Hallmark Gives First Scripted Series Order to Andie MacDowell's 'Cedar Cove'

Hallmark's First Series is Visit to "Cedar Grove"

Andie MacDowell (Paradigm, Schiff Co., Greenberg Glusker), now seen in the ABC Family series Jane by Design, will star as a small-town family court judge in the pic, which will premiere in late 2012, with the series launching in first-quarter 2013.

Hallmark Channel is officially getting into the scripted series business.

The network has ordered Andie MacDowell starrer Cedar Cove -- its first scripted entry -- to series. The project, which The Hollywood Reporter exclusively reported the network would air as a two-hour TV movie that doubled as a backdoor pilot, has bypassed that stage and will instead premiere Jan. 19, with subsequent episodes joining the schedule in the spring.

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Based on the book by Debbie Macomber. Carl Binder (Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman) will serve as showrunner. MacDowell stars as small-town family court judge Olivia Lockhart whose work life directly impacts the obligations of her day-to-day life. Dylan Neal (Dawson's Creek) co-stars as Jack Griffith, the new editor of the local newspaper and budding love interest for Lockhart.  

“If ever there was a recipe for series success, ‘Cedar Cove’ is it,” said Michelle Vicary, exec vp programming at Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel. "Start with internationally acclaimed actor Andie MacDowell, add seasoned co-star Dylan Neal, Debbie Macomber’s bestselling stories, the consistency of a world-class showrunner, and one of the most successful producing teams in television, and you’ll see why we think the outcome will be irresistible -- Cedar Cove will be the place we all want to call home.”

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Filming is scheduled to begin immediately in Vancouver.

The series order comes after ABC Family canceled MacDowell starrer Jane By Design after one season.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit