News of Hallmark’s next Hannah Swensen mystery movie begat a mystery of its own: Why isn’t Cameron Mathison again reprising his role of lawman Mike Kingston…?
Mathison, after all, has played Mike in no fewer than eight Hannah Swensen movies — most recently, in this past October’s A Zest for Death, in which onetime fiancés Hannah and Mike reconciled after being derailed by some crossed signals and agreed to revisit their relationship, taking things one day at a time.
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And yet Mike is MIA from the synopsis for One Bad Apple: A Hannah Swensen Mystery, which is based on the novel Apple Turnover Murder by Joanne Fluke and due to hit Hallmark Movies & Mysteries later this year.
Instead, One Bad Apple will reunite Alison Sweeney (who stars as baker-turned- sleuth Hannah) with Victor Webster — her co-star from Hallmark’s The Wedding Veil trilogy, who will be playing Lake Eden’s prosecuting attorney, Chad Norton.
Sensing some despair from TVLine commenters caught off guard by Mathison/Mike’s absence, we reached out to Hallmark and were told that a decision was made to “stay true to the book series” on which the Hannah Swensen movies are based — and in which (BOOKS SPOILER ALERT?) Hannah and Mike do not end up together.
With Mike allegedly headed to Quantico for FBI training at the end of A Zest for Death, his absence from Eden Lake will make some sense.
Another possible factor is that one month after A Zest for Death came out, Mathison inked a multi-year, multi-picture deal with Hallmark rival Great American Family — though the All My Children/General Hospital alum did previously star in a handful of GAF flicks while also making the rounds at Hallmark.
Sweeney addressed Hannah’s new love interest in a statement about One Bad Apple, saying, “I’ve always loved working with Victor — from our years in daytime to our work together on The Wedding Veil. When writing the script and developing this movie, I knew he’d be a great addition to the Hannah Swensen family and am thrilled that he said yes.”
“The great chemistry Alison and Victor had in The Wedding Veil trilogy made the decision to bring him into this world an easy one,” added Laura Gaines, Director of Development for Hallmark Media. “It will be fun for viewers to see a different side of the legal process as Hannah learns the recipe for a strong case.”
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