Angela Lansbury played mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher in the series, which ran from 1984 to 1996 and landed the actress 12 Emmy nominations. It spawned four Tv movies as well as a spin-off series, The Law & Harry MCGraw.
The remake will mark Spencer's first Tv role.
She says, "I've always considered myself an armchair detective and in a recent meeting with Bob Greenblatt (NBC chairman), he asked me what type of character would be able to lure me to Tv.
"Naturally, I said J.B. Fletcher meets Colombo... And here we are. I'm ecstatic to have the opportunity..."