US TV network NBC is planning a new version of Murder She Wrote with Oscar-winning The Help star Octavia Spencer taking over from Angela Lansbury in the lead role., which broke the story, says that Spencer will play a hospital administrator who self-publishes her first mystery novel and becomes an amateur sleuth.

The website says that Lansbury has been approached to take part in the new show, which is described as "a light, contemporary procedural in the vein of Bones or Fargo".

Commenting on the new show, Spencer said: "I've always considered myself an armchair detective and in a recent meeting with [NBC chairman] Bob Greenblatt, he asked me what type of character would be able to lure me to TV. Naturally, I said, 'JB Fletcher [Lansbury's character] meets Colombo'... And here we are."