This summer, PBS's rechristened Masterpiece Mystery! series is saying farewell to some favorite franchises, with the final installments of Foyle's War (starting tonight), which I recently reviewed, and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries. To fill the gap, Mystery! is turning to some old friends for next summer's line-up, specifically Agatha Christie's renowned sleuths Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, and introducing a new crime-solver. Kenneth Branagh will star and co-produce a series based on Swedish novelist Henning Mankell's Inspector Kurt Wallander books, which Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton describes as being in the Inspector Morse tradition.

On the Christie front, there will be four episodes each of the Poirot and Marple series. David Suchet will reprise his role as the Belgian Sherlock, and Eaton says Suchet has expressed interest in filming every single Poirot story before he's finished. And they've found yet another new Miss Marple for the next go-round. Taking over the role of the spinster sleuth: Julia McKenzie, most recently seen as one of the delightful villagers in the Masterpiece Classic miniseries Cranford.