Saturday, January 24, 2015

Hallmark Movie 'Love By The Book' Premieres Tonight, Stars Leah Renee, Ryan Bittle, Kristopher Turner, John Schneider, Stefanie Powers

Leah Renee and Kristopher Turner in Love By The Book. Photo Credit: Copyright 2013 Crown Media
United States, LLC/Photographer: Bryan Sheffied
Hallmark Channel Original Movie Love By The Book premieres on Saturday, January 24 at 9 p.m, ET/PT. The film stars Leah Renee (The Playboy Club, Satisfaction), Kristopher Turner (Instant Star, Saving Hope), Ryan Bittle (All My Children, A Christmas Mystery), John Schneider (The Dukes of Hazzard, Smallville, The Haves and the Have Nots) and Stefanie Powers (Hart to Hart).

After a childhood filled with reading fairytales, bookstore owner Emma (Renee) believes in handsome princes and happily ever afters. Unlike her happily married coworker Marilyn (Powers), Emma has yet to be swept away by her own prince charming.

Ryan Bittle. Photo Credit: Copyright 2013 Crown Media
United States, LLC/Photographer: Bryan Sheffied
Trying to both find an idyllic love life and impress her store’s investor, Frank (Schneider), Emma balances time dating romantic suitor Landon (Bittle) and time at her store with Frank’s nettlesome son, Eric (Turner).

Although Landon demonstrates real knight and shining armor potential with his romantic overtures, he doesn't understand her priorities or support her passions like Eric does.

As Emma weighs fairytale courtship against genuine commitment, she learns that real love has more layers than storybook romances.



Love by the Book is a Domain Media Production in association with Larry Levinson Productions. James Wilberger is the producer. David S. Cass, Sr. directs from a script by Jeff Bonnett and Abbey Cleland and Jennifer Notas.

The cast of Love By The Book includes Michael Ensign, Cherilyn Wilson, Cuyle Carvin, Lola Wayne Villa and Joelle Better.

CAST BIOS
RYAN BITTLE (Landon) – Originally born in Los Angeles, Ryan Bittle attended The Julliard School in New York and received training at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. During his time at Julliard, he appeared on stage many times, in productions of "Macbeth," "The Dutchess of Malfi," "No. 11 (Blue and White)," "Pericles," "Summer Folk," and "Cyrano De Bergerac."

Bittle got his start onscreen playing Todd Wilkins in the television adaptation of the teenage book series, Sweet Valley High, appearing in 24 episodes in the mid-nineties. From there, he went on to guest star on episodes of Boy Meets World, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Walker: Texas Ranger and secured recurring roles on the long-running family drama, 7th
Heaven
and Dawson’s Creek.

His most recent credits include guest spots on CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Numb3rs, NCIS and Dirt. Bittle rejoins the Hallmark family after being featured in a starring role in the 2011 Hallmark Channel Original Movie, Backyard Wedding. He can next be seen in Universal’s drama/comedy Kids in America, starring Anna Faris and Michelle Trachtenberg about an aimless group of college grads, and the thriller, Lure, for Promenade Pictures.

Stefanie Powers, Michael Ensign. Photo Credit: Copyright 2013
Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Bryan Sheffied
STEFANIE POWERS (Marilyn) – Stefanie Powers began her career at age 15, dancing for famed Broadway choreographer, Jerome Robbins. She was put under contract to Columbia Pictures in the final years of the Hollywood star system. While under contract, she appeared in 15 of the 31 motion pictures she has made, co-starring with screen legends such as John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Lana Turner, Ava Gardner, Cliff Robertson, Elliot Gould, Roger Moore, Donald Sutherland, Bing Crosby, Glenn Ford, Lee Remick, James Caan and Sammy Davis. She recently co-starred with Richard Chamberlin in the critically acclaimed independent film, Three Days Of Hamlet.

Her first television series, The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., marked a milestone in U.S. television's
history as the first hour-long series featuring a female in the leading role. Her television career
includes over 25 mini-series, over 200 episodic guest starring appearances, 35 movies for
television and two more television series, Feather and Father and the long running Hart to
Hart
, starring opposite Robert Wagner.

Powers became a member of the Screen Writers Guild of America in the 1980s, and has produced several of the screenplays she has written. One of these, Family Secrets, was not only a stepping stone for the careers of James Spader and Gary Sinise, but it also garnered her a nomination for the best screenplay of the year by her peers in the Writers Guild. Her writing has extended itself to a memoir called, "One From The Hart," published by The Robson Press.

Throughout her career, Powers has never neglected her theatrical roots, and has appeared in
productions of "How the other Half Loves," "Under the Yum Yum Tree," "Sabrina Faire," "View from the Bridge," "Oliver," "Annie Get Your Gun," the West End debut of "Matador," an off-Broadway production of "The Vagina Monologues" and the West End production of "Love Letters" with Robert Wagner. She toured the United States with Wagner in "Love Letters," becoming the cast most associated with the play after over 500 performances. While appearing in a production of "Love Letters" in the Middle East, she received a request from Valerie Harper to take over her role in the play, "Looped."

Powers once again appeared in the UK in the West End production of The King and I, which also toured the United States for ten months. As a result of the successful remounting of the musical Sunset Boulevard at the Ogunquit Theatre, a US revival is in the works. She appeared once again in the UK in 2012 co-starring opposite Richard Johnson of Royal Shakespeare Company fame, in the play, On Golden Pond. Powers has recorded a CD with the legendary jazz artist Page Cavanaugh called On the Same Page, available online at Jambomusic.com. Also in 2012, she performed her one woman show, Hart of my Heart, a tribute to the life and the lyrics of Lorenz Hart at the newly opened Matcham Room at the Hippodrome.

