Angela Lansbury may have put the kibosh on the Murder, She Wrote reboot, but Octavia Spencer won't be kept from TV. The Oscar-winning Fruitvale Station co-star has signed up for Fox's hospital drama Red Band Society. We reported earlier that Emmy-nominated Boardwalk Empire scribe Margaret Nagle will adapt a Spanish series about adolescents with cancer, anorexia, and Asperger's for American audiences.
The Hollywood Reporter describes the stateside version as "a dark dramedy that focuses on the daily lives of a group of teenagers living in a hospital who become unlikely friends. ... Spencer will make her series TV debut in the hourlong entry and play Nurse Jackson, who works in the pediatrics ward. She's an authoritative, intuitive woman who doesn't put up with crap from anyone. She refuses to reveal emotions on the job and believes that anything she feels is nothing compared to the real pain and trauma her young patients are going through."
Meanwhile, another woman-run network drama has just found its lead. JoAnna Garcia Swisher, who recently wrapped up an arc on ABC's Once Upon a Time, will star in Stephanie Savage's Astronaut Wives Club. The ten-episode summer series will be set during space-race days and focus on a group of women whose husbands have been tapped to fly into the black unknown. Swisher's character is described by Deadline as "a bouncy redhead with curls askew and a folksy Hoosier accent [with] a down-home appeal, which endears her to the public."