Queen Latifah Sleuths For TV Series

Queen Latifah is returning to primetime television. The versatile actress and recording artist has signed a deal with CBS to develop and star in "Mali Anderson," a drama series project based on Grace

Queen Latifah is returning to primetime television. The versatile actress and recording artist has signed a deal with CBS to develop and star in "Mali Anderson," a drama series project based on Grace F. Edwards' popular "Mali Anderson Mystery" series of books.

In "Mali Anderson," Latifah will play the title character -- a former New York police detective who works as a private investigator out of her dad's apartment in the Strivers Row section of Harlem, N.Y., and takes care of her nephew, whose parents died in a skiing accident. Queen Latifah is also executive producing the project with Lawrence Bender and Kevin Brown.

If the project becomes a series, it will be a rare broadcast network drama centering on a black female character. "We look at this as an opportunity to do an extraordinary television series with an extraordinary, unique talent in Queen Latifah, who has such broad appeal because of her acting and her music," Brown said.

Bender and Brown were bidding on the rights to the "Mali Anderson" books when they realized the person they were bidding against was Queen Latifah, a big fan of the novels. The three partnered together and took the project to CBS.

In primetime, Queen Latifah most recently starred in the Fox comedy "Living Single." The "Mali Anderson" project extends her relationship with CBS. Last season, she starred in the network's hit miniseries "Leaving With the Dead."

On the big screen, Queen Latifah will next be seen in "Brown Sugar," set to open Oct. 11 in U.S. theaters. She also stars in the upcoming feature version of the musical "Chicago" and the comedy "In the Houze," which she is executive producing.