Hallmark hires The Beach House

Andie MacDowell will star in an adaptation of Mary Alice Monroe’s novel The Beach House.

The book will be brought to life by the Hallmark Channel, which has commissioned it as a Hallmark Channel Original Movie.

Hallmark Channel

Hallmark Channel

The story follows Caretta Rutledge, who thought she’d left her Southern roots and troubled family far behind. But an unusual request from her mother coming just as her own life is spinning out of control has Cara heading back to the scenic Lowcountry of her childhood summers.

Before long, the rhythms of the island open her heart in wonderful ways as she repairs the family beach house, becomes a bona fide “turtle lady” and renews old acquaintances long thought lost. But it is in reconnecting with her mother that she will learn life’s most precious lessons: true love involves sacrifice, family is forever and the mistakes of the past can be forgiven.

The Beach House is executive produced by MacDowell and Dan Wigutow. Sue Tenney will produce and adapt Monroe’s screenplay for television.

MacDowell currently stars in Hallmark’s original drama Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove, which returns for season three on July 18.

Hallmark celebrates A Country Wedding

Desperate Housewives star Jesse Metcalfe has been cast in a new TV movie for Hallmark Channel.

Hallmark Channel

Hallmark Channel

A Country Wedding sees Metcalfe play a country music superstar whose plans to marry his movie star fiancée become complicated when he reconnects with a childhood friend from his rural hometown.

The cast also includes Autumn Reeser, Laura Mennell, and Lauren Holly.

It is produced by Country Road Productions. The executive producer is writer Nancey Silvers, and the producers are Michael Ogiens and Harvey Kahn.

The movie will debut in June as part of Hallmark Channel’s month-long weddings event.


TF1’s L’Emprise travels to Spain

It drew ten million viewers to TF1 in France – now L’Emprise (Woman Under Influence) is heading to Spain.



Atresmedia Television has acquired the 90-minute TV movie, which is based on the true story of a mother-of-four who finds herself in the dock for murdering her husband – a man who beat and tortured her during 17 years of marriage.

Written by Claude-Michel Rome and produced by Leonis Productions, it stars Odile Vuillemin, Fred Testot, Marc Lavoine, Lolita Chammah, Sam Karmann, and Micky Sebastian.

L’Emprise is distributed by TF1 International.

Blick pens new BBC Two drama

Hugo Blick is writing a new drama for BBC Two.

The writer behind The Honourable Woman and The Shadow Line is working on a new story about a set of characters caught up in a very human moral dilemma, which is played out in contemporary Africa.



Meanwhile, BBC Two has confirmed details of a new factual drama based on the creation of the computer game Grand Theft Auto.

Game Changer (wt) is a 90-minute film about a bunch of British gaming geniuses who had known each other since their school days, and at the heart of it all was GTA’s creative mastermind, Sam Houser.

Grand Theft Auto offers gamers the chance to step into a fantasy world where they can behave like criminals, gun down rival gangsters and cops, hijack cars and venture deeper into an imaginary American underworld.

But the violent gameplay coupled with its outstanding commercial success leads to fierce opposition: from parents worried about children immersing themselves in such a violent world; from politicians, alarmed at the values they say it encourages; and above all from moral campaigners, who fight passionately to ban it.

Heading up this crusade is lawyer Jack Thompson, a man determined to do whatever he can to stop the relentless rise of Grand Theft Auto.

Daniel Radcliffe will play Houser, and Bill Paxton will play Thompson.

Game Changer is a BBC in-house production. Written by James Wood, it is produced by Jim Spencer, and executive produced by Mark Hedgecoe.

Midwife in court for ZDF’s Nachtfrauen

Filming has begun on a new courtroom drama for German broadcaster ZDF.



Nachtfrauen (Night Woman, wt) follows the trial of an experienced midwife who is accused of causing the disability of a child.

The TV movie is based on the book by Gabriela Zerhau, who also directs.

The cast, led by Nina Kunzendorf, includes Friederike Becht, Klara Höfels, Marcus Mittermeier, and Eleonore Weisgerber.

It is produced by Bavaria Fernsehproduktion. The producer is Doris Zander.

