Jodie Sweetin recently apologized to fans for being so “quiet” on social media lately, and let a secret slip in the process. The actress, who rose to fame as a child actor on “Full House,” said her absence was due to her being focused on filming a yet-to-be-announced Hallmark mystery movie in Toronto.
After very few original whodunits aired on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries in 2022, leaving some to wonder if Hallmark had given up on the genre, fans have been thrilled by a slew of recent announcements about new mysteries in the works. But a new movie with Sweetin hadn’t been one of them. Here’s what you need to know:
Jodie Sweetin Says Her Next Hallmark Movie Will Be Released in Spring 2023
During an Instagram Live on March 2, 2023, Sweetin told her fans she hadn’t been very active on social media because she’d been so busy filming.
“I was very quiet in February,” she said. “I was in Toronto working, I was doing a new Hallmark movie which is gonna come out this spring. It’s a mystery movie, so something a little bit different.”
Sweetin, whose last Hallmark movie was 2022’s “A Cozy Christmas Inn,” continued, “There is no Christmas in this one. It’s a Hallmark mystery movie. The Jane De Silva mystery is going to be coming this spring. So I’ll keep you guys all posted on that.”
Jane De Silva was a character in four mystery novels written by K.K. Beck in the early 90s, according to Publishers Weekly. The amateur detective is featured in “A Hopeless Case,” “Amateur Night,” “Electric City,” and “Cold Smoked.”
Sweetin, who has been open about her ADHD and anxiety, said during her Instagram Live that when she’s filming, she tries to just focus on the script and role.
She said, “When I’m working, my days are insane. I don’t even have my phone on me. I try to just kinda focus, which is really hard for me!”
Hallmark Mysteries Have Changed Over Last 3 Years
Changes at Hallmark Media over the last several years left fans and stars wondering whether the company was still dedicated to making mystery movies. After former CEO Bill Abbott left the network in 2020 and launched Great American Family, Hallmark fan-favorites Candace Cameron Bure and Danica McKellar defected, leaving their own mystery series behind.
McKellar confirmed in January 2022 that, after appearing in three “Matchmaker Mysteries,” the series had been canceled. Cameron Bure, who was Sweetin’s longtime “Full House” co-star, starred in more than a dozen “Aurora Teagarden Mysteries,” with her last one airing in February 2022.
Meanwhile, in December 2021 Kellie Martin — who starred in nine “Hailey Dean Mysteries” from 2016 to 2019 — tweeted that she’d learned the series was over. And in August 2022, Jesse Metcalfe told the Hallmarkies Podcast that he didn’t have high hopes his “Martha’s Vineyard Mysteries” would continue either.
“Obviously, you know, that hurts my heart because that was really, you know, my baby,” he said.
But things are looking up for mystery fans, with evidence that Hallmark Media’s new leadership team — including CEO Wonya Lucas and Programming Vice President Lisa Hamilton Daly — have been working on updating and revitalizing Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
On that channel, Daly told Decider in February, “we are leaning back more into the mysteries, which people really liked. We’re trying to bring back the fan favorites but also freshen them up because — I loved ‘Only Murders in the Building’ so we are trying to see how we can feel more modern with our mysteries.”
So far, that’s included a second installment of the “Curious Caterer” franchise starring Nikki DeLoach and Andrew Walker, a new Paul Campbell movie called “The Cases of Mystery Lane” premiering March 19, and announcements about the continuation of several popular mystery series.
Alison Sweeney and Cameron Mathison just reunited to film a new Hannah Swensen mystery, Lacey Chabert and Will Kemp have been in Malta this month filming a new “Dancing Detective” movie, and last week Hallmark announced plans for an “Aurora Teagarden Mysteries” prequel without Cameron Bure.
With the popularity of mysteries growing even beyond Hallmark, including hits like Netflix’s “Glass Onion,” Daly said it’s the perfect time to update the look and feel of the films Hallmark produces.
“I think with our mysteries, it can be a little bit of a dusty attic kind of show but we’re saying, ‘Okay, how do we do something — which still has to be G-rated, PG maybe, especially if it’s murder — but how do we do what works for our audience but is also fresh?’ And that’s what we’re trying and I think that there’s going to be some fun surprises with that, too.”