Matchmaker Patti Stanger is moving away from reality TV and entering the world of scripted drama, joining forces with actress Danica McKellar for a new and original movie franchise for the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel.
In the announcement made on Thursday, July 26, during the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, the network revealed its plans for The Matchmaker Mysteries.
“McKellar will star as Patricia Sill, a professional matchmaker with a keen understanding of human nature that allows her to assess the lovelorn and successfully bring them together,” described Hallmark Movies & Mysteries in an official press release.
“When one of her carefully vetted clients becomes the prime suspect in a murder mystery, Patricia is determined to get to the truth and clear her client’s name, as well as preserve her professional reputation. As she investigates, Patricia bickers and banters with Sam Kaplan, the police officer working the case, but the growing mutual attraction between the two is no mystery.”
Third-generation matchmaker Stanger, 57, will bring her extensive knowledge of the matchmaking industry to the film series.
In January, 2000, the dating expert founded her own company, Millionaire’s Club International, for highly successful, yet unattached people, coaching them through every step of the courtship process.
The gregarious Stanger soon found herself the star of her own reality television series, Bravo’s The Millionaire Matchmaker and WEtv’s Million Dollar Matchmaker, on which she fixed up many loveless individuals.
She is also the author of 2009’s Become Your Own Matchmaker: 8 Easy Steps for Attracting Your Perfect Mate.
McKellar, 43, has been acting since she was a child, first gaining stardom as Winnie Cooper on ABC’s The Wonder Years from 1988 to 1993. Since 2015, she has starred in several TV movies for Hallmark, including Crown for Christmas, Wedding Bells, and Very, Very Valentine.
The mother of 7-year-old Draco studied mathematics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and has written several books for children and young adults on the subject.
“We couldn’t be happier to be in business with Patti Stanger, whose vast experience helping people find true love brings a unique voice to the mystery genre. Danica McKellar is a proven favorite among viewers and we’re thrilled to have her team up with Patti, which we know will be a perfect match,” said Michelle Vicary, the executive vice president of Programming and Network Publicity for Crown Media Family Networks, the parent company of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
The first movie in The Matchmaker Mysteries series will debut sometime in 2019.