BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Pamela Sue Martin, TV’s original Nancy Drew, has passed the torch to the actress playing the latest incarnation of the teenage sleuth.
Martin will appear on The CW’s remake that blends mystery, suspense, a supernatural element and a bit of horror. She got her big break on “The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries” with Shaun Cassidy and Parker Stevenson in the late 1970s.
Martin wrote a letter to Kennedy McMann, who at 22 is getting her big break on the remake a year after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University.
“It’s, like, tear-stained. I cried when I read it,” McMann told a TV critics gathering on Sunday. “It had a lot to do just with the industry and standing up for oneself and making your own decisions and how to kind of transition into a role like this and the repercussions of that in Hollywood. It was very thoughtful.”
Martin quit the original after one season when her role was reduced with the merger of the two shows. But she was thrilled to be asked to appear in the remake.
“She came so prepared,” director Larry Teng said. “She was a real huge contributor.”
While some of the characters and mystery theme resemble the original, McMann’s Nancy Drew has sex.
“We’re making the show for The CW and that audience,” executive producer Stephanie Savage said. “The little ones know that this show isn’t for them, and they’re going to have to wait until they’re older.”
Scott Wolf, who plays the sleuth’s father, Carson, joked, “I was just hearing about this sex thing for the first time. We’ll talk later.”
McMann, the daughter of young adult author Lisa McMann, grew up reading the Nancy Drew series of books, but she didn’t reread them in preparation for the role.
“I wanted to just be true and dedicate myself to the Nancy that we were creating,” she said, “with all the knowledge that I already had to back up the historical relevance of her traits.”
“Nancy Drew” debuts Oct. 9.