July 01, 2013 2:37pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Eric Mabius to Star in Hallmark Backdoor Pilot From 'Touched by an Angel' EP (Exclusive)
Hallmark Channel is continuing to add to its scripted repertoire.
The Crown Media Holdings-owned cable network is prepping its third scripted series with Dead Letters (working title), a movie of the week/backdoor pilot from Touched by an Angel alum Martha Williamson. Ugly Betty's Eric Mabius and The Kennedys' Kristin Booth will star in the project, which will air at 9 p.m. Oct. 12 as a Hallmark movie of the week, with a formal decision on whether it will move forward as a scripted series expected before it premieres.
Dead Letters tells the story of a group of postal detectives whose mission is to deliver letters and packages from the past -- which (naturally) arrive when they're needed the most. The two-hour movie stars Mabius as Oliver, leader of the group, and Booth as Shane, the newest member of the Dead Letter Office. Smallville's Crystal Lowe and Primeval: New World's Geoff Gustafson co-star.
Williamson, exec producer on CBS' Touched by an Angel, penned the script and will executive produce alongside Joel S. Rice (Banner 4th of July), Michael Prupas (The Kennedys) and Jesse Prupas (Cyberbully). Harvey Kahn (Endgame) produces, with Scott Smith (Call Me Fitz) on board to direct the Special Delivery TeleProductions entry. Muse Distribution International will handle worldwide distribution.
For Hallmark, Letters comes as it continues to ramp up original scripted programming. The cabler greenlighted its first effort with Andie MacDowell's Cedar Cove -- which like Letters started as a two-hour TV movie -- in October. Its second series, When Calls the Heart starring Jean Smart and Lori Loughlin, bows in January. Calls received an order for six episodes, with a decision on expanding its count to 13 expected to come soon. The net is also looking to The Mystery Cruise starring Gail O'Grady or Mary Higgins Clark adaptation My Gal Sunday to serve as its fourth potential scripted series.
Mabius, whose recent credits includes an episode of ABC's Scandal and Hallmark's Reading Writing & Romance, is repped by ICM Partners, GEF Entertainment and Baker Winokur.