Shooting Begins on TNT Original Movie THE ENGAGEMENT RING, Starring Patricia Heaton
Lainie Kazan and Vincent Spano Join Cast
Emmy-Winning Director Steven Schachter Set to Direct JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION�, Produced by MAGNA Global Entertainment
Turner Network Television (TNT)�s original romantic comedy/drama movie THE ENGAGEMENT RING, starring Emmy�-winning actress Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond, TNT�s The Goodbye Girl), has begun shooting with two new cast members added: Emmy� and Golden Globe� nominee Lainie Kazan (My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Beaches) and Vincent Spano (Alive, Oscar). This latest production under the JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION� banner is being produced by MAGNA Global Entertainment. Emmy winner Steven Schachter (TNT�s Door to Door and The Wool Cap) will direct from a script by Frank Denson and Rodney Vaccaro (Three to Tango). MAGNA Global Entertainment (TNT�s 14 Hours and Blow Out) and Steve Chicorel are the executive producers. THE ENGAGEMENT RING is set to premiere later this year on TNT.
"With its love story set against the backdrop of the California wine country, THE ENGAGEMENT RING is the kind of tale that is certain to awake the hopeless romantic in all of us," said Wright. "We are proud to have The Goodbye Girl�s Patricia Heaton return to TNT, joined by Lainie Kazan and Vincent Spano, for what is certain to be another first-rate comedy/drama."
"We are pleased to be bringing THE ENGAGEMENT RING to TNT viewers," said Andrea Alstrup, vice president, advertising, Johnson & Johnson. "This endearing story will be a perfect addition to the JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION� series."
Heaton stars in this romantic holiday story set in the Napa Valley wine country. Lost in the mail for many years, an engagement ring and a marriage proposal are finally delivered. Through the ring, originally intended for her mother, Heaton's character discovers the meaning of love, friendship and living life to its fullest
Heaton recently completed her role as Debra Barone on CBS�s top-rated series Everybody Loves Raymond, for which she earned six Emmy� nominations, winning the coveted award twice. For TNT, she starred opposite Jeff Daniels in the 2004 remake of Neil Simon�s The Goodbye Girl, for which she earned a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination. Her additional credits include roles on the series Room for Two, Someone Like Me, Women of the House and the critically acclaimed thirtysomething. She also starred in the television movie Miracle in the Woods and the CBS movie A Town Without Christmas. Her feature credits include Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Beethoven, New Age and Space Jam. Heaton�s first book, Motherhood and Hollywood, became a bestseller.
Kazan�s long screen career has included such films as Beaches, One from the Heart, Lust in the Dust, What�s Cooking?, The Big Hit, The Crew and the blockbuster romantic comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding. She earned a Golden Globe nomination for her supporting role in My Favorite Year. Kazan�s television credits include the series The Paper Chase, The Nanny, Will & Grace and My Big Fat Greek Life, as well as an Emmy�-nominated guest appearance in St. Elsewhere.
Spano�s big-screen credits include John Sayles� Baby It�s You and City of Hope, as well as such films as Rumble Fish, Alive, Oscar and Indian Summer. For television, Spano has appeared in such projects as Prince Street, Jennifer and Medusa�s Child.
Schachter has directed numerous small-screen projects for HBO, TNT, CBS, USA Cable, Lifetime and various other networks. In 2003, he directed and co-wrote with William H. Macy the multiple Emmy-winning TNT Original film and Johnson & Johnson Spotlight PresentationSM Door to Door. Schachter received the directing Emmy for his work, and he and Macy received an Emmy for the writing. The two re-teamed last year for the TNT Original The Wool Cap.
A noted theater director, Schachter joined forces with Macy and playwright David Mamet to found The St. Nicholas Theater in Chicago, where Schachter served as artistic director, helming more than 20 productions and winning the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Director. One project in particular, Mamet�s The Water Engine, was brought to the Public Theatre and then moved on to Broadway. This made Schachter, at 24 years old, one of the youngest directors on Broadway. Schachter then directed The Water Engine for TNT, earning a CableACE nomination. Schachter and Macy�s additional work together includes the telefilms Above Suspicion, Every Woman�s Dream, The Con and TNT�s A Slight Case of Murder.
THE ENGAGEMENT RING is the seventh TNT Original to be produced under the JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION� banner. The critically acclaimed, award-winning Door to Door, starring Emmy-winner William H. Macy as a successful door-to-door salesman with cerebral palsy, was the first such presentation, premiering on TNT in July 2002. It was followed by Miss Lettie and Me, starring Mary Tyler Moore and Burt Reynolds, in December 2002; Wilder Days, starring Peter Falk and Tim Daly, in October 2003; The Winning Season, with Matthew Modine and Kristin Davis, in April 2004; The Wool Cap, which re-teamed Door To Door�s Emmy�-winning actor/writer William H. Macy and writer/director Steven Schachter, in November 2004; and 14 Hours, with JoBeth Williams, Rick Schroder and Kris Kristofferson, in April 2005.
The JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION� series development effort was initiated by Interpublic�s MAGNA Global Entertainment. Johnson & Johnson has long supported the creation of quality programming, and through the JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION� series, the company�s advertising affiliate has collaborated with TNT to bring inspirational stories to the American viewing public.
MAGNA Global Entertainment (MGE) is a division of Interpublic�s MAGNA Global USA, which represents more than $29 billion in aggregated Interpublic worldwide media billings. MGE is an industry leader in advertiser-supplied programming. MGE has produced 74 hours of original programming and 316 hours of total television viewing on seven networks for 19 clients. Notable successes include Blow Out on Bravo and NBC�s critically acclaimed series The Restaurant.
Turner Network Television (TNT), television�s destination for drama and one of cable�s top-rated networks, offers original movies and series, including Into the West, an epic six-week television event from DreamWorks Television and master storyteller and executive producer Steven Spielberg; the detective drama series The Closer, starring Kyra Sedgwick, and the action-packed crime series Wanted, with Gary Cole; powerful one-hour dramas, such as Law & Order, Without a Trace, ER, NYPD Blue, Charmed, Judging Amy and Angel, with Alias and Las Vegas joining the line-up in September and Cold Case coming in October; broadcast premiere movies; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR and the NBA. TNT is also available in high-definition.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and a leading provider of programming for the television industry.
*JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION is a registered service mark of Johnson & Johnson