The CW has found their Nancy Drew! According to Deadline, newcomer Kennedy McMann will be taking on the iconic role in the untitled pilot from Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, the team behind classic popular dramas such as The O.C., Gossip Girl, and Marvel’s Runaways. The actress, who recently graduated from Carnegie Mellon, only has two acting credits to her name thanks to guest-starring roles on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Gone.
The project marks the third attempt that a network has tried to bring the young detective to the small screen, although The CW’s version is hoping to find success by sticking to what it does best – following young adults in a small town. The series “is centered on 18-year-old Nancy Drew the summer after her high school graduation. Nancy thought she’d be leaving her hometown for college, but when a family tragedy holds her back another year, she finds herself embroiled in a ghostly murder investigation — and along the way, she uncovers secrets that run deeper than she ever imagined.” The pilot will be written by The Magicians’ Noga Landau.
The CW’s version will also be staying closer to the original and beloved Carolyn Keene novels than the other two small screen attempts. In 2015, CBS nearly ordered a pilot titled Drew to series, which starred Sarah Shahi as the titular heroine, except it was set to take place in the future where Nancy Drew was working as a 30-something NYPD detective. Then in 2017, NBC attempted to bring a different take on the story to life as well. Their pilot, which was also not picked up to series, found the author of the Nancy Drew novels suddenly facing an actual murder mystery that required her to team up with two of her childhood friends.
While it’s taken quite some time for television to figure out how to bring Drew to the small screen, fans can look forward to a new feature film coming this year. Titled Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, the film finds It star Sophia Lillis in the title role as she struggles to fit into new surroundings and solve the latest mystery with her pals. It is also set to star Laura Wiggins, Linda Lavin, and Sam Trammell. Emma Roberts was the latest actress to bring the role to life in the 2007 film Nancy Drew.