O'Connell, Dunaway and Stamile to Begin Production on NORA ROBERTS' MIDNIGHT BAYOU for Lifetime
The Lifetime Original Movie "Nora Roberts' Midnight Bayou," starring Jerry O'Connell ("Crossing Jordan"), Lauren Stamile ("Grey's Anatomy") and Faye Dunaway ("Chinatown") is the second of the 2009 Nora Roberts' movie slate to begin production. Additional adaptations include "Nora Roberts' High Noon," "Nora Roberts' Tribute" and "Nora Roberts' Northern Lights." Mandalay Television and Stephanie Germain Productions will produce the film with Peter Guber and Stephanie Germain serving as executive producers.
In making the announcement, Tanya Lopez, Senior Vice President, Original Movies, Lifetime Networks, said, "'Nora Roberts' Midnight Bayou' is a love story with a twist that will not disappoint loyal Nora Roberts fans. We are thrilled to have popular television stars Jerry O'Connell, Lauren Stamile, and the incomparable Faye Dunaway in the cast."
The four previous Nora Roberts' movies that aired on Lifetime Television in 2007 together reached over 34 million viewers total and "Nora Roberts' Angels Fall" was the highest rated Lifetime Original Movie of 2007.
In "Nora Roberts' Midnight Bayou," Harvard-educated lawyer Declan Fitzpatrick (O'Connell), impulsively gives up his settled life to buy Manet Hall, a newly restored plantation manor near New Orleans which he has always found himself drawn to. Legend has it that the house is haunted, and shortly after Declan moves in he starts hearing voices and seeing things. Declan is also distracted by an undeniable attraction to Cajun local Lena Simone (Stamile), who grew up on the bayou with her grandmother Odette (Dunaway), and has her own deep connection to the manor. Living in the house, Declan begins to have visions from a century past and details of events that took place in the mansion. With the help of Odette, Declan and Lena realize that they are inextricably linked with Manet Hall and uncover a shocking secret that has been hidden there for more than one hundred years.
With an impressive body of work that encompasses television, film and theatre, Jerry O'Connell is one of Hollywood's most versatile actors. O'Connell began his acting career at the age of 11, when he co-starred in the classic feature film "Stand By Me," directed by Rob Reiner. He then took a break from acting and returned to it after completing his education at New York University. He went on to receive critical acclaim for his role as Cush in "Jerry Maguire," with Tom Cruise. His additional feature film credits include "Yours, Mine and Ours," "Kangaroo Jack," "Tomcats," "Scream 2" and "Mission to Mars." On television he has starred in "Crossing Jordan," "Do Not Disturb," "Carpoolers" and "Sliders." O'Connell's additional television credits include guest-starring roles in "Samantha Who," "Ugly Betty," "Las Vegas," "Without a Trace" and the miniseries "The '60s."
Born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Lauren Stamile performed in her first play at age four. After majoring in theater at Northwestern University, Stamile moved to New York and Hollywood to pursue acting professionally. She is best known for her role as "Nurse Rose" on the hit ABC series, "Grey's Anatomy." Stamile has had starring roles in the made-for-television movie "Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Charlie's Angels" and The WB series "Off Centre." Her guest-starring roles on television include "Scrubs," "Heroes," "Boston Legal," "NUMB3RS," "Criminal Minds," "The West Wing," "Cold Case," "Crossing Jordan" and "Without a Trace."
Emmy, Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning actress Faye Dunaway made her acting debut on Broadway in 1962. Her first big screen role came in 1967 in "The Happening," and her first starring role was shortly after in "Bonnie and Clyde," opposite Warren Beatty. Her extensive film credits include "Chinatown," "The Arrangement," "The Three Musketeers," "The Towering Inferno," "Mommie Dearest," "Don Juan DeMarco," "Network," "The Thomas Crown Affair," "Jennifer's Shadow" and "The Rules of Attraction." Her television credits include "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "Alias," "It Had to Be You" and "Touched by an Angel," as well as numerous made-for-television movies including, "Cold Sassy Tree," "Rebecca," "Running Mates," "A Will of Their Own" and "A Family Divided."
