Hallmark Channel has announced that actress Andie MacDowell is set to star in the two-hour pilot, “Cedar Cove,” which commences production in mid-June. “Cedar Cove,” the movie, is the basis for the network’s first-ever primetime series.
The movie pilot will premiere in late 2012, with the new one-hour drama series expected to premiere shortly after in early 2013. “Cedar Cove,” is based on the bestselling book series by renowned author Debbie Macomber.
The past partnership between Hallmark Channel and Debbie Macomber has resulted in the network having three of the top rated Original Movies on all of ad-supported cable TV three years in a row. “Debbie Macomber’s Mrs. Miracle,” “Debbie Macomber’s Call Me Mrs. Miracle,” and “Debbie Macomber’s Trading Christmas” all premiered as No. 1 for both the day and the week each premiered, 2009-2011, respectively.
In making the announcement, Michelle Vicary, executive vice president of programming for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel, said, “We are beyond thrilled to have a star of the magnitude of Andie MacDowell to star in ‘Cedar Cove,’ the movie that is the basis for Hallmark Channel’s first-ever primetime series. Andie is widely recognized around the world as a gifted actor and a top box-office draw and there is genuine, mutual excitement today between the network and our star about the future of the new series.”
In “Cedar Cove,” MacDowell will star as Judge Olivia Lockhart whose Cedar Cove Municipal Court is the professional milieu and social microcosm of issues the judge will face in her own day-to-day life with family and friends.
MacDowell first received critical acclaim as the repressed young wife in Steven Soderbergh’s “sex, lies and videotape,” which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, and also earned Ms. MacDowell the Independent Spirit Award and the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Actress. MacDowell also received her first Golden Globe nomination from that film, as well as, multiple honors from film societies around the globe.
MacDowell went on to earn the worldwide title of No. 1 Female Box-Office Draw with her performance in the smash hit comedy, “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” earning her a second Golden Globe nomination. She also starred in the perennial holiday classic, “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray, “Green Card” with Gerard Depardieu, “Multiplicity” with Michael Keaton, and “Michael” with John Travolta.
MacDowell’s dramatic work includes the Wim Wenders directed film, “The End of Violence,” Robert Altman’s “The Player” and “Short Cuts,” the Diane Keaton directed “Unstrung Heroes” (for which the cast won a Golden Globe), and the evergreen hit, “St. Elmo’s Fire.” She was recently seen on the big screen in “Footloose,” “The Fifth Quarter” and “Monte Carlo.”
On television, MacDowell also earned praise for the HBO Emmy-nominated film, “Dinner with Friends” and the beloved Hallmark Hall of Fame telefilm, “Riding the Bus with My Sister,” starring opposite Rosie O’Donnell. MacDowell currently stars in the ABC Family series, “Jane By Design” and is celebrating 25 years of partnership with L’Oreal Paris as an international spokesperson for the brand.
With more than 150 million copies of her books in print worldwide, Debbie Macomber is a No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of romance and women’s fiction. Four Macomber novels have become made-for-TV movies, including the three No. 1-rated Hallmark Channel Original Films (“Debbie Macomber’s Mrs. Miracle,” “Debbie Macomber’s Call Me Mrs. Miracle,” and “Debbie Macomber’s Trading Christmas”). Macomber was the inaugural winner of the fan-voted Quill Award for romance in 2005. She has been awarded a RITA, romance publishing’s “Oscar,” and the 2010 Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award by the Romance Writers of America. Macomber makes her home in Port Orchard, Wa, with her husband Wayne, children and grandchildren. Port Orchard is the inspiration for the town, Cedar Cove, and the fictional location of Hallmark Channel’s new series.
“Cedar Cove” is an Orchard Road Productions Ltd. Film. The movie pilot is written by Bruce Graham (“Debbie Macomber’s Trading Christmas”). Mr. Graham adapted the material from Debbie Macomber’s series of books, Cedar Cove. Executive Producers are Debbie Macomber, Dan Wigutow, Caroline Moore, Harvey Kahn, Michael Scott and Allen Lewis. Michael Scott will direct “Cedar Cove,” the movie.
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