While original TV movies continue to struggle on broadcast TV as evident by the underwhelming ratings for the Hallmark Hall Of Fame film on ABC last night, the genre’s resurgence on basic cable continues. TNT has decided to extend its Mystery Movie Night franchise into the spring, greenlighting today the original movie Hornet’s Nest, an adaptation of the Patricia Cornwall novel that will star Sherry Stringfield and Virginia Madsen. The green light for Hornet’s Nest comes ahead of the debut of the TNT Mystery Movie Night, which features original movies based on popular crime novels. The franchise is set to premiere tomorrow with Scott Turow’s Innocent and continues Wednesday with the Sandra Brown novel Ricochet, starring John Corbett, Julie Benz and Gary Cole. The series will feature six movies this month and in December before returning in the spring with Hornet’s Nest and three other movies to be announced. Hornet’s Nest, based on Cornwell’s New York Times bestseller, centers on a serial killer in Charlotte, N.C., who targets out-of-town businessmen. Police Chief Judy Hammer (Madsen) pairs her top deputy (Stringfield) with a cub reporter (Robbie Amell) to address the crisis. Michael Boatman and Michael Silver co-star. Dee Johnson (TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles) is writing the script. ER alumna Stringfield is with APA and John Carrabino.
TNT Greenlights ‘Hornet’s Nest’ To Extend Mystery Movie Series; Sherry Stringfield and Virginia Madsen To Star
Faith-based company Mission Pictures International will handle international sales on Hallmark’s Beverly Lewis’s The Shunning along with AFFIRM Films, a division of Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions. The project stars Danielle Panabaker and Sherry Stringfield. The Michael Landon Jr.-helmed film begins production November 8 and is about a young woman discovering her identity while coming to peace with the faith of her parents.
Anjelica Huston will play evil teacher Miss Battle-Axe in the big screen version of Francesca Simon’s Horrid Henry books. Richard E. Grant plays a rival headmaster and the cast is rounded by British TV stars Noel Fielding, Jo Brand and Prunella Scales. This is the second 3D feature from Vertigo Films after Streetdance 3D. Shooting will take place in London for 7 weeks, with Vertigo releasing the film in the UK summer next year.
Also from AFM, Rhys Ifans, Rupert Friend and Bill Nighy have signed up for This Beautiful Fantastic, the next feature by Joel Hopkins (Last Chance Harvey). The project – about a frustrated librarian who encounters a shambolic inventor — made the 2009 Brit List of best unproduced screenplays.
EXCLUSIVE: I hear The Sopranos alumna Jamie-Lynn Sigler has been tapped to star opposite Sherry Stringfield as the lead in Lifetime’s untitled Josh Berman pilot. In another key pilot casting, former Deadwood co-star John Hawkes is set to star in FX’s drama pilot Outlaw Country.
Lifetime’s untitled drama pilot from Drop Dead Diva creator/executive producer Josh Berman, from Sony Pictures TV, is a closed-ended drama set in San Diego, which centers on police detective Molly Collins (Stringfield), married mother of two on the verge of divorce, who, along with her partner Brooke Kross (Sigler), investigate the city’s most high-profile crimes while navigating their divergent personal lives. This is one of 3 pilots Lifetime greenlighted in June, along with Against the Wall and Exit 19. If the pilot goes to series, it will mark Sigler’s first regular series gig since The Sopranos. She recently recurred on HBO’s Entourage and ABC’s Ugly Betty.
Outlaw Country, from Fox TV Studios and FX Prods., is a crime thriller/family drama set against the backdrop of southern organized crime and Nashville royalty. It focuses on 4 main characters, played by Luke Grimes, Haley Bennett, Mary Steenburgen and Hawkes. Grimes plays twentysomething Eli Larkin, a half-cowboy, half-modern guy who tries to get out of the crime ridden life he has grown accustom. Bennett plays twentysomething Annabel Lee, a gorgeous country singer who is living in the shadow of her overprotective mother (Steenburgen). …