Nancy Drew CW TV Pilot Adds Freddie Prinze Jr.

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Nancy Drew is CW-bound! The latest TV pilot is the culmination of years of attempts to revive the venerable literary franchise focused on the eponymous young female detective, which launched back in 1930. The creation of publisher Edward Stratemeyer, the books have passed through the hands of myriad writers.

While Warner just released the film, Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, starring It actress Sophia Lillis, its TV arm has its own plans. The effort to revive Nancy Drew for TV most recently manifested with a project eyed by NBC after CBS passed on a Sarah Shahi-starring pilot. The CW pilot is run by a sizable team of writers/executive producers consisting of Noga Landau, Melinda Hsu Taylor, Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, joined by co-executive producer Lis Rowinski. Larry Teng (The Walking Dead, Supergirl) will direct and executive produce the pilot.

Nancy Drew CW Cast

Freddie Prinze Jr. has joined the cast of The CW’s Nancy Drew pilot, as trades such as Variety report. Prinze will play Carson Drew, Nancy’s father, described as “a dynamic attorney who has become estranged from Nancy following the recent death of his beloved wife – but his attempts to reconnect with his daughter run aground when Nancy’s murder investigation reveals unsettling secrets from Carson’s own past.”

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If your formative years were spent watching Prinze in 1990s and 2000s era teen fare movies like I Know What You Did Last Summer, She’s All That, Summer Catch, the Scooby-Doo live-action movies and (as he’d probably like to forget,) flopped video game adaptation Wing Commander, then the idea of him playing Nancy’s father might be humbling. Yet, it follows a pattern for The CW, which seems to have found a successful strategy in casting former teen idols, notably with Riverdale’s parent cast of Molly Ringwald, Skeet Ulrich and the late Luke Perry.  

Prinze – like his wife, Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar – has since scaled back his acting career, and, barring a brief run on Fox’s Bones, he’s reinvented himself as a voice actor, notably gaining praise amongst the hard-to-please Star Wars fandom for his portrayal of Kanan Jarrus on the acclaimed series, Star Wars Rebels. For those unaware, Prinze Jr. is the second-generation namesake son of the late comedian and star of the popular 1970s TV sitcom, Chico and the Man.

Here’s the rest of The CW’s Nancy Drew cast…

Kennedy McMann will star as Nancy Drew. It’s quite a coup for the newcomer actress, since her only two existing credits consist of TV guest roles in episodes of Law & Order: SVU and Gone.

McMann is joined by Leah Lewis (Charmed), Maddison Jaizani (Into the Badlands), Tunji Kasim (Cold Feet) and Alex Saxon (The Fix).

The would-be series is a production of companies CBS Television Studios and Fake Empire.

We’ll keep you updated here on The CW’s Nancy Drew as things develop!

Joseph Baxter is a contributor for Den of Geek and Syfy Wire. You can find his work here. Follow him on Twitter @josbaxter.

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