Danica McKellar is ready to shake and shimmy into her next role!
PEOPLE can exclusively reveal that The Wonder Years alum, who competed on season 18 of Dancing with the Stars in 2014, will be putting those skills to the test once more in the coming months as she films Swinging into Romance, her latest rom-com movie for Great American Family.
According to the network, the film follows former dancer Christine Sims (McKellar) when she temporarily returns to her hometown for the Fall Festival and learns that her family’s General Store is struggling. In order to help save the business, Christine will need to dust off her dancing shoes and face her ex-fiancé — and she may even find love in the process.
“I’ve been wanting to dance in a movie since I was on Dancing with the Stars in 2014, but I’ve always loved dancing,” McKellar, 48, tells PEOPLE. “My mom was a professional dancer before I was born, so the love of dance is in my genes.”
McKellar is one of the executive producers on the film, which hits very close to home for her since her husband, Scott Sveslosky, wrote the story!
“Back in 2017, I told my husband that I wanted to play a math teacher in a movie, and he wrote the story for a movie that ended up being called Campfire Kiss, and I did that for Hallmark,” McKellar explains. “More recently, I said, ‘I really want to dance in a movie,’ and he wrote this story.”
She adds, “He’s not a writer! He’s a lawyer. He just is good at putting together ideas when I really want to do something. And it’s just fun to have that knowledge that he’s a part of this.”
Asked if those ideas stem from a conversation, or if he surprises her with a story, the actress is quick to recognize Sveslosky’s romantic gesture.
“More or less, he will surprise me with it,” she says. “He’ll say, ‘Hey, so remember when you were talking about how you wanted to do a movie about dance?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah.’ And he says, ‘Well I wrote this 10 pages of a story. What do you think?’ So it’s really all him. Again, it’s not his day job, so the fact he will take to time to do that is really cool. He’s so romantic. I hit the jackpot.”
Danica McKellar, who inked a multi-picture deal with Great American Family in 2021, is set to star in Royal Christmas Ball, an original holiday movie premiering as part of the network’s Great American Christmas 2023.
In addition to starring in the film, McKellar wrote the story with Marcy Holland and serves as one of the film’s executive producers.
In Royal Christmas Ball, Chelsea Shaw, a Chicago-based dance instructor whose adoptive parents have long since passed, travels to the small European country of Havenshire over Christmas break in search of her heritage… and maybe even family. Discovering that the only way to get access to information she needs on her quest is via the royal family, she accepts an offer to teach a very reluctant Prince a special Waltz for the traditional Royal Christmas Ball. By the end of this Christmas adventure, Chelsea finds love, answers to her deepest questions, and yes, family.
Royal Christmas Ball is executive produced by Brad Krevoy, Danica McKellar, Kathy Ceroni, and Kelly Martin. Producer is David Anselmo. Writer is Holland.
McKellar’s first movie for GAC was The Winter Palace, which she also exec produced. Previously, McKellar appeared yearly in a Hallmark Channel holiday movie since 2015.
Her GAC Media deal extends through this year.
Source – Deadline
Danica McKellar, longtime star of holiday movies for Hallmark Channel, is getting into business with GAC Media. McKellar has signed a four-picture deal to star in and executive produce original films for the company’s flagship networks, GAC Family and GAC Living. For her first project, McKellar stars in and executive produces the original movie, The Winter Palace premiering in January 2022 on GAC Family.
“Danica is a world-class talent who is among TV’s most beloved and enduring stars,” said Bill Abbott, President & CEO of GAC Media. “Her combination of creativity and passion is second to none, and I am thrilled to have her join GAC’s close-knit family.”
Abbott, former CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, parent of Hallmark Channel, has been bringing in established Hallmark Channel talent he worked with while running the network, and McKellar is the latest. She joins another well known Hallmark holiday movie star, Trevor Donovan, who recently signed a similar multi-picture pact with GAC.
