Tag: nancy drew

Drew (CBS) pilot preview: Nancy is back, older, smarter, sexier and more boring than ever!


Gotcha Day“. Created by Joan Rater & Tony Phelan (Grey’s Anatomy, Madam Secretary). Based on Edward Stratemeyer. Directed by Marc Webb (Limitless, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, 500 Days of Summer). Executive produced by Dan Jinks (American Beauty, Harvey Milk, Big Fish), Nick Nantell, Joan Rater & Tony Phelan. For CBS, CBS Television Studios & The Dan Jinks Company. 60 pages.

Description: Now in her 30s, Nancy Grace is a detective for the NYPD where she investigates and solves crimes using her uncanny observational skills, all while navigating the complexities of life in a modern world and grieving the death of her best friend…

With Sarah Shahi (Person Of Interest, Life, Fairly Legal, The L Word), Anthony Edwards (ER, Zodiac, Top Gun), Vanessa Ferlito (24, Graceland, Grindhouse), Steve Kazee (Shameless US), Felix Solis (The Following, The Good Wife), Debra Monk (Grey’s Anatomy, Damages)…

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I’m not very familiar with the iconic Nancy Drew character -never read any book, never seen any movie or series about her- but I’m pretty sure that what CBS is doing with this version is wrong and not respectful to the spirit of the original idea. What made it fresh and different at the time was that the heroine was a 16-year-old teenage girl solving mysteries. Not a big boy. Not an older woman. Not a professional. Veronica Mars before Veronica Mars. That was the whole point! CBS Television Studios could have turned the cult property into a nice little CW show while keeping the character as a child. But instead, they decided to make of her a 30-year-old detective. Like we already had a million over the years. Sad to say Nancy Drew is not fresh and different anymore. She’s just one more smart cop investigating crimes in New York. Does CBS need her? Not really. Do we? Certainly not! Then why bother?

The first scene of the pilot is exactly what we don’t want to see in detective dramas anymore. How to turn off your TV in 30 seconds. Nancy is driving a Uber -it’s her a job since she left the NYPD- and starts analyzing every detail coming from her client’s look and clothing, just to pass the time and because clearly she can’t help it. In a minute, she’s able to tell her whole story, just because of a stain on her shirt (I’m not kidding). This know-it-all attitude, from The Mentalist to Dr House and recently useless addition Rosewood, has had its day. It’s just irritating now. Not funny anymore. Especially when there’s nothing else to get our teeth into. At least, Lucifer is fucking Lucifer, the Devil! The hero of Forever was immortal. That’s something! But Nancy? Just a sad and angry woman who lost her best friend, Bess -same as in the books, at least they kept the characters- six months ago and who can’t stop thinking about her ever since (the same as Unforgettable‘s heroine with her sister). The girl wrote a suicide note but Nancy is convinced its a fake, that she was murdered. Long story short: she investigates about her suspicious death the whole episode, with the help of her other best friend, George, a lesbian who also happens to be a cop. Of course. And in the end, spoiler alert… they crack the case. How surprising! So now, Nancy is not so sad anymore and she’s even ready to go back to the precinct. Meaning: the next episodes will be even more boring than the first one! You’ve been warned.

The first act is really painful to read. The writers use the laziest way to introduce the story and the characters. Writing for dummies. That’s what it is. I can’t even say it’s efficient. Because it’s not. Who likes watching two people saying things they already know to each other so the viewers can be on the same page? Who likes watching a character saying out loud what we all very well understood, just to make sure we’re not lost because maybe we’re stupid? The other acts are not particularly better but at least they’re a little less predictable. Overall, the investigation is full of plot holes and nonsense. I’m not good at solving mysteries but Nancy didn’t impress me much. Even the dialogues are lazy. Okay, from time to time there is a funny line or a good joke. But the parts where George says “like we learned at the academy” (to underline the fact that she’s a by-the-book cop, contrary to Nancy) or Nance asks “Do I sound like a crazy person?” (as if there was any doubt about it, yes she does!) get excruciating at some point. Plus, everybody in Nancy’s entourage is very practical when you look at it: her father is a lawyer; her ex is a journalist and George’s girlfriend is a doctor. Meaning she will ask for their help every time she needs to. That doesn’t make her a good detective. Just a lucky girl. And where did the feminism of the books go? Still looking for it…

