TNT Finds Romance in Wine Country in Delectable Original Movie JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION� Film THE ENGAGEMENT RING, Starring and Executive-Produced by Two-Time Emmy� Winner Patricia Heaton
Lainie Kazan, Vincent Spano and Tony Lo Bianco Co-star
Emmy�-Winning Director Steven Schachter Directs MAGNA Global Entertainment Produces
Turner Network Television (TNT) is heading to the Napa Valley wine country for its latest original movie THE ENGAGEMENT RING, a romantic drama starring and executive-produced by Emmy�-winning actress Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond, TNT�s The Goodbye Girl). Emmy� and Golden Globe� nominee Lainie Kazan (My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Beaches), Vincent Spano (Alive, Oscar) and Emmy�-winner and Tony nominee Tony Lo Bianco (The French Connection, City of Hope) co-star in this JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION� film, directed by Emmy� winner Steven Schachter (TNT�s Door to Door and The Wool Cap) from a script by Frank Denson and Rodney Vaccaro (Three to Tango).
THE ENGAGEMENT RING comes to TNT from MAGNA Global Entertainment, with Michael Jaffe (The Rosa Parks Story, TNT�s Word of Honor) and Howard Braunstein (The Rosa Parks Story, TNT�s Word of Honor) of Jaffe/Braunstein Films; Heaton and her husband, David Hunt, of Four Boys Productions; and Steve Chicorel of Shoreline Entertainment serving as executive producers. THE ENGAGEMENT RING is set to premiere Monday, Nov. 28, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT), exclusively on TNT.
THE ENGAGEMENT RING begins with the history of the Di Cenzos and the Rosas, two Napa Valley families intertwined by their friendships and their passion for winemaking. Nick Di Cenzo (Tony Lo Bianco) and Alicia Rosa (Lainie Kazan) were playmates as children, first loves as teen-agers and later the source of a permanent rift between the two families. While serving overseas in the Army, Nick mailed an engagement ring to Alicia that he�d won in a poker game. When no answer came, he never contacted her again, his ego bruised by the rejection. Unfortunately, the ring was never delivered. As a result, Alicia also was heartbroken, interpreting Nick�s silence to mean he�d found another love. Though Nick remained a carefree bachelor, Alicia married Johnny Anselmi (Chuck Shamata), who had adored her ever since he worked in her father�s vineyard as a child.
Forty years later, Alicia and Johnny�s daughter, Sara (Patricia Heaton), and her fianc�, Brian (David Hunt), try to negotiate a deal between the two feuding families, so they can create a new wine to further the tradition of her family�s vineyard. But matters become further complicated when the long-lost ring and marriage proposal finally find their way to Alicia.
In her quest to heal the ancestral wound, Sara finds an unexpected ally in Nick�s nephew, Tony (Vincent Spano). Together they make plans for a reconciliatory lunch between the two former loves in hopes of getting them to agree to merge the two vineyards. As the two create a traditional Italian feast, they stumble upon the meaning of love, friendship and living life to its fullest.
Founded in 2001, Four Boys Films is headed by Patricia Heaton and her husband, actor/director/writer David Hunt.
They recently completed production on the documentary feature film The Bituminous Coal Queens of Pennsylvania, which Hunt directed. Four Boys is currently developing Amazing Grace, with Phillip Anschutz� Walden Media. The film, to be directed by Michael Apted, is slated to begin production this November in the United Kingdom. The drama is the true life story of William Wilberforce, who advocated for the freedom of slaves in 18th century England.
Braunstein and Jaffe have produced more than 60 telefilms and miniseries, including TNT�s Word of Honor, starring Don Johnson; the highly rated Martha, Inc., starring Cybill Shepherd; Ice Bound, starring Susan Sarandon; The Rosa Parks Story, which won the NAACP Image Award for outstanding television movie or dramatic special and which earned Angela Bassett an Emmy� nomination and an NAACP Image Award for Best Actress; Deliberate Intent, starring Timothy Hutton; Steve Martini�s The Judge, starring Chris Noth; Sounder; Gilda Radner: It�s Always Something; First Do No Harm, starring Meryl Streep; and the three-hour musical event Rodgers & Hammerstein�s South Pacific, starring Glenn Close and Harry Connick Jr. Braunstein and Jaffe were also producers and financiers of Nero Wolfe, starring Timothy Hutton, and financed Sidney Lumet�s 100 Centre Street. Braunstein and Jaffe�s most recent projects include Surviving Love, featuring Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen, and 10.5 featuring Kim Delaney, Beau Bridges and Fred Ward.
THE ENGAGEMENT RING is the seventh TNT Original to be produced under the JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION� film banner. The critically acclaimed, award-winning Door to Door, starring Emmy-winner William H. Macy as a successful door-to-door salesman with cerebral palsy, was the first such presentation, premiering on TNT in July 2002. It was followed by Miss Lettie and Me, starring Mary Tyler Moore and Burt Reynolds, in December 2002; Wilder Days, starring Peter Falk and Tim Daly, in October 2003; The Winning Season, with Matthew Modine and Kristin Davis, in April 2004; The Wool Cap, which re-teamed Door to Door�s Emmy�-winning actor/writer William H. Macy and writer/director Steven Schachter, in November 2004; and 14 Hours, with JoBeth Williams, Rick Schroder and Kris Kristofferson, in April 2005.
The JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION� film series development effort was initiated by Interpublic�s MAGNA Global Entertainment. Johnson & Johnson has long supported the creation of quality programming, and through the JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION film series, the company�s advertising affiliate has collaborated with TNT to bring inspirational stories to the American viewing public.
MAGNA Global Entertainment (MGE) is a division of Interpublic�s MAGNA Global USA, which represents more than $29 billion in aggregated Interpublic worldwide media billings. MGE is an industry leader in advertiser-supplied programming. MGE has produced 74 hours of original programming and 316 hours of total television viewing on seven networks for 19 clients. Notable successes include Blow Out on Bravo and NBC�s critically acclaimed series The Restaurant.
Turner Network Television (TNT), television�s destination for drama and one of cable�s top-rated networks, offers original movies and series, including Into the West, an epic six-week television event from DreamWorks Television and master storyteller and executive producer Steven Spielberg; the detective drama series The Closer, starring Kyra Sedgwick, and the action-packed crime series Wanted, with Gary Cole; powerful one-hour dramas, such as Law & Order, Without a Trace, Alias, Las Vegas, Cold Case, ER, NYPD Blue, Charmed and Judging Amy; broadcast premiere movies; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR and the NBA. TNT is also available in high-definition.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and a leading provider of programming for the television industry.
*JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION� is a registered service mark of Johnson & Johnson