Sarah Shahi Cast as Nancy Drew

POI's Sarah Shahi Is CBS' Nancy Drew

CBS’ big Nancy Drew mystery has been solved: Person of Interest‘s Sarah Shahi has nabbed the coveted title role in the network’s contemporary take on the classic Carolyn Keene novels.

Drew, which has thus far only received a pilot order, finds the iconic crime solver — now in her thirties — putting her “uncanny observational skills” to work as a detective for the NYPD, while also navigating “the complexities of life in a modern world.”

CBS president Glenn Geller recently confirmed that the network was seeking a “diverse” actress to take on the role of Nancy. “I’d be open to any ethnicity,” he said. “We’re not casting color-blind, we’re casting color-conscious. It’s not ‘the best actor wins,’ it’s the right roles for diversity. … It really is about being conscious of what America looks like.”

Shahi joins a cast that also includes ER‘s Anthony Edwards (as Nancy’s dad), Graceland‘s Vanessa Ferlito (as a fellow NYPD detective) and The Good Wife‘s Felix Solis (as Nancy’s boss at the NYPD).

Joan Rater and Tony Phelan (Grey’s Anatomy) will co-write and executive-produce with Dan Jinks.

In addition to multiple film adaptations, Nancy Drew has been brought to the small screen three times: The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, which ran from 1977 to 1979; the one-and-done 1995 Nancy Drew series; and the 2002 TV movie (originally intended as a series), which starred Maggie Lawson as the amateur sleuth.

Shahi returned to Person of Interest on a full-time basis for the yet-to-be-scheduled Season 5, after taking a maternity leave. Curiously, TVLine has learned that the actress’ deal puts Drew in first position ahead of a potential — yet extremely unlikely — sixth season of POI. “My guess is [Season 5] is the final season,” executive producer J.J. Abrams said last month at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “The only heartbreak there is how much good story there was to come if it were to have continued.”

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73 Comments
  1. mika02 says:

    Pretty sure this means POI is dead but I am still so very excited for this and the Casting has been great so far!

  2. Jennifer says:

    OK. Between her and Anthony Edwards, I may give this a shot.

  3. Katy says:

    Dang she will be a good Nancy Drew but……I really loved POI such a shame to go out that way.

  4. David says:

    Interesting pick- and I’d think that definitely means POI is done (I wouldn’t be shocked if they save the final 13 for a summer run)

    • johnhelvete says:

      My prediction is a May 15 premiere for POI, the week after The Good Wife finale. That would mean Geller would technically be correct when he said that POI would premiere in the “spring” at TCA.

  5. Sammy says:

    Excited! Sarah will be amazing…

    Heartbroken… another nail in the POI coffin… oh well. It did go sideways in season 4 so not too surprised. It also did well on thursdays where it should have remained…

    Still at least Sarah will be back… now they can add Amy Acker in a role..

  6. Fine but I wish CBS would finally announce the start date of the new(last) season of POI…

  7. Shannon says:

    I loved Nancy Drew as a kid (I’m 17 now) but I always thought it would be nice if I could identify with her as far as looks. This actress definitely looks more like me than blonde-haired, blue-haired Nancy Drew, and I’m white! I still wish the series would be based on teen Nancy, though.

  8. Rebecca says:

    Sad for POI, but super happy for Sarah. I will follow Carmen anywhere.

  9. baz says:

    if this gets picked up could we see possible cross overs with Elementary??

  10. Tenney says:

    While I am a fan of Sarah Shahi from POI, this seems like strange casting to me. Wasn’t Nancy Drew a teenager?

  11. HAP says:

    I’m happy for Sarah. This could be a breakout role for a fine actress. Only down side is that just like POI, it appears Nancy Drew will be shot in New York. Sarah and husband Steve Howey live in LA. Sarah probably was not in some of the POI episodes during her pregnancy simply because of the commute.