Among the biggest draws to cable television during the holiday season, McKellar has appeared yearly in a Hallmark Channel holiday movie since 2015, most recently in You, Me and the Christmas Trees, which premiered last week on Hallmark Channel. Under the GAC Media deal, which extends through 2023, she will do rom-coms and holiday films for GAC Media exclusively.
McKellar recently guest starred on ABC comedy Home Economics and is set as a judge on Fox’s upcoming unscripted competition series Domino Masters, set for early 2022.
McKellar, who was first introduced to television audiences as Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years, is also the New York Times bestselling author of children’s books at McKellarMath.com, including Math Doesn’t Suck, Kiss My Math and, most recently, The Times Machine.
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Danica revealed the cover of her new Children’s book, Double Puppy Trouble! The book is coming out on April 5th, 2022 and is available for preorder now at Amazon!
The newest math-focused picture book from the New York Times bestselling author Danica McKellar is full of puppy-fueled chaos and a message of gratitude, with a double helping of fun!
Moxie Jo always wanted MORE. But soon, she’d get MORE than she bargained for!
Spunky and energetic, Moxie is just like any other girl–aside from the fact that she has to have the MOST of everything! If she doesn’t have the most toys, the most A’s on tests, or the most time on the swing, then she makes the MOST noise! So when Moxie finds a magic stick that can double anything, she doesn’t hesitate to use it–but when the button gets stuck, she may start to realize that less really is more! Teach the power of doubling through this playful puppy romp!
Fa-la-la-la-inally! The Hallmark Holiday Movie schedule has finally arrived and it feels like Christmas morning already! If there was ever a year that we needed all of the hot cocoa, snow man building, sleigh riding, tinsel-coated goodness that we count on Hallmark for, it’s this year. And our friends at the Hallmark are not going to disappoint. That’s right, the pandemic will not stop Countdown to Christmas on Hallmark Channel or Miracles of Christmas on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Despite the fact that Hollywood, like the rest of the world, screeched to a halt in March, the show will go on. Productions for films and television series were all postponed, but one of the first groups to get back to work were our friends at Hallmark. Of course, they did so while following strict Covid-19 safety practices. All you need to do is follow the Hallmark stars on social media to catch glimpses of life in the Hallmark quarantine bubble. (Check out Paul Greene, Jack Wagner, Wes Brown, and Jill Wagner to start)
Not only do they have a whole new slate of movies that will air on both networks, they have worked with several different partners to go beyond the screen to create a fully holiday experience.
“For more than a decade, Hallmark holiday movies have represented the gold standard that many aspire to replicate,” Crown Media’s President & CEO, Wonya Lucas said in a statement. “What we bring to the table and what truly sets us apart is an immersive holiday experience that has become a pop culture phenomenon for millions of fans. From our signature movies, to food and wine, to games and decorations, to clothing, music, books, and more, we have created a destination that evokes the spirit and feeling of the season in a way that is uniquely Hallmark.”
The cable news leaders of all things holly and jolly also promises the most inclusive festivities you will find on TV this holiday season. This includes the return of many familiar faces like Candace Cameron Bure in her ninth Hallmark Channel original holiday film, Lacy Chabert, Wes Brown, and Holly Robinson Pete, but many new folks are joining the fold this year as well. Some new names on the roster include Janel Parish of Pretty Little Lies fame, Jeremy Jordon from Super Girl, and Ronnie Rowe Jr. from Star Trek: Discovery.
Without further ado, the full lists for both networks are below. Some are working titles and things are subject to change, so make sure you check the Hallmark Movie Checklist App often.
HALLMARK CHANNEL’S COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS:
All premieres are at 8 p.m. ET/PT
Sunday, December 6: Christmas She Wrote
Starring: Danica McKellar and Dylan Neal
When Kayleigh a romance writer, has her column cancelled right before Christmas, she heads home to reconnect with her family. Kayleigh gets an unexpected visit from the man who cancelled her column who fights not only to bring her back to the publisher but also for her heart.