Fans of Hallmark‘s popular “Curious Caterer” mystery franchise starring Andrew Walker and Nikki DeLoach have reason to rejoice today. Not only have the stars already wrapped filming the series’ third installment, but in an interview on June 13, 2023, Walker told Heavy that the network has just greenlit two more “Curious Caterer” movies.
The news, Walker said, is just the latest example of Hallmark continuing to support its core stable of actors and listen to its fans in ways that other networks often fail to do, for which he feels grateful every day. Here’s what you need to know:
Andrew Walker Received Word of ‘Curious Caterer’ Continuation on His Birthday
After co-starring in multiple Hallmark movies together including 2016’s “A Dream of Christmas,” 2017’s “The Perfect Catch,” and 2020’s “Sweet Autumn,” real-life friends Walker and DeLoach got to pair up again for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ “Curious Caterer: Dying for Chocolate” in April 2022. Based on a series of books called “A Culinary Mystery” by Diane Mott Davidson, the movie featured DeLoach as Colorado caterer Goldy Berry, who teamed up with Walker’s Detective Tom Schultz to get to the bottom of her friend’s mysterious death.
The first mystery movie was so well-received that the duo then filmed “Curious Caterer: Grilling Season,” which debuted in February 2023. This spring, they filmed a third installment, called “Curious Caterer: Last Suppers.” Walker told Heavy that movie will likely premiere in August or September.
Word that Hallmark wants to continue the series came while Walker and DeLoach were appearing at the fan convention ChristmasCon in Kansas City over the weekend, during a call on June 9 — Walker’s 44th birthday.
“We were together, it was amazing,” Walker told Heavy. “Nikki and I are, you know, seven movies deep now and people still want to see us. We got approved for another — we actually got approved for two more ‘Curious Caterers.’ The executive producer called us and it was a nice little birthday gift.”
Andrew Walker Says He’s Grateful for Stability of Being a Hallmark Actor
Walker’s already had a jam-packed 2023 between promoting and filming the latest “Curious Caterer” movies and traveling to South Africa to shoot “A Safari Romance” with Brittany Bristow, due to premiere on August 12. And though he doesn’t have any details yet, he said, he’ll likely be filming a Hallmark Christmas movie by late summer.
It’s not lost on Walker how rare it is for a network to give so many starring roles to a rotating roster of actors, particularly those in their 40s and beyond. In fact, he said he pointed this out to fellow Hallmark actor Autumn Reeser on June 8 as they were among nearly 20 network stars taken by chartered bus on a field trip to Hallmark Cards’ headquarters before ChristmasCon.
“We were on the bus ride to Hallmark and I said, ‘Autumn, we’re all 40 … 40-plus year old actors at our prime at Hallmark. It’s not like we’re on the downtrend. We’re actually on this, like, uptrend.’ What other network (is that the case for)?”
Pointing out all the layoffs and programming changes at networks like Paramount+, Netflix and Disney, Walker said, “You know, there’s no stability anywhere out there. And here are all of these actors in our 40s, where in the general landscape of our industry we would be kind of at the tail end, which is sad to say. But here we are now (at Hallmark) and this is the fans’ (doing). They watch the movies and give us that ability to continue to thrive and to bring them new stories with the same faces, just different combinations and storylines.”
“It’s amazing,” he continued, “being able to have some sort of stability in our work, to be thriving, and really to be, you know, supported by the network.”
Walker said that level of support from both fans and Hallmark executives has inspired lots of conversations among him and his colleagues, including DeLoach and his “3 Wise Men and a Baby” co-stars Paul Campbell, Tyler Hynes and Kimberley Sustad about their desire to keep raising the bar with each movie they make.
“It’s made me want to elevate my storytelling,” he told Heavy. “You know, Nikki and I talk about that a lot, and Tyler and Paul, Kimberley. We all want to take this up a notch and bring the best quality movies to people. I think that (means) going deeper in our preparation and our understanding of the script and the characters.”
To help that process, Walker said Hallmark has made a concerted effort to give its actors more time than it used to for studying lines and preparing for their roles, which helps the actors deliver better performances.
“A bunch of years ago, we didn’t get the time,” he said. “I would book a job on a Wednesday to leave on a Thursday or Friday to start shooting on a Monday, and we just didn’t have the time (to prep). But now at Hallmark we get two, three weeks, maybe even a month to prepare. It’s huge. It’s changed everything for us. And I think you can really see it in the quality of work that’s happening right now with the actors and directors.”