When Does the CW Show ‘Nancy Drew’ Premiere?

Another adaptation is headed to the CW. This time, it’s an even older property: the Nancy Drew mystery novels. Nancy Drew has been around for nearly a century, so it’s a bit surprising that it’s finally being adapted (or that it took this long, to be honest). Here’s what we learned at an exclusive screening and panel discussion at San Diego Comic-Con for the upcoming drama. 

A quick synopsis

Here’s what you can expect from the new series: Nancy is a popular high school student with a boyfriend and lots of friends — until her mom passes away. Then she stops “chasing the shadows” and decides to avoid solving crimes for a while. But when Mrs. Hudson is suddenly murdered while her husband is in the diner making a shady business deal, it would appear. Nancy is forced back on the case — as she’s a prime suspect. 

Given that it’s on the CW, there’s a very Riverdale-esque vibe to the show — hyper-stylized, a murder mystery, and lots of beautiful young people. At least Nancy and her crew are in their 20s, making it a bit more believable that they’d have the time and maturity to take on something like this. 

How they found their Nancy Drew

The producers, Stephanie Savage, Noga Landau, and Melinda Hsu Taylor, were certain of their choice, actress Kennedy McMann, right away. “Kennedy has many talents and charms, but of the things we first responded to in her audition tape, before we met her in person, was her confidence and her intelligence,” said Savage. 

They described what they were looking to establish with this character: “Brave, smart, fearless,” with “universal appeal” in her adventurous spirit. “She has flaws. She has tragedy. She’s lost things. This complicated relationship with her family and friends,” said Landau.

McMann felt a cosmic draw to the part.

Leah Lewis, Kennedy McMann, and Tunji Kasim speak at the Nancy Drew exclusive screening during 2019 Comic-Con International
Leah Lewis, Kennedy McMann, and Tunji Kasim speak at the Nancy Drew exclusive screening during 2019 Comic-Con International. | Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Of course, many young women auditioned for the part, but it was the blonde McMann (her hair is dyed red in the show) who had all of these things. “Of all the girls that we saw, Kennedy was the smart one,” said Savage. “She knew what she was talking about, she was observant…but she also had a vulnerability.”

And McMann knew she wanted it right away. “I got a text from my agents while I was playing Dungeons and Dragons with my friends,” she said. “And she’s like, ‘Oh my god Kennedy, there’s a Nancy Drew script, you’ve got to read for it. And I had this moment… I looked at my friends, and I was like, ‘Guys, I’m going to be Nancy Drew,” she recalls.

Your favorite characters are here, but they’re different

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In the series, Bess and George aren’t Nancy’s school girl BFFs — instead, they’re all co-workers at The Claw diner. George is in charge, and Bess is a rich college student from out of town, thought to be on a gap year. None of them get along — that is, until they’re forced to.

Ned Nickerson (who goes by Nick) is also around. He’s not exactly Nancy’s boyfriend, though — instead, he works at the repair shop next to the diner, and he and Nancy have a no-strings-attached kind of arrangement. For now, that is. Find out more when it premieres on Oct. 9, 2019. 

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