According to Variety, NBC placed a “put pilot order” for a continuation of the original series that aired from 1989 to 1993.
Martin will return as a Becca Thatcher, now grown up. She’s working as a doctor and returns to her hometown — a familiar theme for Hallmark — where she reunites with her family members.
Chad Lowe will produce the series alongside Martin. Lowe also starred in the original series, but his character died so he won’t be reviving his character. Nkechi Okoro Carroll will executive produce and Michael Braverman, the creator of the original series, will be the executive consultant, Variety reported. Hollywood Reporter reported that Carroll will also write the script.
Hollywood Reporter noted that the series will still need a formal pilot order before it begins filming.
The Wrap explained that a “put pilot” means the network will air the pilot, but it’s not a guarantee that the entire series will air. And the network can still choose not to air the pilot if it agrees to pay the studio a penalty.
‘Life Goes On’ Broke New Ground on TV
“‘Life Goes On’ was a groundbreaking series and … the first network show to feature a regular character who had Down syndrome (portrayed by Chris Burke),” according to The Hollywood Reporter. The show’s actors garnered numerous award nominations, and Martin won a 1993 American Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Dramatic Series and Young Artist Awards in 1991 and 1992. Burke earned an Inspiration to Youth special award from the Young Artist Awards in 1990.
It’s not clear which other members of the original cast will return, including Bill Smitrovich, Chris Burke, Patti LuPone, Tracey Needham and Michele Matheson.
Martin tweeted that her daughter is about the same age she was during the series.
She also tweeted, “We’re so excited to be working with NBC!”
Martin’s Hallmark Series, ‘Hailey Dean Mysteries,’ Was Canceled
Martin recently revealed that her Hallmark Mysteries series of movies, “Hailey Dean Mysteries,” was canceled after nine installments that ran from 2016 to 2019.
Viv Leacock, who also stars in the series and now stars in “When Calls the Heart,” shared his own disappointment on Twitter.
He wrote, “I’m very disappointed to find out that we don’t get to keep doing this series of mystery movies!! @hallmarkchanne @hallmarkmovie I think we had some magic with this one. Myself and @Kellie_Martin heard from folks all around the world about how much they loved our show.”
One fan said they hoped the series might get picked up by another network.
Debbie Blackman wrote, “Absolutely love @Kellie_Martin and #HaileyDean was perfect. I’m stumped at the @hallmarkchannel decision to end all these. Gutted #HaileyDeanMysteries #Sleuthers.”
Martin’s many other credits include “Death of a Cheerleader,” “Christmas in Montana,” “The Guest Book” (Kimberly Leahy for eight episodes), “So You Said Yes,” “Hello It’s Me,” “Mad Men,” “Army Wives” (Nicole Galassini for eight episodes,) “The Christmas Ornament,” “The Jensen Project,” “Mystery Woman” (Samantha for 11 episodes), “ER” (Lucy Knight for 36 episodes), “Christy” (Christy Huddleston for 20 episodes), numerous voice roles and more.
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