Hallmark Stages 'Wonder Years' Reunion in Christmas Movie (Exclusive)
By Philiana Ng
Hallmark is staging a Wonder Years reunion.
This holiday season, Hallmark Channel will reunite Wonder Years star Danica McKellar with Dan Lauria in the Christmas movie, Christmas at Grand Valley, ET has exclusively learned. Additionally, Friday Night Lights star Aimee Teegarden and Marvel's Agents of SHIELD's Brett Dalton will co-headline their own holiday TV film, Once Upon a Christmas Miracle.
Christmas at Grand Valley, which premieres Thursday, Nov. 22, follows artist Kelly Riley (McKellar), who returns home to the picturesque Grand Valley just in time for Christmas. There, she meets Leo (Brennan Elliott), a businessman and all-star dad to his children, who struggles to balance his time during the busy holidays. When he's assigned to review a Grand Valley hotel, he sees it as the perfect opportunity for a family vacation. It isn't long until Kelly and Leo's worlds collide. As Kelly re-experiences her favorite Grand Valley traditions with Leo and his kids, she begins to find her way back to her passion for art.
Lauria will play Frank Riley, Kelly's father who has earned the title of "Mayor of Christmas" in Grand Valley. Nobody loves Christmas more than Frank, who champions all of the town's beloved holiday activities. Frank also runs the town diner, which is the staple of Grand Valley, and has a strong relationship with his daughter. On The Wonder Years, McKellar played Winnie Cooper, while Lauria portrayed Kevin's dad, Jack Arnold.
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries' Once Upon a Christmas Miracle, airing Sunday, Dec. 9,is inspired by the true story of Heather Krueger and Christopher Dempsey. In 2015, Dempsey donated half his liver to Krueger, then a stranger, and by the end of the year, they were married. Teegarden will play Krueger and Dalton will portray Dempsey in the film; Lolita Davidovich also co-stars.
Here is the official logline for the film: "Told she would only have a few months to live without a liver transplant, Heather Krueger (Teegarden) was fighting for her life and running out of time when a kind stranger, Chris Dempsey (Dalton), heard of her plight and discovered he was a perfect match. The movie follows Heather and Chris’ journey as his selfless gesture leads to a Christmas miracle."