The Hallmark Channel is officially in the family-friendly soap opera business. The cabler's first scripted drama effort, a television adaptation of Debbie Macomber's best-selling Cedar Cove book series, was watched by 3.8 million unduplicated viewers last Saturday night.
"Saturday night’s premiere of Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove marked the beginning of a new era for Hallmark Channel and we are incredibly proud of the show,” said Bill Abbott, CEO and President, Crown Media Family Networks. “Its strong performance right out of the gate is a clear indication there is an appetite for family-friendly episodic programming on Hallmark Channel and we look forward to building on Cedar Cove’s early success and further broadening our programming slate with the addition of new series projects to our lineup in the coming months.”
Cedar Cove stars Andie MacDowell as Olivia Lockhart, a principled, divorced judge and mother of an adult daughter. The Bold and the Beautiful and Dawson's Creek alum Dylan Neal plays Olivia's journalist love interest Jack Griffith. The wholesome, idyllic, two-hour pilot came off as Peyton Place minus the sex and sizzle.
Not to say Cedar Cove was lacking for intrigue. Olivia's daughter is caught up in a love triangle between a wealthy, unscrupulous developer and a hunky townie who lives on a boat. Another couple was headed for a divorce—due to grief over the loss of a child—until Olivia intervened and coffee-loving Jack is struggling to stay sober. All in all, I enjoyed my first visit to Cedar Cove and plan a return trip for Saturday night.
Cedar Cove airs Saturday nights at 8/7c on Hallmark Channel.
Photo credit: Hallmark Channel