Martin, who will guest star in the pilot, played the brilliant teen sleuth in the first (and to date most successful) TV series adaptation of the Nancy Drew books, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, which ran from 1977-79 on ABC. She will appear alongside newcomer Kennedy McMann, who is taking the mantle of playing the amateur detective.
Written by Noga Landau, Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage and directed by Larry Teng, the CW’s untitled Nancy Drew project, from Schwartz and Savage’s Fake Empire and CBS TV Studios, 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.
Martin will play Harriet Grosset, a small-town psychic who offers her talents to help Nancy investigate a murder — and ends up delivering an otherworldly clue that neither of them bargained for. The name of the character appears to be paying homage to Nancy Drew’s origins: author Harriet Adams is credited with shaping up the literary character and early storylines, while Grosset & Dunlap was the publisher of the first books in the series.
It’s too early to say whether Martin could recur on the potential CW series, but given the setup of her character as an adviser to Nancy, it should be considered a possibility.
This is the latest instance of the CW reviving an iconic character for the younger generation while also honoring is past. John Wesley Shipp, who played The Flash in the 1990 series, recurs as Barry Allen’s father on the CW’s The Flash. (The original series’ Amanda Pays has appeared on the CW show, reprising her character as Dr. Tina McGee.)
Meanwhile, Lynda Carter, who paved the way for female superheroes on TV as the star of the 1975-79 series Wonder Woman, has recurred as President Olivia Marsdin on the CW’s Supergirl.
Landau executive produces the Nancy Drew pilot with Melinda Hsu Taylor, who serves as showrunner. Fake Empire’s Schwartz and Savage. Teng and Lis Rowinski co-exec produce.
In addition to her starring turn as Nancy Drew, Martin is known for her role in 1980s soap Dynasty, which also is being rebooted by the CW, Fake Empire and CBS TV Studios.