LeAnn Rimes and Laura Bell Bundy to Star in CMT Movies
On the heels of CMT's first original scripted series, 'Working Class,' the network has launched CMT Original Movies. The network's first two made-for-TV films will be 'Reel Love,' starring LeAnn Rimes, and 'To the Mat,' featuring Laura Bell Bundy and '24' and 'NYPD Blue' actor Ricky Schroder.
"We've had great ratings success programming with acquired theatrical romantic comedies," CMT Sr. VP of Programming Mary Beth Cunin explains, "so it is only natural for us to create original stories that are tailor made for the CMT audience."
Acting is nothing new for either of these singers. LeAnn starred in the TV movie 'Northern Lights' with her now fiancé Eddie Cibrian in 2009. Laura Bell originated the role of Elle in 'Legally Blonde: The Musical' and has appeared on 'How I Met Your Mother' in a recurring role, among a laundry list of other TV shows and movies.
'Reel Love' follows a prosperous, big city girl (Rimes), who returns to her small town roots after a family emergency and reconnects with long lost family and friends. Along the way, she also finds herself a new relationship. The movie is scheduled to begin production in late April and will premiere on CMT in September.
From the writer of 'Sweet Home Alabama,' C. Jay Cox, 'To The Mat' is the story of a laid-back ex-wrestler (Ricky Schroder) who's working to keep his family's southern wrestling school afloat. When Laura Bell's character, an uptight Wall Street consultant, is hired to help the business, she and the ex-wrestler have to find a way to get along and save the family business. The film is currently in production and set to premiere on CMT in August.
CMT Original Movies was created after the success of CMT Films, which produced such movies as 'Broken Bridges' and 'Beer For My Horses' -- both of which starred Toby Keith -- and the Emmy-nominated 'Dale,' about the life of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt. CMT Films produced and distributed films from 2005-2010.