[03/26/08 - 09:15 AM]
Hallmark Channel Announces Production Slate of Original Movies for 2008
Among the stars featured: Jacqueline Bisset, Dean Cain, Mark Consuelos, Bob Newhart, Luke Perry, Jason Priestley, Vanessa Redgrave and Jane Seymour.

[via press release from The Hallmark Channel]

Hallmark Channel Announces Production Slate of Original Movies for 2008

Original Movies Feature Top Talent Including Jacqueline Bisset, Dean Cain, Mark Consuelos, Bob Newhart, Luke Perry, Jason Priestley, Vanessa Redgrave and Jane Seymour, Among Others

NEW YORK, March 26 -- Hallmark Channel, the top family-friendly network, is a leading producer of original movies with an aggressive slate of 30 films set to air in 2008, announced David Kenin, Executive Vice President, Programming. The network has secured a star-studded roster of talent, including Jacqueline Bisset, Dean Cain, Mark Consuelos, Bob Newhart, Luke Perry, Jason Priestley, Vanessa Redgrave and Jane Seymour, among others.

"Hallmark Channel is, at this very moment, in production on eight original movies in Toronto, Los Angeles and various other locations," said Kenin. "This is an extraordinary number of films and proves what we have known for years: that there is an insatiable desire for quality, family-friendly programming among viewers, advertisers and distributors."

Several original movies are completed and set to air in the coming months, including:

"The Shell Seekers," starring Vanessa Redgrave and Maximilian Schell

This absorbing saga features an extraordinary cast and revolves around the resilient daughter of a famed artist who struggles to rebuild her shattered family after she suffers a mild heart attack. "The Shell Seekers" premieres Saturday, May 3 (9-11 p.m., ET/PT).

"Final Approach," starring Dean Cain, Anthony Michael Hall and Lea Thompson

Former FBI hostage rescue specialist Jack Bender's (Cain) unique skills are challenged aboard a domestic flight hijacked by Greg Gilliad (Hall), a member of a radical organization who wants his jailed leader freed. Jack's ex-wife, Alicia (Thompson), an FAA employee, discovers that the terrorists' motives are actually tied to nuclear destruction. "Final Approach" also stars Ernie Hudson, Sunny Mabrey, William Forsythe and Tracey Gold. "Final Approach" premieres Saturday, May 24 (9-11 p.m., ET/PT).

"Shark Swarm," starring John Schneider, Daryl Hannah and Armand Assante

When great white sharks in Half Moon Bay begin to mutate and attack residents, local fisherman Daniel Wilder (Schneider), with the help of a marine biologist, discover that unscrupulous developer Hamilton Lux (Assante) has been dumping toxic waste into the bay to kill off the fish in the hopes that the local fisherman will sell him their land. "Shark Swarm" premieres Sunday, May 25 (9-11 p.m., ET/PT).

"McBride: Requiem," starring John Larroquette

McBride investigates the murder of a 25-year-old classical violinist and media darling whose father, a powerful senator, wants the case closed ASAP and is intent on pinning the murder on his daughter's fiancee, with whom who he has never seen eye-to-eye. Scheduled to air June 2008.

"The Gunfighter's Pledge," starring Luke Perry and C. Thomas Howell

When a gunman haunted by the past accidentally kills a stranger in a chaotic bar shootout, he unexpectedly begins a journey that will lead him on the path to healing and redemption. Scheduled to air July 2008.

"Murder 101: Locked Room Mystery," starring Dick Van Dyke, Barry Van Dyke and Shane Van Dyke

Absentminded, but brilliant criminology professor, Dr. Jonathan Maxwell (Dick Van Dyke), investigates the death of a meditation guru with private investigator Mike Bryant (Barry Van Dyke) and Mike's law-school nephew, Ben (Shane Van Dyke). Scheduled to air August 2008.

Hallmark Channel is currently in production on the following original movies:

"The Ride of Her Life," starring Stephen Collins

Joe Preston (Collins) is as proud as any father can be watching his daughter compete in the heart-pounding rodeo sport of penning. Though only 17 years old, she shows all of the signs of becoming a world-class champion just like her father before an injury forced him to retire. But where Joe envisions a future of competition and prize winnings for his daughter -- and is prepared to wager his family's livelihood on it -- his daughter has dreams of earning a college scholarship and studying to become a veterinarian, an endeavor supported by her mother. Scheduled to air July 2008.

"Dear Prudence," starring Jane Seymour

Prudence Macintyre, a humorous, Martha-Stewart-like advice columnist and TV personality, escapes to a much-needed vacation from her work-driven life. There she becomes embroiled in a murder mystery by using her own quick-witted, good-housekeeping tips. In doing so, she gains a better understanding of the mother she wasn't close to her in her youth and takes her first steps toward finding a balanced life that includes true love. Scheduled to air August 2008.

"Herb's Murders," starring Bob Newhart

A quirky LA police detective and his by-the-book cop daughter team up to solve the kidnapping/murder of a wealthy publishing magnate that leaves the rest of the force baffled. Scheduled to air August 2008.

"Saving Grace," starring Mark Consuelos

Grace is a single author, engaged to be married, when she meets Steve, a fireman and recent widower. The two first meet at a neighborhood eatery and soon begin running into each other quite frequently. When Grace's home catches fire Steve comes to her rescue. Grace begins to feel conflicted over her growing feelings for Steve and is soon faced with a tough decision over whether to move ahead with her wedding as planned or start anew. Scheduled to air August 2008.

"Ladies of the House," starring Pam Grier, Florence Henderson and Donna Mills

Three mature women engage a church project by way of renovating a dilapidated old house. They know nothing about construction, but are determined to prove what many think they can't accomplish and in the process re-evaluate their lives and discover what's important about life and living -- no matter one's age. Scheduled to air October 2008.

"Mail Order Bride"

Set in the late 1800's, when her friend dies before coming out west to be a mail-order-bride, Diana McQueen takes her place in order to escape from a mobster who "owns her" and involves her in illegal activities she no longer wants to be a part of. Scheduled to air November 2008.

"Thanksgiving Reunion," starring Jacqueline Bisset

Inspired by a short story written by Louisa May Alcott, Jacqueline Bisset stars as Isabella Caldwell, a high-society woman living comfortably in late-1800's New York. When Isabella's estranged, widowed daughter, Mary, becomes ill and is too proud to ask her mother for assistance, Mary's headstrong daughter, Tilly, takes it upon herself to contact her grandmother and plead for help. Isabella's arrival causes an upheaval in many lives both within her family and in the community, but may also lead to reconciliation with Mary and a chance at new horizons for Tilly. Scheduled to air November 2008.

"Second Honeymoon," starring Teri Polo, Jason Priestley and Cheech Marin

A childless couple, longing to have a baby, takes a vacation to a small Mexican village where the spirit of the locals, in particular a disabled young boy, teaches them about a Saint who performs miracles: one for the boy and one for the couple. Airdate TBD.

*Movie titles and airdates are subject to change.

Hallmark Channel, owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc., is a 24-hour basic cable network that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming to a national audience of 84 million subscribers. The top tier program service is distributed through more than 5,450 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. Hallmark Channel consistently ranks among the top 10 ad-supported cable networks in Prime Time and Total Day household ratings and is the nation's leading network in providing quality family programming. Crown Media also operates a second 24-hour linear channel, Hallmark Movie Channel, and will launch Hallmark Movie Channel HD in April of 2008.

  [march 2008]  


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