You know what could save Drew from the complete disaster it’s meant to be according to the pilot script? Sarah Shahi! People love her since Person Of Interest (and some of us since Life). It’s true, she’s great. She’s beautiful, she’s sexy, she can be funny and badass. She doesn’t really feel like Nancy Drew, at least the idea we have of her, but I’m sure she can do a decent job even with such a poor material. That what she already did with USA’s legal drama Facing Kate a few years ago, actually. But will it be enough? Drew belongs to Lifetime or Hallmark Channel, not to CBS. And the young demo will never watch this. Nancy Drew was a big inspiration for many writers, many shows they created, now she’s obsolete and should stay where she belongs: in our memories. Next year, CBS will probably try to revive “The Famous Five“…


PILOT WHISPERER: FOX prepping pilot order for megachurch project



While pilot season started earlier than last year with orders for comedies at ABC & NBC, most of the heavy-lifting has yet to come in the next few weeks. Our PILOT WHISPERER column is here to give you some inside scoops for what’s to expect…



Atlanta-set soap Buckhead, produced by Will Packer (Uncle Buck, Truth Be Told, Roots) for Universal Television, is seen by the network as what could become the next Empire and should be offically picked-up to pilot at any moment. The drama written by David McMillan is about ambition, sex, and revenge in the extravagant, high-stakes world of Atlanta politics, entertainment, churches and strip clubs.

Legal drama Miranda’s Rights is heating up. It’s about 28-year-old Miranda Coale, who six years after a sex scandal upended her life, gets a shot at redemption when she’s hired by a group of millennials living and lawyering together in a start-up law firm…(Update: PICKED-UP)

Among hot properties with a pilot production commitment, NBC could give greenlights to Amy Poehler-produced comedy Dumb Prince (Update: PICKED-UP), spoof of crime documentaries The Trail (Update: PICKED-UP) & Greg Berlanti-produced dark family soap Brides.



Iconic Nancy Drew could be back on the air with a contemporary take from longtime Grey’s Anatomy producers Joan Rater & Tony Phelan, produced by Oscar-winning producer Dan Jinks (American Beauty) for CBS Television where the writers have an overall deal (they also wrote legal drama Doubt, whose second pilot with Katherine Heigl is awaiting a series order). The show, about a Nancy Drew in her thirties who is a detective for the NYPD where she investigates and solves crimes using her uncanny observational skills, could be the right companion series for Supergirl, if the superheroin gets a second season. (Update: PICKED-UP)

Bunker Hill from Jason Katim’s True Jack Productions is close to an order. Written by Sarah Watson, the medical drama is set at a high-tech Silicon Valley hospital with a cutting-edge approach to medicine. (Update: PICKED-UP)

Also hot at CBS with pilot production commitment are Training Day reboot from Jerry Bruckheimer & Antoine Fuqua (Update: PICKED-UP); and another project from Jerry Bruckheimer: multicamera comedy Talk Nerdy To Me about four smart, ambitious, twenty-something women living together.



The Alphabet network has already picked-up The Jury to pilot; and among the next orders is expected Monstropolis from ABC Studios, in which drama in which monsters are real, living amongst the humans in the city of New Manhattan; legal drama Please don’t go produced by Reese Witherspoon about a ruthless divorce attorney in Texas (Update: PICKED-UP); Kevin Williamson’s travel drama Time after Time (Update: PICKED-UP); and comedy Damage Control about the overworked, underpaid, clean up crew of the Marvel Universe specializing in dealing with the aftermath of the unique fallout from superhero conflicts.

Shonda Rhimes should get her first comedy pilot order for Toast, written by Scandal‘s Scott Foley and based on an idea by Foley & Greg Grunberg. It tells the story of an engaged couple who, over their wedding rehearsal dinner, have their eclectic family and friends give toasts recalling anecdotes about them (Update: PICKED-UP). Another very likely pick-up is for Hail Mary, based on Austrian comedy Braunschlag about a young small-town mayor named Emma Wolf and her dysfunctional siblings (Update: PICKED-UP).



On the heels of Lethal Weapon reboot order (announced right here), FOX is high on Dan Fogelman/Rick Singer’s Pitch pilot about a young female pitcher who defies the odds to become the first woman to compete in professional baseball (Update: PICKED-UP); an Untitled Megachurch family soap project from Julian Breece; and The Greatest American Hero comedy reboot from Chris Miller & Phil Lord. Other comedies soon to be ordered to pilot are I Like You from actress/writer Alex Bornstein & multicamera The Enforcers from ex-Friends writers Sherry Bilsing-Graham & Ellen Kreamer (Update: PICKED-UP).