Soap opera legend Susan Lucci will star in and executive produce a made-for-television movie on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, while Danica McKellar will star in a new movie franchise, the cable network announced Thursday evening.
Lucci will portray a columnist who uncovers the truth behind crimes in the community. The movie is based on the novel “Charley’s Web” by Joy Fielding.
Lucci is best known for portraying Erica Kane on the ABC daytime drama “All My Children,” from 1970 to 2011, a role that brought her 21 Daytime Emmy nominations for outstanding lead actress in a drama series and a win in the category in 1999.
McKellar, best known for her portrayal of Winnie Cooper on the 1988-93 ABC dramedy “The Wonder Years,” will portray a professional matchmaker who works to clear the name of a client who becomes the prime suspect in a murder in the “The Matchmaker Mysteries.”
The franchise will be produced by Patti Stanger, star and executive producer of the 2008-15 Bravo alternative series, “The Millionaire Matchmaker.”
Fellow Crown Media Family Networks network Hallmark Channel announced it will have new programming every Saturday and Sunday for the remainder of 2018, including six autumnal-themed movies in its “Fall Harvest” event and 22 holiday movies for its “Countdown to Christmas” slate.
The Fall Harvest movies include the third installment of the “All My Heart” movie series starring Lacey Chabert and Brennan Elliott and the fourth “Good Witch Halloween” movie.
The Christmas movies include the network debuts of country music stars LeAnn Rimes and Kellie Pickler.
Both Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries will increase production on original specials in the coming months, including previews of seasonal franchises, and further Hallmark Channel’s commitment to raising awareness of pet rescue and the benefits of having pets.
Hallmark Channel also announced it has ordered a fifth season of “The Good Witch”; actor Cameron Mathison will be the new co-host of its daytime lifestyle series “Home & Family”; “When Hope Calls,” a spinoff of “When Calls the Heart,” will premiere in 2019 on Crown Media Family Networks’ digital streaming service, Hallmark Movies Now; and actress Rebecca Romijn will be the ambassador for its pet initiative “Adoption Ever After.”
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries announced it will air 12 new movies inspiring the meaning and miracles of Christmas for its “Miracles of Christmas” holiday programming event, with a new movie airing every weekend in November and December.
The announcements were made in connection with the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour.
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