Production is currently taking place in Berlin.

HBO sets date with Bessie

Queen Latifah will star as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith when HBO debuts its original TV movie Bessie next month.



The film, from director Dee Rees, focuses on Smith’s transformation from a struggling singer into one of the most successful recording artists of the 1920s.

The cast also includes Michael Kenneth Williams, Khandi Alexander, Mike Epps, Tory Kittles, Tika Sumpter, Oliver Platt, Bryan Greenberg, Charles S Dutton, and Mo’Nique.

Bessie is produced by A Flavor Unit Entertainment and A Zanuck Company.

It is written by Rees, Christopher Cleveland, and Bettina Gilois. The executive producers are Richard D Zanuck, Lili Fini Zanuck, Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere, Shelby Stone and Randi Michel. Ron Schmidt produces.

The film will premiere on May 16.

Channel 4’s The Vote selects cast

Channel 4 has unveiled an all-star cast for a single drama that is described as an unprecedented national television event.

The Vote dramatises the final 90 minutes before the polls close in the forthcoming UK General Election on May 7.

The Vote

The Vote

On that day, between 8.30pm and 10pm – the exact time the drama is set – the story will be played out on the stage of the Donmar theatre, and simultaneously broadcast on More4.

The ensemble cast includes Fisayo Akinade, Madalena Alberto, Jade Anouka, Nicholas Burns, Paul Chahidi, Jackie Clune, Pandora Colin, Rosalie Craig, Heather Craney, Judi Dench, Rachel Denning, Hadley Fraser, Mark Gatiss, Llewella Gideon, Alice Hewkin, Kadiff Kirwan, Aïcha Kossoko, Wanda Opalinska, Bill Paterson, Prasanna Puwanarajah, Nina Sosanya, Catherine Tate, Yusra Warsama, Timothy West, and Finty Williams.

Written by James Graham, it will be filmed using fixed rig technology by producer Twofour.

Sharknado 3 targets global launch

The third installment of Syfy’s Sharknado franchise will devour international audiences when it debuts in 86 countries this summer.

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! will launch on all Syfy channels around the world, including the UK, Australia, and across Europe, Asia and Latin America, with premieres within 24 hours of its US debut.

The plot sees another Sharknado cause mass destruction in Washington DC before crashing down the east coast into Florida.

It stars Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Cassie Scerbo, David Hasselhoff, Bo Derek, Ryan Newman, and Jack Griffo.

Sharknado 3 is produced by The Asylum, and written by Thunder Levin.

The two-hour TV movie premieres in the US on July 22.

Sharknado 2 became Syfy’s most watched original movie ever when it aired on July 30 last year.

Sharknado 2

Sharknado 2

Teri Polo signs on for Hallmark’s Last Resort

Meet the Parents actress Teri Polo will star in an original Hallmark Channel movie slated to air as part of a season of wedding-themed programmes.

Teri Polo

Teri Polo

Last Resort sees Polo and Paul Johansson play a couple on the brink of divorce when they must work together to plan their daughter’s wedding.

While they don’t want to ruin the celebrations by announcing their divorce, they must learn to work together to organise the nuptials and soon discover their marriage might be worth saving after all.

The TV movie is produced by Resort Road Productions and Front Street Pictures.

Gerald W Abrams and Allen Lewis executive produce, Harvey Kahn produces. The script is written by Tracy Rosen.

Last Resort is due to air in June.

HBO calls Nightingale

British actor David Oyelowo will star in a new TV movie for HBO.



Nightingale probes the darkest corners of a disturbed mind, as a war veteran (Oyelowo) begins to unravel thread by thread.

Written by Frederick Mensch, it is an HBO Films production in association with Plan B Entertainment, produced by BN Films with Sea Smoke Entertainment and Yoruba Saxon Productions.

It is executive produced by Josh Weinstock, Katrina Wolfe, Elliott Lester, and Oyelowo, with Plan B’s Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, and Jeremy Klein. Lucas Akoskin, Jonathan Gray, and Alex Garcia are co-executive producers.

Nightingale airs on May 29.