Sarah Shahi to Star in Nancy Drew CBS Pilot ‘Drew’

Sarah Shahi

CBS has found their Nancy Drew in Sarah Shahi, who will play the titular role in “Drew,” the network’s modernized spin on the classic detective character, Variety has learned.

Since ordering the pilot, CBS has been very vocal about wanting to cast a diverse actress in the lead role, with network president Glenn Geller saying the star would not be Caucasian and the search would be open to all other ethnicities. Born in Texas, Shahi is from Iranian, Persian and Spanish ancestry.

Titled “Drew,” the potential series is described as a contemporary take on the character from the iconic Nancy Drew book series. The pilot will center around a 30-something who is a more mature version of Nancy than the one in the popular novels. 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.

“Graceland’s” Vanessa Ferlito will play Nancy’s former NYPD partner George in the pilot; “ER” alum Anthony Edwards will portray Nancy’s father, Carson, who graduated at the top of his class at Yale Law; and Felix Solis will appear as Lt. Ford, an NYPD lieutenant who finds Nancy’s confidence and willingness to stand up and disagree with him unnerving.


Nancy Drew CBS

CBS Orders Pilot for Diverse Nancy Drew Series

Shahi is a familiar face to the network, as she has starred in the network’s crime drama “Person of Interest” since its second season. Though that series’ cancellation has not officially been announced, exec producer J.J. Abrams has hinted that the fifth season would be the last, and with Shahi’s casting in a hot pilot at CBS, it seems likely “Person of Interest’s” fate is sealed.

Prior to “Person of Interest,” Shahi starred in USA Network’s “Fairly Legal.” She also played substantial roles on “The L Word” and “Chicago Fire.”

“Drew” hails from CBS Television Studios and writers Joan Rater and Tony Phelan (“Grey’s Anatomy”) who will exec produce with Dan Jinks.

Shahi is repped by CAA, McKeon-Myones Management and attorneys Meyer & Downs.

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  1. karinsuezen28 says:

    haven’t seen this advertised as a new series….is it still coming

  2. Laer Carroll says:

    Longtime ND fan, and of SS, I really look forward to this.

  3. Edwin says:

    I would be somewhat excited if this was some kind of future story, where after solving all those cases as a kid, she joins the police and becomes quickly disillusioned to how truly awful being a detective in New York is. Her experience as a prodigy child detective worthless in the face of bureaucracy and corruption.

    Instead this just sounds like more “in name only” schlock like WWZ.

  4. ludi66 says:

    I read all of the Nancy Drew books when I was a child. I love Sarah Shahi (she should stay in Person of Interest) but sorry she is totally miscast as Nancy Drew perhaps a little too old?. But with Hollywood’s new obsession of never casting white people when the stories are about white characters,. I am just surprised that they didn’t cast an African American as they did in “Little orphan Annie”… I think that they are pushing this ‘White lives don’t matter anymore’ a bit too far.

  5. Another Poster says:

    The ratings for Warner Brothers owned Person of Interest in 2015 were better than the current ratings of CBS owned Limitless are now. Congratulations to Ms. Shahi on being cast as Nancy Drew, but, I think Person of Interest is the best program being cancelled in 2016.I hope Pamela Sue Martin makes a cameo on the new Nancy Drew.

  6. Don't Mind Me Now says:

    What’s the point of making it “Nancy Drew” if it’s about a police detective in her 30’s? Are you telling me that I can get a show about two octogenarians making small talk on their retirement home porch picked up by a major network as long as I say that they used to be the Hardy Boys?

    You can age up a literary character well – see last year’s “Mr. Holmes” for an example – but this seems like they came up with the police procedural idea and then retroactively made it “Nancy Drew”. Just stupid.

  7. Dave Akh says:

    Iranians are caucasians.
    Persia was a country where modern day Iran and Iraq are now. Persians are caucasian.
    Spaniards, again, are by definition caucasian. Ask them! They will tell you so!
    I do not think Americans have any clue about race, and that is the heart of the problem.

  8. Hello Larry says:

    I hope this whole project fails on its face they’re trying to change Nancy Drew way too much for my taste here. Not only is Nancy Drew supposed to be a white girl but she’s supposed to be a teen sleuth. Why is she in her 30s as a NYPD detective. The charm of the Nancy Drew from the 70s was that she was a teen with no badge and investigated crimes with no authority.

    This Nancy Drew should’ve been setup more like Veronica Mars but CBS has dearly messed this one up big-time and I hope it fails miserably.

  9. Einar says:

    Titular. Oh yes.

  10. cadavra says:

    Sarah is an inspired choice–she can play dweeby (FAIRLY) and tough (POI) equally well. As for POI itself, she joined the cast mid-run, so her departure would not ipso facto mean the show would end (though its fate seems to be sealed anyway).

  11. Grrrrrrrrr says:

    Just WhenTF is CBS going to actrually run the final season of POI?

  12. Yay for diversity! Now CBS can add one more run of the mill police procedural to their broadcast schedule that makes everyone sleep better at night.

  13. lulu says:

    She looks like Kim Kardashian on this picture, change it, it is not Sarah..on this picture !!! ha

  14. Michelle says:

    I like the diverse cast, but making them in their 30s and a detective for the NYPD pretty much takes away the whole fancifulness of the series. Sounds like just another cop show now. But an amateur sleuth who gets into sticky situations is much more intriguing.

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