “Raising the Bar,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “CSI” and, most recently, “Mom.”
Lansbury contended at the Emmys for every one of the show’s dozen seasons. Those 12 nominations remain a record in the Drama Actress category. Three ladies — Sharon Gless, Mariska Hargitay and Michael Learned — share second place with eight bids apiece. Hargitay won once (2006), while Gless picked up two trophies for “Cagney & Lacey” (1986, 1987) and Learned won three for “The Waltons” (1973, 74, 76) and once for “Nurse” (1982).
Deadline originally broke the news of this potential reboot by the peacock net. The procedural will be a contemporary offering along the lines of “Bones” and “Fargo” that will feature Spencer’s version of Jessica Fletcher, a hospital administrator by day and a self-published mystery writer/amatuer sleuth by night.
Spencer is likely to reap another Best Supporting Actress Oscar bid this year for her performance in “Fruitvale Station.” She currently comes in third place in Gold Derby’s poll of experts, editors and users, behind Oprah Winfrey (“The Butler“) and Lupita Nyongo (“12 Years a Slave“).
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