ATLANTA, March 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- UP, America's favorite channel for uplifting family entertainment, presents the UP Original Movie Dear Viola, an advice column romantic drama set in a charming seaside village, starring Kellie Martin ("ER," "Life Goes On). Martin also is an executive producer with Entertainment One (eOne)'s John Moranyniss ("Hell on Wheels," "Klondike") and Ira Pincus ("Goodnight for Justice," "Window Wonderland"). Laurie Lynd ("Murdoch Mysteries," "Ghostly Encounters") directs the film from a script by Lee Rose ("Haven," "Weeds") and Kathleen McGhee-Anderson ("Lincoln Heights," "Touched by an Angel"). Filmed in picturesque seaside Cobourg, outside of Toronto, Canada, Dear Viola will premiere on UP on Sunday, March 16 at 7:00 p.m. EDT.
The ensemble cast also includes Jefferson Brown (Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, "Degrassi: The Next Generation"); Kira Gelineau ("Creative Galaxy"); Gemini Award winner, NAACP Image Award nominee and singer Jackie Richardson (The Gospel According to the Blues, "Majority Rules!"); Arnold Pinnock ("The Listener," "Combat Hospital"); Adamo Ruggiero ("Being Erica," "Degrassi: The Next Generation"); Robinne Fanfair ("Bomb Girls," "'Da Kink in My Hair"); Neil Crone ("Really Me," "Little Mosque on the Prairie"); and multiple Genie Awards, Gemini Awards and Dora Award winner Sheila McCarthy (Die Hard 2, "Little Mosque on the Prairie").
When the writer of a local, obsessively-read, beloved advice column, entitled "Dear Viola," decides to retire and leave the quaint seaside village of Bellport, seasoned editor Earl Bellamy (Neil Crone) is taken aback. While hoping to keep a lid on this news and his paper going, Earl unexpectedly finds a brand-new "Viola" column on his desk. Earl, "The Bellport Herald" staffers Brian (Adamo Ruggiero) and Peggy (Sheila McCarthy), and soon the entire town find Viola's new published tone to be refreshing, no-nonsense, funny and wise. An outpouring of mail for Viola floods in. Again, Earl leaves the mail on his desk and another column appears. Using the security camera, Earl discovers the mystery columnist to be none other than Katie Miner (Kellie Martin), the shy accountant who has quietly done the books at the paper for years. Katie agrees to continue writing the column as long as her identity can remain secret. Sifting through a mountain of letters, Katie becomes struck by one from a widower, Russ (Jefferson Brown), who calls himself "Mr. Lost Love." Working as a deep sea fisherman with pal Clay Jackson (Arnold Pinnock), Russ can't seem to move past the loss of his wife five years prior and struggles to find the strength to raise his young daughter, Meredith (Kira Gelineau). Firmly, Katie encourages him to reach out to others, begin dating and start living. As they correspond through the column and run into each other (hidden by their pen names), Katie starts to fall for Russ. But when Russ decides to take Viola's advice and start dating the knockout new girl in town, Jamie (Brittany Gray), Katie has to decide if it's really in her best interest to keep her identity and growing feelings secret.
"Set in a beautiful seaside village, Dear Viola captures all the charm and romance of a Hollywood classic film," said Leslie Glenn Chesloff, executive vice president of programming, UP. "You can't help but root for star Kellie Martin's reserved accountant-turned-secret-columnist to fall in love and get the guy as the story is revealed both on and off the pages of the local paper."
UP presents Dear Viola, an Entertainment One production. Starring Kellie Martin, Jefferson Brown, Kira Gelineau, Jackie Richardson, Arnold Pinnock, Adamo Ruggiero, Robinne Fanfair, Neil Crone and Sheila McCarthy. Directed by Laurie Lynd. Executive produced by Kellie Martin and Entertainment One's John Moranyniss and Ira Pincus. Supervising Producer is Jonathan Schwartz. Producer is Betty Orr. Casting Director is Larissa Mair. U.S. Casting by Shana Landsburg. Director of Photography is Russ Goozee. Editor is Charlotte Disher. Script by Lee Rose and Kathleen McGhee-Anderson. Entertainment One is also the international distributor.
Follow our cast at:
- Kellie Martin on Twitter @Kellie_Martin and online at kelliemartin.com
- Jefferson Brown on Twitter @jeffersonb76
- Arnold Pinnock on Twitter https://twitter.com/ARNOLDPINNOCK
- Adamo Ruggiero on Twitter @AdamoRuggiero
- Robinne Fanfair on Twitter @RobinneFanfair
UP, America's favorite network for uplifting entertainment is a 24-hour television network that provides high-quality, diverse, family-friendly programming, including original and premiere movies, theatricals, drama and comedy series, music and holiday specials. UP can be seen in 65 million homes in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) on cable systems including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Charter and Cox Communications as well as DIRECTV (Channel 338), DISH Network (Channel 188) and Verizon FIOS (Channel 224). As part of its mission to entertain and uplift, the network's pro-social initiative "Uplift Someone" reminds and inspires people to do simple acts of kindness. UP is also a service provider to its sister network ASPiRE. Based in Atlanta, UP is a division of UP Entertainment, LLC, which also offers gMovies, the first faith-friendly streaming movie service. Follow UP on the Web at www.UPtv.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/UPtv, Twitter on @UPtv and Instagram at UP_TV.
About Entertainment One (eOne)
Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE:ETO) is an international entertainment company that specializes in the acquisition, production and distribution of film and television content. The company's comprehensive network extends around the globe including Canada, the US, the UK, Ireland, Spain, Benelux, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and South Korea. Through established Entertainment and Distribution divisions, the company provides extensive expertise in film distribution, television and music production, family programming and merchandising and licensing. Its current rights library is exploited across all media formats and includes more than 35,000 film and television titles, 2,800 hours of television programming and 45,000 music tracks.