‘Down­ton Abbey’ is re­open­ing – but not just yet

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Ontv -

Q: I’m ex­cited to be see­ing ads for the “Down­ton Abbey” movie. When is that com­ing out? – Pa­tri­cia Hol­land, Buf­falo, N.Y.

A: The film isn’t set to open un­til Septem­ber, so it was a cal­cu­lated move to get fans of the glob­ally pop­u­lar se­ries (seen in Amer­ica on PBS, of course) in­trigued and ex­cited by re­leas­ing a com­pos­ite of brief glimpses al­most a year ear­lier. The first trailer makes it clear that the movie brings back most of the orig­i­nal cast mem­bers, and one of them – Hugh Bon­neville, alias Robert Craw­ley, Earl of Gran­tham – told us re­cently that the ac­tors had “a lot of fun” in re­unit­ing. The pic­ture was writ­ten by “Down­ton Abbey” cre­ator Ju­lian Fel­lowes, so one can ex­pect it to hold true to char­ac­ters and sit­u­a­tions al­ready well-known to the “Abbey” faith­ful.

Q: I en­joyed watch­ing Sarah Lan­caster in “Christ­mas on Holly Lane.” Didn’t she do an­other Christ­mas movie? – Deb Green, via e-mail

A: A few of them, in fact. Hav­ing played roles on “Chuck” and “Ever­wood,” Lan­caster is one of the top “go-to” ac­tresses for ba­sic-ca­ble net­works, so sev­eral hol­i­day sea­sons of re­cent years have fea­tured her in a new yule­tide film on one net­work or an­other.

In 2015, there were two such movies: “‘Tis the Sea­son for Love” on Hall­mark Chan­nel and “Christ­mas in the Smok­ies” on UPtv (the lat­ter of which also ran “Christ­mas on Holly Lane”). And 2013 saw Lan­caster also star for Hall­mark in “Fir Crazy”... she sold Christ­mas trees in that one, so she truly was “fir crazy.” Her Hall­mark hol­i­day ti­tles re­peated quite a bit dur­ing the past cou­ple of months.

Hugh Bon­neville

Sarah Lan­caster

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