EXCLUSIVE: Newcomer Kennedy McMann has landed the title role in the CW’s untitled Nancy Drew drama pilot, inspired by the classic mysteries about the brilliant young sleuth. Leah Lewis (The CW’s Charmed) will co-star in the pilot, from Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s Fake Empire and CBS TV Studios, which has tapped Larry Teng (the CW’s Supergirl) as director and Melinda Hsu Taylor (The Ce’s The Vampire Diaries) as executive producer/showrunner.
Written/executive produced by Noga Landau, Schwartz and Savage, the untitled Nancy Drew project centers on 18-year-old Nancy Drew (McMann) and is set in the summer after her high school graduation. She thought she’d be leaving her hometown for college, but when a family tragedy holds her back another year, she finds herself embroiled in a ghostly murder investigation — and along the way, uncovers secrets that run deeper than she ever imagined. When Nancy ends up a suspect in a murder, it rekindles her love for detective work, even though the clues lead her to believe that a long-dead local girl may be the killer.
Lewis plays George, a tough, tattooed girl from the wrong side of the tracks who felt personally wronged by Nancy in high school. George now finds herself a suspect in the killing along with her former nemesis, forcing her to team up with Nancy to track the culprit and clear their names… and it just may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
This marks the first pilot directing gig for veteran episodic director Teng who has served as co-executive producer/director on the CW’s Supergirl, TNT’s Animal Kingdom and NBC/CBS’ Medium. He also has helmed multiple episodes of The Walking Dead, The Good Doctor, S.W.A.T., Criminal Minds, Elementary and Lethal Weapon. He is repped by Rothman Brecher Ehrich Livingston and Circle of Confusion.
This also marks the first showrunner gig for Hsu Taylor who spent four seasons on the CW’s The Vampire Diaries, rising to executive producer, and currently serves as executive producer on Fox’s Gifted. She is repped by CAA.
McMann is a recent Carnegie Mellon School of Drama who has done guest appearances on NBC’s Law & Order: SVU and NBCU’s Gone. She is repped by Buchwald.
Lewis did an arc as Angela Wu on the CW/CBS Studios’ Charmed reboot this season. Last season, she co-starred in the CW/CBS Studios pilot Playing Dead. The actress/singer also recurred on YouTube’s Sing It! and recently guest starred on The Good Doctor, Station 19 and The Gifted. She is repped by Paradigm, Strong Management, Play Talent, and Morris Yorn.