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Emmy-winning Actress Archie Panjabi to Develop Comedic Mystery Series ‘Anisha Accidental Detective’ for BBC

Emmy-winning Actress Archie Panjabi to Develop Comedic Mystery Series ‘Anisha Accidental Detective’ for BBC

  • Based on Serena Patel’s book series of the same name, the series follows strong-willed ten-year-old British-Indian girl’s adventures.

British Indian actress Archie Panjabi has teamed up with BBC Studios Kids & Family to develop a new comedic mystery series. Based on Serena Patel’s book series of the same name, “Anisha Accidental Detective,” follows strong-willed ten-year-old, Anisha Mistry, “whose life is upended when her auntie’s fiancé disappears a few days before their big Bollywood-style wedding,” according to a BBC press release. 

Panjabi, who was the first South Asian woman to win an Emmy award for acting, has come on board as executive producer of the ten-part live-action series. Currently starring in the Hulu true crime drama “Under The Bridge,” which explores the real-life events surrounding the disappearance and death of 14-year-old Reena Virk who was swarmed and beaten under a bridge in Saanich, a suburb of Victoria, British Columbia, by a group of teenagers on Nov. 14, 1997.

Panjabi plays Reena Virk’s mother Suman Virk, while the father, Manjit Virk’s role is essayed by Ezra Faroque Khan. 

The limited series is based on a 2005 book “Under the Bridge: The True Story of the Murder of Reena Virk,” by Rebecca Godfrey. Apart from the novel, showrunners Quinn Shephard and Samir Mehta also “drew from “Reena: A Father’s Story,” a memoir of Reena’s father, Manjit Virk,” according to The Wrap.

Panjabi is best known for her work on “The Good Wife,” “Blindspot,” and “Bend It Like Beckham.” 

In a statement, she lauded BBC Studios Kids & Family for pulling together “an amazing team to bring these utterly delightful books to life. With “a British Indian family at the heart, it’s a wonderful celebration of British Indian culture,” she said “Anisha was the character I yearned to see on the screen when I was a ten-year-old,” she added. She described the series as “a refreshing comedy mystery about friendship, family and growing up, packed with vibrant characters.”

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Patel’s books, published by Usborne, “have been a success across countries including the UK, Australia and India,” the BBC noted. She told the network that she was “thrilled” to hear Panjabi’s association with the series. “I have huge admiration for her career as an actor and for her to be involved in bringing my books to the screen feels like a dream come true.”

The series is being developed by BBC Studios Kids & Family in a deal optioned by Emily Hayward-Whitlock at The Artist Partnership and Kate Shaw at The Shaw Agency, with up-and-coming screenwriter and children’s novelist Nikesh Shukla. Shukla is the writer of the multi-award winning “Two Dosas” and the author of “The Council of Good Friends” and several YA novels. He is also co-founder of The Good Literary Agency, as well as working on a Spider-Man comic book miniseries for Marvel.

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