Abruptly superseding all previous canon-based arguments against its developing Nancy Drew series—“Why is she an adult?” “Why is she a cop?” “Why is she in New York?”—with one much more passionate and poorly spelled, CBS has confirmed that the series’ lead role will be played by a “diverse” actress, which Variety was then obliged to confirm was network TV executive speak for someone who isn’t Caucasian.
Given TV’s continuing struggle with demographic inequality, it’s an interesting choice for the series, and a welcome one. Not least of which because Nancy’s race will likely be the least jarring of the changes Carolyn Keene’s classic kids’ books experience, as they make their way from gentle River Heights to the mean streets of the Big Apple under writers Joan Rater and Tony Phelan’s gentle care.
Drew—the hard-as-nails New York detective who’d eat her gun before answering to “Nancy” while she’s pounding the pavement and rousting bums—is currently moving forward in development, with CBS announcing today that it’s picked the series up for pilot; more specific casting news for Nancy and her various side characters—including, we assume, “matured-up” versions of the rest of the books’ cast, like Nancy’s PTSD-afflicted Iraq veteran boyfriend Nick Nickerson, or her Adderall-addicted compulsive shopper best friend Bess Marvin—will presumably be trickling down shortly. (The show joins the legal drama Doubt, and the also-announced-today comedy Upper Middle Bogan on the network’s pilot slate.)