CBS Orders Pilots for Diverse Nancy Drew Series, Family Comedy Based on Australian Format

Nancy Drew CBS
Courtesy of Grosset & Dunlap

CBS has officially jumped into pilot season with the network ordering its first two new projects in contention for the 2016-17 season.

The modernized Nancy Drew drama has been picked up to pilot, in addition to an untitled comedy, based on the Australian series “Upper Middle Bogan,” Variety has learned.

Titled “Drew,” the Nancy Drew pilot hails from CBS Television Studios and writers Joan Rater and Tony Phelan (“Grey’s Anatomy”) who will exec produce with Dan Jinks. Described as a contemporary take on the character from the iconic Nancy Drew book series, the CBS project will center around a diverse, 30-something title character. A more mature version than the classic story, Nancy is now 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.

This past week at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif., new CBS president Glenn Geller said that the new Nancy Drew is written as a diverse character. He did not specify whether she’d be African-American, Latino, Asian or another ethnicity, but he did confirm she will not be Caucasian.

On the comedy side, Dan O’Shannon, Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope are adapting Australia’s “Upper Middle Bogan,” which is untitled in the pilot phase at CBS. The trio will serve as co-writers and exec producers, along with EP Todd Holland. The “extended family show” is about a wife and mother who learns she was adopted and that her birth parents are a flamboyant, but loving, family of drag-racers. CBS TV Studios and ABC Studios will co-produce the hybrid laffer with Dark Toy Entertainment also attached.

The two pilots join legal drama “Doubt,” the only other project on CBS’s slate thus far. Starring Katherine Heigl and Steven Pasquale, “Doubt” was rolled over from last season, as it was retooled for 2016-17 consideration. It also hails from Rater and Phelan, who along with “Drew,” now make up two-thirds of the network’s pilot slate at this point.

For detailed information on all of this year’s pilots, see Variety’s Pilot Scorecard.

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  1. Calina Joyce says:

    I’m excited for a new Nancy Drew TV series! No one’s ever done an adult portrayal of Nancy. The PC/Mac games have a really fun version of her. These are great mysteries to play while waiting for the show to air: I hope the show’s writing is up to par.

  2. Arthur Mooney says:

    Cool. When are they gonna get Willie Nelson and Kid Rock to play Sanford and Son? That’s only fair, right?

  3. So we doing the whole make a show that has nothing to do with source material and give it a famous title? Cool…coool

  4. Malcolm says:

    …why even call her “Drew” if her age, time period and race are different?

    Call it ‘Catwoman’ instead.

    • Cindy Vaughan says:

      Well said!!! It’s not Nancy Drew. Can we do one thing that’s true to the character? I was so excited about this. Now I have absolutely no desire to watch it. Just another crime show with Nancy Drew as the title. They screw everything up a nd then wonder why it gets cancelled?

  5. Holdsclaw says:

    Oh, my. This sounds absolutely dreadful. CBS is really going downhill. “Angel From Hell” is the worst TV show of the year, and now this? Wow.

  6. nathiest says:

    Racist. Nancy was for all girls her race shouldn’t matter. You making her race matter. That’s racist.

    • cadavra says:

      Translation: WHITE GENOCIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Eli says:

        If you are going to make a TV series out of a very popular book series, you might want to stick with the original plot and timeline. Completely changing everything will merely lead to yet another failed pathetic attempt at creating a “racially diverse” television menu.

      • cadavra says:

        Alex: I was being, like, totally sarcastic. This is what the wingers were screaming when they found out the lead in STAR WARS 7 was black.

      • Alex says:

        Your logic is somewhat twisted. If Nancy is indeed for all girls, then she can be any race.

      • guest says:

        Exactly nathiest. This stuff is getting ridiculous and quite sad. I don’t forsee it becoming a more than a failed pilot.

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