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NYCC 2019: Nancy Drew cast and creators embrace the supernatural

By Donnie Lederer
Nancy Drew

Regardless of the time period, one thing is certain when it comes to Nancy Drew: She's always the smartest person in the room. The tradition continues this fall when the new series premieres on The CW. Kennedy McMann stars as Nancy, who has put her college plans on hold after a family tragedy. When she and her friends become suspects in a murder investigation, it's up to Nancy to discover the truth, even if the answer is not of this plane of existence.

SYFY WIRE was at the show's New York Comic Con panel today, where the cast and crew held a pilot screening before an in-depth discussion. On hand were cast members McMann, Tunji Kasim (Nick), Alex Saxon (Ace), Leah Lewis (George), Maddison Jaizani (Bess), and Scott Wolf (Carson), along with executive producers Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, Noga Landau, and Melinda Hsu Taylor.

Following the screening of the pilot, the team took the stage for the panel discussion. Landau discussed the way the series is going to embrace the supernatural. "The original books had a lot of hints of the supernatural, but it was always people in masks," she said. "We thought it would be cool to put actual ghosts into the show." Hsu-Taylor added that they originally had a less subtle way to show the focus of the series: "The original title of the series was The Haunting of Nancy Drew, so we had this idea from the beginning."

The panel moved to the cast and their characters. McMann discussed how this was the perfect role for her: "It was exactly the Nancy I've always pretended to be. She's so unafraid to do what it takes to right wrongs. She's brave, for better or worse."

Lewis talked about how there is more to George than the tough exterior she portrays in the pilot: "She is a bit of a sarcastic Debbie Downer who does not like Nancy. There's a deep-rooted resentment between her and Nancy." She continued, "She's had a lot on her plate since she was very young, and there's a lot more layers to her that I am excited for all of you to see." Many of the things on her plate stem from her alcoholic mother, who Landau confirmed we would meet within the series, along with more of the kids' parents.

Nancy Drew | Hidden Staircase Teaser | The CW

Scott Wolf, who plays Nancy's father, Carson, talked about the father-daughter dynamic in the wake of the death of Nancy's mother. "They mourned the loss individually, so they are both trying to figure out what life together is supposed to be," he said. "Since Nancy stayed home instead of going to college, Carson is trying to figure out what it means at this stage to be her father."

The discussion moved to expectations for the first season. In the tradition of The CW's other Supernatural show, Schwartz let us know that "while there will be one to two overarching mysteries through the season, each episode will have its own 'mini-mystery' for Nancy to solve."

Oh, and for fans of Nancy's mystery-solving friends the Hardy Boys, Landau said "if it were legally viable we would definitely entertain their appearance." So you're saying there's a chance.

The series premiere of Nancy Drew happens this Wednesday, Oct. 9, on The CW.

Click here for SYFY WIRE’s full coverage of New York Comic Con 2019, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.