Nancy Drew (2002 film)

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Nancy Drew
Genre Mystery
Based on Nancy Drew
by Carolyn Keene
Written by Ami Canaan Mann
Directed by James Frawley
Theme music composer Richard Marvin
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Executive producer(s) Lawrence Bender
Kevin Kelly Brown
James Frawley
Producer(s) Hans Proppe
Ami Canaan Mann
Cinematography James Chressanthis
Editor(s) Micky Blythe
Scott Vickrey
Running time 87 minutes
Production company(s) Touchstone Television
Bender Brown Productions[1]
Distributor Disney-ABC Domestic Television
Original network ABC
Original release December 15, 2002

Nancy Drew is a television film directed by James Frawley and written by Ami Canaan Mann. It stars Maggie Lawson as teen sleuth Nancy Drew, who heads off to college and finds yet another mystery to solve.[2] The film first aired on December 15, 2002, on ABC.[3][4]


Nancy Drew begins college with her two best friends, Bess Marvin and George Fayne, at River Heights University. After the star football player goes into a coma, Nancy investigates, finding a campus-wide conspiracy and a fraternity's drug use.[4]



The pilot was originally in contention for the 2002-03 television season, and was filmed in March 2002 in Los Angeles. ABC decided not to include it on the fall 2002 schedule, so they aired it as a part of The Wonderful World of Walt Disney in order to see how it would do for a possible mid-season replacement. In anticipation of a pickup, ABC ordered six additional scripts, and put the actors under contract for a Spring 2003 premiere. Despite this, ABC decided in January 2003 to not pick it up.[5][6] Following ABC's pass on the pilot, it was brought over to UPN for a potential series pickup. However, following Lawson being casted on the ABC sitcom It's All Relative, UPN decided to pass on the series.

The film was also dedicated to the original author of the Nancy Drew books, Mildred Wirt Benson. Wirt wrote the series under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene, from 1930 to 1953; she wrote 23 of the first 30 Nancy Drew books. Wirt had died in May 2002.[3][4]

Actresses Christine Lakin and Rachel McAdams auditioned for the title role, but lost out to Lawson. The pilot was the first audition for McAdams, who later stated losing the role helped get her a leading role in The Hot Chick.[7][8]

The songs "Analyze", "Fade into You", and "I Tried to Rock You But You Only Roll" were used in the film.[9]


Originally scheduled to air Sunday, October 20, 2002,[10] the film was aired on ABC on Sunday, December 15, 2002, as a part of The Wonderful World of Disney.[3][4] It was watched by 7.5 million people, placing in third for its time slot.[1]


Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film no review, although the audience gives the film mixed reviews.[11] Laura Fries, of Variety, states, "Nancy Drew is off her game. The plucky heroine from the books of Mildred Wirt Benson, aka Caroline Keene, just doesn't have the same relevance she once did, and while ABC's updated version for the Wonderful World of Disney is a slick, earnest effort, it's way out of place."[12]

Despite mixed reviews, Nancy Drew was nominated for a 2003 Prism Award under the category "Movie or Miniseries for Television."[13]


  1. ^ a b "TV Listings for - December 15, 2002". T.TV. Luxembourg. December 15, 2002. Retrieved January 24, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Nancy Drew". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved July 6, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c Harris, Beth (December 13, 2002). "No mystery: Actress detects similarity with Nancy Drew". Associated Press. 
  4. ^ a b c d Erickson, Rovi (2002). "Nancy Drew (2002)". New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Agard, Chancellor (February 19, 2016). "Why Rachel McAdams Owes Her Career to Rob Schneider". People. Retrieved November 7, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Rachel McAdams Online". Fansite Host. Retrieved November 7, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Nancy Drew: TV Show sightings". Nancy Drew Sleuth. United States. Archived from the original on March 12, 2003. Retrieved July 11, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Nancy Drew (2002)". Brett Cullen. United States. Retrieved July 11, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Nancy Drew". Rotten Tomatoes. Los Angeles: Fandango Media. Retrieved July 11, 2016. 
  12. ^ Fries, Laura (December 11, 2002). "Review: 'Nancy Drew'". Variety. United States: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved July 11, 2016. 
  13. ^

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