‘Nancy Drew’ is on the case in new CW se­ries

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - On Tv -

A new se­ries’ ver­sion of Nancy Drew surely isn’t your mother’s or grand­mother’s.

The mys­ter­ies by au­thor Carolyn Keene – ac­tu­ally a pseu­do­nym for sev­eral writ­ers – have en­ter­tained gen­er­a­tions, and The CW of­fers a very mod­ern take on the char­ac­ter as “Nancy Drew” pre­mieres Wed­nes­day, Oct. 9. Rel­a­tive new­comer Kennedy McMann plays the young sleuth whose mourn­ing of her late mother strains her re­la­tion­ship with her fa­ther Car­son (Scott Wolf ) ... not helped when Nancy be­comes a sus­pect in a mur­der she dis­cov­ers out­side the diner where she wait­resses.

“I have quite a long his­tory with Nancy Drew,” McMann re­ports. “I come from a su­per-lit­er­ary fam­ily. My mom’s an au­thor. I grew up read­ing the books. I played the com­puter games all through col­lege. When (this job) came about, I was like, ’I’ve been do­ing this my whole life! I’m ready to go.’

“But when I got the part, it had been a while since I read the books, and I in­ten­tion­ally did not re-read them be­cause I was con­fi­dent in the his­tory that I had with the char­ac­ter. And I wanted to just be true and ded­i­cate my­self to the Nancy that we were cre­at­ing.”

Other fa­mil­iar “Nancy Drew” fig­ures are rep­re­sented in the show, in­clud­ing Bess and Ge­orge (Leah Lewis, Mad­di­son Jaizani), though they and Nancy aren’t quite the close friends the books por­tray. Also re­main­ing a ma­jor el­e­ment is Ned Nick­er­son (Tunji Kasim), but his re­la­tion­ship with Nancy – which goes well be­yond “chaste” in the pi­lot – en­dures some big tests, in­di­cated by the note the open­ing hour ends on. Alex Saxon ap­pears as Nancy’s savvy ally Ace.

Tele­vi­sion has made pre­vi­ous runs at “Nancy Drew,” in­clud­ing a 1970s se­ries that starred Pamela Sue Martin (who turns up in the new one), a syn­di­cated 1995 show with Tracy Ryan and a 2002 TV-movie fea­tur­ing Mag­gie Law­son. Ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Stephanie Sav­age, team­ing again with “Gos­sip Girl” and “The O.C.” pro­duc­ing part­ner Josh Schwartz, says the lat­est “Nancy Drew” has a clear aim.

“We’re mak­ing the show for The CW and that au­di­ence,” Sav­age main­tains. “I have nieces that are 7 and 5, and god­daugh­ters that are in high school and col­lege; we’ve read the books to­gether and watched the ’70s se­ries to­gether, and the lit­tle ones know that this show isn’t for them and that they’re go­ing to have to wait ‘til they’re older.

“What they love,” adds Sav­age of “Drew” fans of all ages, “is the world of the story and the core char­ac­ter of Nancy Drew and the traits that she em­bod­ies ... of be­ing smart and brave and cu­ri­ous, and want­ing to set the world right by fig­ur­ing out what went wrong.”

Kennedy McMann

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