Update: Actress Sarah Shahi has been cast in the role of Nancy Drew in the upcoming CBS series, reports Entertainment Weekly. Shahi fits the bill for what the network promised, which is to say she's not white. A former NFL cheerleader who also appeared on The L Word and currently stars as Sameen Shaw on the CBS crime drama Person of Interest, Shahi is of Iranian, Persian, and Spanish descent.
This story was originally published on January 12, 2016.
Millennials might have buried their noses in Harriet the Spy books. But avid mystery-lovers who came before them were likely directed toward an earlier whodunnit heroine: Nancy Drew. And while we've seen updated takes on the character from time to time since the first book was published in 1930 — notably, Emma Roberts' portrayal in the 2007 movie, Nancy Drew — there hasn't been a particularly relatable iteration of the crime-solver in recent history. CBS is set to change that, the network revealed today."She is diverse, that is the way she is written," the network's entertainment president, Glenn Geller, told The Hollywood Reporter of the lead character in the new Nancy Drew series, currently in development. Geller did not spell out exactly what "diverse" will translate to, only that CBS is looking for the right actress to take on the role. "[She will] not [be] Caucasian," he added. "I'd be open to any ethnicity." CBS first alerted potential audiences of its plan to revamp the feminist icon in October of 2015. At the time, representatives reported the series would be a drama centered on a thirtysomething Drew, who has become an NYPD detective and must also navigate the mysteries of the modern world. (Fingers crossed that doesn't necessarily mean men — although we're pretty sure that Nancy Drew would be the most badass Tinder wingwoman who ever lived.) Nancy Drew isn't the only show that CBS intends to make more diverse. "We have a lot of new series in development," Geller explained, "both series targeted to have full African-American or Latino casts, but also many leads that are being developed [as diverse]." "We're not casting color blind," he added. "We're casting color conscious."