  12. Alicia Gray says:

    Way to go CBS. Announce this before you cancel the show. Way to passive aggressively not make up your minds by saying this. jerks.

    • JenJ says:

      Exactly. Instead of giving us any kind of real info about when POI will return, they make casting announcements about the cast members. I wouldn’t be surprised if another announcement comes shortly that Jim Caviezel will star in a remake of “The Hardy Boys”, all grown up.

  13. What a beautiful casting! She’s perfect!

  14. iHeart says:

    well at least the reaction here is more positive than on the Nancy Drew Games page on facebook, (seriously they are pretty mad that they are aging up Nancy). However I am willing to give the show a chance.

    • Annie says:

      I’m a die-hard Nancy game player (like since they started making them) and I’m super happy with this casting. And I like the idea of aging her; I can’t handle any more teenagers-acting-like-adults type melodrama in my tv.

    • Ro says:

      Geez… I’m out of touch. There’s a Nancy Drew Games page?

  15. Jason says:

    Likely as it is that POI ends on CBS this year, it could find life on another outlet such as Netflix. They did pick up Longmire after all. If they do end up somewhere like that, it wouldn’t preclude her from doing both shows, what with the flexible schedules of cable and streaming services.

    • johnhelvete says:

      In the hypothetical scenario where Drew is picked up to series and POI is renewed for season 6, Shahi could probably do 3 episodes of POI.

  16. c-mo says:

    This is excellent casting for the Nancy Drew that they’re making but I’m still not happy that Nancy is basically Kate Beckett (without Castle); I want her to be more Veronica Mars-ish…and this from a Castle fan!

    • Annie says:

      I was hoping for a Veronica Mars-esque thing too, but I’ll be okay with a Kate Beckett knock off (I also love how Beckett is now the template for female detectives). Maybe they’ll find a middle ground.
      ….
      ….
      And we can start begging Rob Thomas to make more Veronica Mars stuff.

      • c-mo says:

        I like that too but I don’t want it for this show. I loved the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew mysteries, both TV show and books, growing up (yes, I’m old) so it is somewhat of a sacred cow to me. While I don’t begrudge the producers aging Nancy, I still want her to have a little of that naïveté, Sarah Shahi is a couple of years past naive…although she is beautiful and I’m sure will be at any age.

  17. King says:

    So her character Shaw dies in POI if this show is in first position? I HOPE I’m wrong. Even if POI gets cancelled, I’d like to see Shaw and Root alive til the end!

  18. Ella Jasper says:

    I loved her character on POI. I think she will be great. But, I was kind of hoping she would be one of the new people on NCIS. Oh well, she will make a lovely Nancy Drew. Looking forward to the series.

    • Debbie says:

      LOL I was just thinking the very same thing. They need a strong female to replace the Ziva character. I’ve also thought Mercedes Mason would be good on NCIS.

  19. the girl says:

    What I appreciate from this is the statement from CBS president Glenn Geller: “We’re not casting color-blind, we’re casting color-conscious.”

    And that is how you avoid things like #OscarsSoWhite. It’s so honest. There is no such thing as color blind. If you are writing a strong, compelling character, who would undoubtedly have a rich backstory that drives their current impulses, you have to be prepared to take into account where they were born, their family’s economic status, race and culture, religion, education, social experiences, ALL of it.

    That’s the kind of show or movie I want to watch. I applaud writers and producers who are thoughtful about the complexities of the American experience.

  20. getoffmylawn13 says:

    With Sarah Shahi in this role, I really hope this Nancy Drew won’t be straight :)

  21. Paloma says:

    Loved her in other things but not seeing her as Nancy Drew. Not loving the whole reimagining thing. I definitely would not imagine Nancy Drew as a NYPD detective, I always imagined her as a lawyer, following in her Dad’s footsteps and taking on the toughest cases that would require her to do a lot of field work and investigating, always getting into trouble and out again, helping the underdog, picking up on strange goings on and getting her own cases a lot of the time that way, just like in the books.

