TV Weekly Cover Features Film Adaptation of Al Roker's novel for Hallmark's 'Morning Show Mystery: Mortal Mishaps'
HALLMARK MOVIES & MYSTERIES, Jan. 21, 9/8c
By Kellie Freeze
Al Roker’s mystery books find their TV home on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries with Sunday’s premiere of Morning Show Mystery: Mortal Mishaps. Roker, best known as NBC’s longtime weatherman, is a bestselling author of 10 books, including three mystery novels. But getting Roker’s tales from page to screen required a big change, reports series star Holly Robinson Peete.
“The lead character, which was originally a man named Billy Blessing, is now a woman named Billie, with an I-E!”
For Peete, joining a mystery franchise was a dream come true. “I’m obsessed with Garage Sale Mystery, and all the murder mysteries that are on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries,” she admits. “I thought, ‘I want to do that, too,’ so I actually called Lori [Loughlin] and said, ‘Lori, I want to do a murder mystery, too.’ She said, ‘You know what? Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is a perfect fit for you. They get us.’” Peete will also appear alongside her family on Hallmark Channel’s first foray into reality TV, Meet the Peetes, set to premiere next month. “All the stars aligned,” says Peete. “It was just a perfect scenario.”
In Morning Show Mystery: Mortal Mishaps, Peete plays a TV chef and restaurateur who becomes the prime suspect in a murder. She must work quickly and covertly to clear her name and discover the real murderer while all eyes are upon her — especially those of Ian Jackson (Rick Fox), a cop who was once her father’s partner and with whom she has a complex relationship.
While the history between Billie and Ian is a complicated one, Fox reveals that his friendship with Holly and her husband, former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, made the decision to join the project an easy one. “I first met Holly on set years ago,” says the athlete turned actor. “And then my daughter grew up next to her kids. And I also know Rodney as a former professional athlete and have gotten to know all of their kids. So that made the decision to spend time together in a film franchise like this an easy one for me because I know what an amazing woman Holly is.”
Peete reveals that she sees a lot of herself in her strong and confident character. “Billie is a multitasker. Billie is very family oriented. She doesn’t have children, but she is very connected with her family,” says Peete. “Family means not just blood family, but family that she’s met along her life journey. So I think they have a lot in common, Billie and me.
“Certainly, the one thing they have in common is that Billie is very nosy. Let’s not say nosy,” laughs Peete. “Let’s say curious. She’s very curious, and Holly is very curious, too. ... So, when it comes to solving mysteries, or solving issues, Billie is not the kind of person that’s gonna wait for the police or someone to do it. She’s going to do it herself. And much like Billie, I am very similar in that I’m a go-getter, and if I see somebody not doing something ... you know what they say, ‘You want something done right, you’ve gotta do it yourself.’ I think that is definitely Billie’s mantra, and Holly’s mantra.”
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