Hallmark romances, while always addictive, can occasionally veer into “soapy” territory, and the network’s latest original movie, A Little Daytime Drama, is embracing that label… quite literally. In the film, Jen Lilley (Days of Our Lives) plays Maggie, a hard-working writer/producer on a fictional daytime soap who, to help with sagging ratings, needs to bring back its biggest star, Darin, played by Ryan Paevey (General Hospital). The only problem? Drew has zero interest in returning.
As Maggie tries to coax Darin to return to the show, she also has to confront her past romance with the actor, one that fizzled out years before. “They had a great relationship and they just had a miscommunication … [but] they maintained a friendship,” Lilley tells TV Insider. “But it’s obviously a little awkward that Maggie was given the task of getting Darin to come back to the show when she knew he didn’t want to come back. She wanted to respect that.”
Another nod to daytime in the film is the casting of Linda Dano (Another World, Days of Our Lives) who plays Maggie’s hard-working head writer, Alice. Paevey recalls the surreal moment when he met Dano on set and she revealed that she’s a fan of his work. “She’s such a legend,” adds Lilley.
Paevey and Lilley, who previously co-starred in the 2017 Hallmark film Harvest Love, were excited to reunite for this project, especially since they never appeared on General Hospital at the same time. “We finally got to play in soap land together!” Paevey gushes.
Lilley also stresses that daytime viewers in particular will love seeing their beloved TV world come to life in the flick. “I’m so excited for fans to see this one,” says Lilley.
A Little Daytime Drama, Movie Premiere, Saturday, August 21, 9/8c, Hallmark Channel