What else would Nance Drew, girl detective, grow up to be but a strong woman serving as a New York City police detective?
The now 30-something cultural idol, played by Sarah Shahi (Person of Interest, Fairly Legal, The L Word, Chicago Fire), stars in the pilot that was passed on by CBS because — are you ready? — according to Deadline Hollywood, it tested well but skewed too female for the network’s schedule.
According to the last survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, when it comes to watching TV, the average hours per day for persons who engaged in the activity totaled men at 3.80 hours and women at 3.29. These are not landslide numbers in favor of guys. In fact, my guess is that men watched longer only because whatever game was on went into overtime. Therefore, I am not sure why such deference is being paid.
To her Twitter followers, outraged that the show was not picked up, Shahi responded, “I believe we need strong female role models. She [Nancy Drew] def could have been one.” I could not agree more. When it comes to kick-ass female cops, Olivia Benson has been carrying the ball far too long. Also, NBC has canceled Debra Messing’s The Mysteries of Laura, whose title character I thought was a fine runner-up.
Nancy Drew first appeared in 1930 as a character in a book series. She evolved as a heroine for subsequent generations. The books are still published today under the uber title Nancy Drew Diaries where she uses current technology to solve crimes.
When I was a young girl, I found Nancy Drew empowering, as she was an equal to the Hardy Boys, evidenced by The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, which aired from 1977 to ’79. In the 1980s, an older and more professional Nancy emerged in The Nancy Drew Files, which also included romantic subplots.
Feminists have argued that the character’s enduring appeal is that she has a mythic hero quality, as well as challenging the idea that femininity can’t also be intelligent and fearless.
I was excited and proud to introduce Nancy to my daughter in 2007, when Emma Roberts played her in the latest updated movie version.
As a native New Yorker, I love the idea that this dedicated crime-solver would join the NYPD.
Word is that corporate sibling CBS Television Studios is now seeking other prospective buyers for the show, described as a contemporary take on the iconic character as a police detective investigating and solving crimes using her uncanny observational skills while navigating the complexities of life in a modern world.
Hulu? Netflix? Someone has to be savvy enough to know that this classic female figure needs to be back on television to inspire young women, as well as those of us who sometimes need to remember how feminine, intelligent and fearless we are.