Leighton makes it a family affair


Laura Leighton has been tapped to star in "Daniel's Daughter," a Hallmark Channel original movie about how the bonds of love and family can survive the test of time.

Leighton stars as Katherine, a successful New York magazine editor who is about to marry a wealthy businessman in what is set to be the biggest society event of the year. When her estranged father dies, and she finds that his last request was for her to spread his ashes in her hometown on an island off the coast of Massachusetts, she reluctantly leaves her job and wedding planning to handle the annoyance, bringing along her tireless assistant for support.

Once there, she begins to learn that there might have been more to her father than she believed and that there may be more for her in life than what she thought she wanted.

"This is a really touching and beautiful story," said David Kenin, exec vp programming at Hallmark Channel. "It had all of us teary-eyed reading the script because it was so real and emotional."

The movie, which has gone into production in Toronto for a January premiere, is being produced by Cypress Point Prods. in association with QVF Inc. Films. Gerald W. Abrams ("Nuremberg") is the executive producer; Susan Murdoch ("A Nero Wolfe Mystery") is the producer. Neill Fearnly ("Daydream Believers") is directing from a script by Tracy Rosen.

Leighton, a Golden Globe nominee for "Melrose Place," next appears on the big screen in Lionsgate's "The Burrowers."