Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

UP to launch family drama series. Production on UP’s first original scripted drama series Ties That Bind began last week in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada. The hybrid police procedural/family drama, created by Sheryl J. Anderson (UP’s enjoyable The Town That Came A-Courtin’) stars Kelli Williams (The Practice, Army Wives) Jonathan Scarfe (Hell On Wheels, Perception) and Dion Johnstone (The Tempest, Defiance). The ensemble cast also includes teen actors Mitchell Kummen (Horns, The Tomorrow People), Natasha Calis (The Possession, The Firm), Rhys Matthew Bond (The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story, The Good Witch) and Matreya Scarrwener (Strange Empire, Once Upon a Time).  Luke Perry (Black Beauty, Beverly Hills 90210) guests on the first episode in what looks like a potential recurring role. Produced by Reel One Entertainment,Ties, has a 10-episode order and  is set to premiere on UP in August.

The hour-long show centers on Allison McLean (Williams), a tough and experienced police detective in suburban Seattle whose hands are full, balancing a demanding and dangerous job and a family. The latter includes husband Matt (Scarfe) and teenagers Jeff (Kummen) and Rachel (Calis).  Her life takes a more complicated turn when she and her partner, Devin (Johnstone) arrest her brother Tim (Perry) who is convicted and sent to prison leaving his two teenagers Cameron (Bond) and Mariah (Scarrwener) teetering on the brink of foster care compelling Allison to brings hew nephew and niece into her home.

Barbara Fisher, UP’s Sr. V.P. of Original Programming, describes Ties That Bind asa series about a family, loyalty and the limits of love,” adding “It is just what we were looking for in our first scripted series – an entertaining show with a complicated lead tackling life’s difficult challenges, while still enjoying wonderful family moments and romance.  The lead character, Allison, is relatable to any working woman trying to balance her professional role with that of being a wife and mother.

It’s been a while since TV had a really good family drama so I have high hopes for this one.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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