The Nora Roberts' adaptations join an impressive list of novels developed into Lifetime Original Movies including the top rated basic cable movie for 2008, "The Memory Keeper's Daughter," starring Dermot Mulroney, Emily Watson and Gretchen Mol, and Jodi Picoult's "The Tenth Circle," starring Kelly Preston, Ron Eldard and Brittany Robertson.
Since publishing her first novel in 1981, Roberts has gone on to become a #1 New York Times best-selling sensation. With more than 300 million books in print, Roberts' novels have spent a combined 138 weeks at the #1 spot on the coveted Times list. In addition, since 1999, every book published under her name has hit the New York Times best seller list. Amazon.com recently reported that Roberts is their third most popular author -- following only Tom Clancy and JK Rowling. Roberts is a member of several writers groups and has won countless awards from her colleagues and the publishing industry. Nora Roberts is represented by literary agent Amy Berkower at Writers House, LLC and by CAA. Nora Roberts' books are published by Penguin Group (US).
"Nora Roberts' Midnight Bayou" is produced by Mandalay Television and Stephanie Germain Productions for Lifetime Television. Peter Strauss ("The Jacket"), Peter Guber ("Rainman," "Batman," "The Color Purple," "The Jacket") and Stephanie Germain (Lifetime's "Gracie's Choice," "The Day After Tomorrow") are the executive producers. Gideon Amir ("The Mists of Avalon") will serve as producer. Stephen Tolkin (Lifetime's "Nora Roberts' Carolina Moon") wrote the teleplay and Ralph Hemecker (Lifetime's "Nora Roberts' Angels Falls") will direct.
In addition to the first four Nora Roberts Lifetime Original Movies, through her production company, Stephanie Germain produced TNT's Johnson & Johnson presentation of Richard Paul Evan's bestseller, "A Perfect Day," starring Rob Lowe; and Lifetime's "Gracie's Choice," starring Kristin Bell, Diane Ladd and Anne Heche, who received an Emmy(R) nomination for her performance. "Gracie's Choice" premiered in January 2004 and became one of cable's highest rated films. Some additional credits include: the highest rated television movie of its season, CBS' "The Pilot's Wife," based on Anita Shreve's bestseller and starring Emmy(R) and Oscar(R) award winner Christine Lahti; the ABC special effects extravaganza "Superfire," created by best-selling authors Richard Preston and Doug Preston; ABC's "King of the World: The Muhammad Ali Story," based upon the book by Pulitzer Prize winner David Remnick and starring Terrence Howard; ABC's "Holiday In Your Heart," starring LeAnn Rimes and Bernadette Peters; CBS' miniseries "The Doris Duke Story," starring Lauren Bacall and Richard Chamberlain; and the TBS premiere movie "Fatal Error," starring Janine Turner. Germain co-produced Showtime's one hour series, "Jeremiah," starring Luke Perry, for two seasons. She was also an executive producer on the blockbuster "The Day After Tomorrow," starring Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal, and directed by Roland Emmerich ("Independence Day").
Mandalay Television has achieved great success in series, long form television movies and miniseries. Mandalay's critically acclaimed, Peabody Award-winning series "Brotherhood" is entering its third season on Showtime. Mandalay movies and miniseries have produced some of the strongest ratings of all-time, including Dean Koontz's "Intensity," a four-hour miniseries based on the best seller by Dean Koontz -- the highest rated miniseries ever on FOX Broadcasting; "First Daughter," a two-hour original movie starring Muriel Hemingway for TBS which was the highest rated basic cable movie in history and spawned two sequels, "First Target" and "First Shot"; "Blood Crime," which launched USA's Crime Friday and was the highest rated original program for the network in 2002; and "The Linda McCartney Story" for CBS. Mandalay Television has recently completed production on "RPM," a ground breaking microseries for TNT starring Johnathon Schaech.
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