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This Show Got Axed For Being ‘Too Female’

Many girls grew up reading the Nancy Drew series, which chronicled the adventures of the clever amateur sleuth with a knack for solving mysteries. So, naturally, there was a lot of hype surrounding Drew, a TV series recreating the adventures of Nancy Drew with a modern twist. Rather than a teenage girl solving mysteries in her spare time, the show revolves around a now 30-year-old Nancy Drew, played by Sarah Shahi, who works as a homicide detective for the NYPD.

With all the excitement about the show, it’s hard to believe CBS decided not to pick up the series, but that’s not even the worst part. Nellie Andreeva at Deadline reports, “I hear the pilot tested well but skewed too female for CBS’ schedule.”

Upon hearing the show was not picked up, Shahi took to Twitter to share the disappointing news.

This led to some pointed reactions, particularly concerning the reasoning behind the decision to not pick up the series. As Jenny Jaffe tweeted, “Why admit it tested well?? Why is too female an acceptable criticism?” Jen Kirkman chimed in, pointing out the irony, “It skewed too ‘51% of the country’s population?'” 

Shahi’s starring role would have been a major step forward for women of color: the actress, of Iranian and Spanish descent, would have been the first woman of color to play Nancy Drew onscreen, diverting from the traditional depiction of Nancy Drew as a blonde or red-headed white woman—as seen on the novel covers and in the 2007 film adaptation starring Emma Roberts.

The show is now being shopped around by CBS TV Studios, so let’s hope another network picks it up despite the fact—or perhaps even because—some believe it is “too female.”

Mariel Barbadillo is currently in her third year at the University of California, Davis. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and a minor in Sociology. Her interests include music, travel, and social justice. In her free time, she enjoys going to concerts, playing piano, and catching up on the latest episode of The Fosters and Pretty Little Liars.
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