  22. GraceM says:

    So what ethnicity is Nancy supposed to be?

  23. william says:

    really enjoy watching sarah shahi act. i find her to be a great talent and have liked everything she has been in. looking forward to her new adventure.

  24. Mr. Tran K says:

    This should be huge for Sarah Shahi’s new TV gig even if POI is likely to end after five seasons.

  25. D says:

    man am i mad, i hate the race changing of classic characters but i fraking love Sarah Shahi which makes me rethink things, i guess it all depends on the casting i mean if it had been Toks Olagundoye cast i would still have to watch it

  26. John NYC says:

    I’ve liked her a lot in everything I’ve seen her in, Life, Fairly Legal, POI, so that’ll be a welcome tune in and Vanessa Ferlito impressed for the little I did watch Graceland.

  27. PatriciaLee says:

    The husband is bummed, “They aren’t even giving the shows a chance! They haven’t even been on!” Of course, he is a big Castle, Person of Interest and Sleepy Hollow fan. “Where they went wrong was the Samaritan thing. They stopped saving people and being the good guys, not exclusively doing that. Now, they are just working ordinary jobs, and that took the fun out of it.”

  28. Annie says:

    OMG THIS IS AMAZING!!! I *love* her. My interest in the project went from sceptical to ‘yup, totally watching’

  29. Carol C says:

    I’ve been a big fan of Shaki since “Life”. I hope this makes it to TV.

  30. kirads09 says:

    Well that does it – I’m in. I admit, she didn’t cross my mind, but thinking about it – great choice!

  31. leo says:

    POI was dead the minuet the studio fail to give a return date for the last episodes of the season. Being an avid fan of the series I’m truly sorry to see it end before it’s time. Glad to see that someone at the studio had the stones for diversity in casting, by chosing Sara Shahi.

  32. Carmen says:

    I don’t understand why they picked her out of all the actresses they could have picked. People keep talking about how she is “very hot”, but in reality, she is so average-looking to me. Not ugly, just nothing special. A lot of Persian women look like her!

  33. Erik says:

    As a fan of the older Nancy Drew & Hard series, the more details which are released about the verrry long departure from the original book series, and also of seeing what the the upcoming series’ details are being released, the series is a very distant departure. Apart from what I said above, the actress who’ll play the title character (Nancy) in appearance, at least, I think I might tune in for a while to have laughs and eyebrow raising.

  34. Jooshua says:

    And with that…. I’M IN!!

  35. Casting a muslim who had infiltrated the NYPD won’t be watched. . . .13 week cancellation. .sorry

  36. John Hibert says:

    Now that CBS destroyed any chance of Person of Interest it will fail now I will boycott the rest of their shows. Until they bring it back. NBC is doing great with Chicago PD and Mr Wolfe.

  37. dd2ufah says:

    I have a question for you, Michael. Person of Interest ran four years on CBS, always aired from September to May and had reasonably good ratings considering it was moved from nine Thursday to ten Tuesday for it’s third season.
    The last new episode aired May 5th, 2015 and there’s still no word of it’s status or when season 5 will air.
    My question is: Can you think of any other tv series in CBS history with success and critical aclaim comparable to Person of Interest that was treated in such a disgraceful manner?

  38. iTS NOT ‘BEST ACTOR WINS’…HERES WHERE THE TROUBLE STARTS.

  39. Bonnie says:

    Love Sarah! When does Drew start?

  40. Chuck says:

    Please put the POI Crew back together. We miss Root and Shameen’s Characters and surely there is enough storyline for 2 more 22 episode years. Also, if the writers need material and/or ideas, I can assist…..

  41. Chuck says:

    One more thing, it is the only show on TV that holds my interest…

  42. theliberalbuzz says:

    Sorry but I see this show being cancelled within 6 to 8 weeks.

  43. Gogzy says:

    While this signals the end fo POI, it might be worth a wqtch, Ill definitely give it a try as I really like her as an actress.