Photo Credit: Tony Barson/FilmMagic
Watch out, Lifetime! You've cooked up some hit shows with Army Wives and Drop Dead Diva, and now the Hallmark Channel wants a piece of that female-forward, primetime pie. It's about to launch its first-ever original scripted series, Cedar Grove, based on the book series by Debbie Macomber. And it's wrangled a big star to helm it.
Andie MacDowell will play Judge Olivia Lockhart in this light-hearted legal procedural show, which will kick off with a two-hour movie airing later this year. Then the 13-episode series will air in 2013.
MacDowell's character presides over a small-town municipal court, and her meddling family members are always managing to get mixed up in her professional travails. Sounds like a piece of cake for the 54-year-old actress, who's most famous for comedic films like Four Weddings and a Funeral and Groundhog Day. She's also currently on the small screen, playing a contemptuous fashion editor on ABC Family's teen drama, Jane by Design.
The Hallmark Channel may be new to the primetime series game, but these aren't exactly untested waters, either. The network has already found ratings success with movie versions of Macomber's other books: Debbie Macomber's Mrs. Miracle, Debbie Macomber’s Call Me Mrs. Miracle and Debbie Macomber’s Trading Christmas.
New shows like this one are a win-win for women. Female viewers get something just for them, and a series like this provides actresses of a certain age (who are too often scorned by Hollywood) with juicy roles to sink their teeth into!