Miss Marple Series Inspired by Agatha Christie’s Books in the Works at CBS

Miss Marple CBS
Courtesy of Collins Crime Club

CBS is developing a series inspired by Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple books, Variety has learned.

Simply titled “Marple,” the crime drama comes from scribe David Wolstencroft who will serve as an exec producer with Hilary Strong of Agatha Christie Ltd., and Christie’s grandson Matthew Prichard. The latter duo are attached as non-writing EPs.

The series features a new spin on the classic, showcasing a much younger version of the title crime-solver. “Marple” revolves around a young lady who, after inheriting her grandmother’s bookstore and realizes that things in her small California town aren’t what they seem, begins working as a private investigator to get to the bottom of the town’s mysteries.

CBS isn’t the first network to adapt Miss Marple for television. The BBC had a murder mystery series titled “Miss Marple,” which starred Joan Hickson and aired from 1984-1992. “Agatha Christie’s Marple” was another British series, this time from ITV, which debuted in 2004 and ran until 2013. From the first through third season, Geraldine McEwan played the title character, followed by Julia McKenzie who took over in the fourth season.

First introduced in a 1927 short story, the fictional Miss Marple character appeared in 20 short stories total and 12 of Christie’s crime novels.

CBS Television Studios will produce.

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  1. marblex says:

    The “Marple” series was god-awful and most, not even loosely based on Christie’s actual stories. Other than using her titles and some character names, the Marple series was a turd on the Marple namesake. The 1980s Miss Marple series with Joan Hickson was superb, by very sharp contrast, but it was based on Chrstie’s stories and not horrible “re-writes” by non-talents riding Christie’s coat-tails. I shudder to think how, this putative series from CBS will further sully the Marple name. CBS: Want to do a series about a young detective who inherits a bookshop from granny? MAKE ONE UP. Don’t use A.C.’s name and characters to bootstrap yourself. It’s shitting all over Christie’s memory. She created Miss Marple as an old lady whose age and wisdom had given her the experience and ability to recognize human archetypes.

  2. Diane Furuya says:

    Loved the Ms Marple shows on PBS and looking forward to this series. Can’t wait!

  3. BobC. says:

    As much as I loved Angela Lansbury in MURDER SHE WROTE (never missed a Sunday with her), I can only fantasize how Doris Day would’ve been as Jessica Fletcher solving cases in Carmel (or what Carmel’s fictionalized name would’ve been) had Day agreed to do the series.

    Maybe Day might agree to do a guest appearance in a flashback as the grandmother. Wow! Ratings would be yooooge!

  4. cadavra says:

    What? You mean she won’t be a 30-ish cop with the NYPD???

    The trashing of iconic characters to pander to a brain-dead generation that doesn’t watch TV anyway clearly knows no bounds.

  5. jazz says:

    sounds like they’re taking a literary classic and turning it into ‘murder she wrote’…i’ll stick with the bbc version with geraldine mcewan…the best marple ever…

    • Sandi says:

      I agree with you jazz, although I must admit to enjoying Margaret Rutherford in her role as Miss Marple – What a laugh!!!

      The other reason I enjoyed the episodes with Geraldine (and to a slightly lesser extent, Julia too), was that the sets were always awesome. The countryside, the old mansions and manors, the costumes, the cars were just fabulous. I fear the new Marple may end up every bit as brash as the other Divine Miss M if left to the Americans to recreate. I simply cannot imagine Miss Marple with an american accent.

      • marblex says:

        imho Hickson was the only Marple worthy of the name. The Mcewan/Makenzie series was horrifyingly bad, as both ladies played Marple like a twinkly-eyed homeless busybody (god those hats..ugh). The stories were rewritten so as to be unrecognizable, even inserting Marple into stories in which she never appeared. UGH. If you want to see Marple with an American accent, watch the Helen Hayes Marple. (She did A Caribbean Mystery, for instance). I just can’t bear the thought of even more liberties being taken with A.C.’s works. She must be spinning in her grave.

    • gmatusk says:

      Geraldine’s Miss Marple is NOT a BBC show — it is a production of the commercial ITV network. In the USA, PBS edits out ITV’s commercials. Similarly, “Foyle’s War” is NOT a BBC show — it is an ITV production and is shown in the UK with commercials.

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