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Octavia Spencer to star in Murder, She Wrote

The Help actress will play a self-published author who is fascinated by mysterious crimes in a reboot of the classic Angela Lansbury show

Octavia Spencer is set to star in a reboot of the hit television series Murder, She Wrote.

The Oscar-winning star of The Help will take on the lead role played by Angela Lansbury in the original series.

Lansbury's character, Jessica Fletcher, was a best-selling author of mystery novels and an amateur detective. The role earned her 12 consecutive Emmy nominations and four Golden Globe Awards.

This time around, Spencer will play a hospital administrator who self-publishes her first novel. She has a fascination with crime and the sensational headlines fuelling the news, leading her to take an active role in investigations.

When Murder, She Wrote aired on US network CBS between 1984 and 1996, it attracted up to 23 million viewers.

This time around, it is rival channel NBC that has ordered the show, according to Deadline.

Desperate Housewives producer Alexandra Cunningham is penning the script, while David Janollari, an executive producer on Six Feet Under, is also on board.

They're planning to make a light, modern take on the classic show, rather than re-imagining the series as a heavyweight crime procedural.