A year after romancing Billy Eichner on the big screen, Luke Macfarlane is ready to warm viewers’ hearts once again with a dreamy new project.
This weekend, fans can catch the “Bros” actor in the Hallmark Channel’s “Notes of Autumn.” Airing Saturday, the romantic comedy follows Leo (played by Macfarlane), an author who decides to swap homes with musician friend Ellie (Ashley Williams) as he seeks inspiration for a new book.
While settling into his out-of-town retreat, Leo strikes up a friendship with Matt (Peter Porte), an area resident. Together, the two men discover that something more meaningful between them might be developing, just as Ellie begins to find herself in a similar situation with Leo’s neighbor Sam (Marcus Rosner).
HuffPost caught a sneak peek at “Notes of Autumn” via the clip below. In it, Leo and Matt realize they’re reluctant to part ways after enjoying an intimate lunch together.
Watch a clip from “Notes of Autumn”:
Bart Fisher, Hallmark Media’s vice president of programming, said in an email that the film “celebrates the fall season in a fun, contemporary way and has something for everyone.”
“The journeys of these characters and the paths their relationships take are handled with tenderness, compassion and explored in meaningful ways,” he added.
The Hallmark Channel has made visible strides toward diversifying its lineup of original films lately, after facing years of criticism for relying on heterosexual (and overwhelmingly white) stories.
In 2020, the network unveiled “The Christmas House,” its first holiday-themed offering to include an LGBTQ+ storyline. The TV movie starred “Mean Girls” actor Jonathan Bennett as Brandon Mitchell, a married gay man who is hoping to adopt his first child.
“Hallmark is absolutely making efforts to create queer content, and I applaud them for that,” said Luke Macfarlane (right, with co-star Peter Porte).
Macfarlane’s long professional relationship with the Hallmark Channel has earned him a nickname: “the King of Christmas movies.” And though he’s found success both in mainstream films and in prestige television, he said he’s thrilled to add to his “canon” with the network this year.
“Hallmark is absolutely making efforts to create queer content, and I applaud them for that,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in a July interview, conducted before the Hollywood actors strike.
“They’ve been often the butt of jokes about the sort of limited nature of their cast,” added Macfarlane, who came out as gay back in 2008. “But they’ve really changed that, and they’re really continuing to do that. I think they’re doing that not just for the press.”
He went on to note: “What’s been always fun about the Hallmark movies is how much leeway they give you and the pace. Talk about learning on the job.”