'MAD MEN' STAR AND TWO-TIME SAG AWARD-WINNER KIERNAN SHIPKA JOINS EMMY(R) AWARD NOMINEE KELLIE MARTIN AND SIMON KASSIANIDES IN 'SMOOCH,' A HALLMARK CHANNEL ORIGINAL MOVIE FOR VALENTINE'S 2011
Film Begins Production October 23 in Detroit
Two-time SAG Award-winning actor Kiernan Shipka (Sally Draper, "Mad Men") joins Emmy(R) nominee Kellie Martin ("Life Goes On") and Simon Kassianides ("Quantum of Solace") in the Hallmark Channel Original Movie "Smooch," which begins production in Detroit on October 23 and is slated to premiere Valentine's 2011 on Hallmark Channel. The movie is an updated loosely-based, live-action homage to the Brothers Grimm short story -- The Frog King -- in which a hapless Prince is turned into a frog by a witch's cruel charm. He must convince a Princess to take him home and treat him like a king. Reluctantly, she does, and on the third day, the Princess awakens to find that her kindness has transformed the frog into a handsome Prince, and the pair lives happily ever after.
In "Smooch," Shipka plays "Zoe," a young girl obsessed by fairytales and happy endings who is searching for the perfect man for her widowed mother Gwen (Martin). It is Zoe's belief in a frog's potential charm that compels her to abduct one from her middle school science class, carrying him to the San Francisco Bay in a water-filled lunchbox where she intends to set him free. Having skipped class, Zoe is surprised to see another schoolmate at the Wharf, and in her anxiety, accidentally drops her green friend overboard. As she surveys the scene, a male monarch (Kassianides) in full royal regalia emerges from a dinghy in which he fell after a wild night of partying. The dazed prince looks more like Humpty Dumpty, sporting a giant goose egg on his head, courtesy of his fall from the pier. Though the prince has little memory of who he is or how he got into such a predicament, he is in luck. Zoe knows precisely how this fairytale ends.
"Smooch" is produced by Beantown Ranch Entertainment in association with Silver Screen Pictures. Howard Burkons and Brenda Friend are the executive producers. Rick Arredondo, Kyle Clark and Lisa Wong are the producers. Robert Bloomingdale is co-executive producer. Ron Oliver ("Bridal Fever") is directing from a script written by Howard Burkons and Terry Spencer Hesser.
Hallmark Channel, owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc., is a 24-hour basic cable network that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming available in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to a national audience of 87.5 million subscribers. The top tier program service is distributed through more than 5,450 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. Hallmark Channel is the nation's leading network in quality family programming with an ambitious slate of original TV movies, lifestyle and general entertainment content, and is the home of "The Martha Stewart Show," which anchors the channel's new daytime HOME block. Hallmark Channel's sibling network is Hallmark Movie Channel, also available in HD and SD, which focuses on the family-friendly movies with a mix of classic theatrical films, presentations from the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame library, original Hallmark Channel movies and special events.