Crown Media Family Networks has unveiled a number of new programming highlights across its portfolio, including its first-ever original streaming series, When Hope Calls (working title), which is in development for the SVOD service Hallmark Movies Now.
The series is a spin-off from Hallmark Channel’s longest-running, most-watched prime-time show to date, When Calls the Heart, currently entering its sixth season. The new series is slated for a 2019 premiere.
Meanwhile, Hallmark Channel has renewed its hit prime-time series Good Witch for season five. Based on the The Good Witch movie franchise that celebrated its tenth anniversary this year, the series stars Catherine Bell (Army Wives, JAG), Bailee Madison (Just Go with It, Trophy Wife) and James Denton (Desperate Housewives, Devious Maids).
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries announced a development deal with Emmy Award-winning actress Susan Lucci for a mystery movie on the network. The movie, in which Lucci will star and executive produce, is based on the novel Charley’s Web by Joy Fielding. It will focus on a columnist who uncovers the truth behind the crimes in the community.
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is also in development with Patti Stanger, star and executive producer of Bravo’s The Millionaire Matchmaker, for The Matchmaker Mysteries, a new, original movie franchise with Danica McKellar (Wonder Years) set to star. McKellar will play Patricia Sill, a professional matchmaker with a keen understanding of human nature that allows her to assess the lovelorn and successfully bring them together. When one of her carefully vetted clients becomes the prime suspect in a murder mystery, Patricia is determined to get to the truth and clear her client’s name, as well as preserve her professional reputation.