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

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.

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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