TCA16: Mariah Carey, Jennifer Love Hewitt to Direct Films

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Pasadena, Calif. -- Hallmark Channel will tap actress/singer Mariah Carey and actress Jennifer Love Hewitt to direct and executively produce three original movies each, network officials said Friday during the Television Critics Tour.

The network also said it has greenlit a new original series Darrow & Darrow, starring Kimberly Williams Paisley and executively produced by Boston Legal’s Phoef Sutton.

In addition, actress Kristin Davis will executive produce and star in the Hallmark Channel original movie, Wild At Heart, which will be shot on location in Kenya and will be based on Davis’ own philanthropic efforts to stop poaching and rescue the orphans of slain elephants, said network officials.

Cedar Cove star Andie MacDowell will also star and executive produce The Beach House, an original movie based on Mary Alice Monroe’s beloved novel which explores the fragile yet enduring bond between mothers and daughters, said network officials.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.