Sarah Shahi, known by many for her role on CBS’ TV series Person of Interest, has been cast as the new Nancy Drew in CBS’s adaptation of the popular teen mystery novel, titled Drew.
As previously reported by Entertainment Weekly, Sarah Shahi is set to play an older version of character Nancy Drew, now serving as 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.”
Sarah joins a cast that includes Anthony Edwards (ER) as Nancy Drew’s dad, Vanessa Ferlito (Graceland) as George (Nancy’s best friend and former partner), and Felix Solis as Nancy’s boss. CBS also recently announced that it has cast Steve Kazee (Shameless, Legends) as Ned (a reporter for the New York Times and the lead character’s ex-boyfriend).
Written by Joan Rater and Tony Phelan and directed by James Strong, Drew will be a contemporary take on the beloved teen sleuth, a character immortalized by a series of mystery novels which began publishing in the 1930s. The stories were written by multiple authors who used the common pseudonym Carolyn Keene.
Shahi, who is Iranian and Spanish, will be the first person of color to be cast for the role. CBS previously announced early in the year that they’ve been planning to cast a non-white actor in the lead role, showing once again the network’s steadfast commitment to diversity.
“She is diverse, that is the way she is written,” CBS president Glenn Gelle told the Hollywood Reporter. “[She will] not [be] Caucasian. I’d be open to any ethnicity.”
With an older Nancy Drew working for an investigative organization like the NYPD, fans of the source material will see the titular character facing crimes on a grander scale.
Nancy Drew has been adapted for film many times and for the small screen three times. Emma Roberts was cast as the titular character for the 2007 Nancy Drew film, which received many unfavorable reviews. Bonita Granville breathed life into the character in numerous films in the late 1930s. The first Nancy Drew television adaptation, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, ran from 1977 to 1979, followed up by the one-and-done Nancy Drew series in 1995, and lastly, ABC’s 2002 Nancy Drew television movie starring Maggie Lawson.
Sarah has been a regular cast member of Person of Interest for the past couple of seasons. Due to pregnancy, Shahi wasn’t able to appear on the show for the entire fourth season. After taking a maternity leave, Sarah Shahi was announced to be a full-time cast member for the upcoming fifth season. In that vein, it’s interesting to note that after the deal was made, CBS prioritized Drew ahead of a possible sixth season of Person of Interest. CBS has said that they haven’t committed to a sixth season yet. While no official date has been announced on when Season 5 will air, CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller said in January that the show will come back in the spring.
“My guess is [Season 5] is the final season,” POI executive producer J.J. Abrams said last month at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “The only heartbreak there is how much good story there was to come if it were to have continued.”
After a breakout performance on The L World, Sarah Shahi played the female lead role opposite actor Damian Lewis on NBC’s Life and played a prominent role in USA’s legal drama Fairly Legal. Shahi also played a recurring role on NBC’s Chicago Fire.
Are you excited to see Nancy Drew as an NYPD detective in her 30s? And do you think Sarah Shahi is the right actor for the role? Sound off in the comments section below.
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