As much a part of her life as her career, is her devotion to animal preservation and protection, which at times becomes more of a vocation than an avocation. She is founder and president of the William Holden Wildlife Foundation, established in 1982 to continue and to further her longtime partner’s conservation work in East Africa after his death.

Powers was appointed conservation consultant to Jaguar and Land Rover after creating the Jaguar Conservation Trust which she has operated in Central America. She has been on the advisory board of four zoos in the United States and is a fellow of the Los Angeles Zoo, the Explorers' Club and the Royal Geographic Society. She is active in the movement to preserve and protect the remaining herds of the North American wild horses and has received numerous international awards for her grass roots work in conservation which she considers a life-long commitment. Powers resides part of the year in Kenya.

John Schneider. Photo Credit: Copyright 2013
Crown Media United States, LLC/
Photographer: Larsen & Talbert
JOHN SCHNEIDER (Frank) – Perhaps best known for his role as Bo Duke on the iconic series, The Dukes of Hazzard, John Schneider has established himself throughout the years as a beloved actor, singer, writer and director. His small screen roles include a lead on Smallville (the television adaptation of Superman), The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Hot in Cleveland and Desperate Housewives.

Schneider, who has appeared in many feature films, has just finished directing the movie titled,
Smothered, which he also wrote. Smothered, filmed at the John Schneider Studio in Holden, Louisiana was released in Fall 2014.

Along with the television and films, Schneider has also starred on Broadway as the lead in "Grand Hotel" and "Chicago." John Schneider’s entertaining talents extend into music, as a well known country music singer. He has released nine studio albums and a greatest hits package, as well as eighteen singles, and a Christmas album. His work boasts four number one singles: "I've Been Around Enough to Know," "Country Girls," "What's a Memory Like You (Doing in a Love Like This)" and "You're the Last Thing I Needed Tonight."

Schneider has also voiced several commercials for companies including Home Depot. He has also lent his voice talent to the role of Preston Stormer on the HERO Factory television series for several seasons.

In 1982, John co-founded the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, which works to save the lives of children in communities nationwide. CMNH is affiliated with 170 children’s hospitals throughout the United States and Canada, and has raised 4.9 billion dollars, making it the largest children’s charity in the world. Schneider has been, and still is, the spokesperson for CMNH.

LEAH RENEE (Emma) – Multi-platform talent Leah Renee has captured the attention of the entertainment industry and has positioned herself as a leading lady in Hollywood. She began her career at just five years old and appeared in more than 50 commercials and on the pages of countless catalogs and magazines by the time she was 15.

Renee burst onto the Hollywood scene after being cast as Bunny Alice on the NBC/Imagine Television’s The Playboy Club, written by Chad Hodge and directed by Alan Taylor. In the much buzzed about one-hour drama, the story centered on the bunnies and patrons of the original Playboy Club in 1960’s Chicago. Renee was next cast as the lead character in the television comedy Satisfaction, which depicted life on the edge of adulthood and navigating the transition. Other small screen credits include I Was A Sixth Grade Alien and My Babysitter is a Vampire for Teletoon; Blue Mountain State for Spike TV; True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet for Lifetime; MVP for CBC; Runaway for the CW; Degrassie: The Next Generation for CTV and The Snow Queen for BBC.

Renee will next be seen in the highly anticipated Mission Control, produced by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Krysten Ritter (also starring Ritter.) The show follows a cocky astronaut (Tommy Dewey) who faces a series of culture clashes as he trains to become one of the first to land on the moon. She previously appeared in the independent film Stag alongside Donald Faison and Eva Amurri.

Renee has had an extremely successful run with her voice over work as well, having appeared as the voice of many television favorites such as Beaver in the beloved animated series Franklin (Nickelodeon), Growing Up Creepie (Discovery Kids), Atomic Betty (Breakthrough Entertainment) and Stickin Around (Nelvana).

KRISTOPHER TURNER (Eric) - Well known for his role as Jamie Andrews on the CTV teen drama Instant Star, Kristopher Turner continues to establish himself as a strong presence on film, television and stage.

Turner recently wrapped Season 2 as a series regular on the NBC/CTV series Saving Hope and
recurred on the CW series, The LA Complex. He received a Gemini nomination for his guest role on the miniseries Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures. Prior to that, Turner had a lead role on the hit CTV series Instant Star for 4 seasons.

Turner’s film and television movie credits include starring roles in A Little Bit Zombie, Without A Paddle: Nature's Calling, In God's Country, the improvised feature A Wake and Me and Luke, for which he was nominated for a Gemini as a leading actor. Turner also appeared in the Hallmark Channel Original Movies An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving and An Old Fashioned Christmas. Most recently, he starred in the independent romantic comedy, Wingman, Inc. On stage, Turner has performed in the North American premiere of "That Face" with Sonja Smits, as well as "In Gabriel's Kitchen," "This is Our Youth" and "Master Harold and the Boys." He received a Dora Nomination for his role in "Two Weeks, Twice a Year" at LKTYP (Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People).

Kristopher Turner was born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada.

CHERILYN WILSON (Jane) – Power hungry geeks, sex craved ad executives, vampires, serial killers and supernatural hunters may seem like every girls nightmare, but all are in a day’s work for Cherilyn Wilson.

Wilson fought vampires on Disney's I Heart Vampires, along with some pretty good looking
ones on the CW's Vampire Diaries and HBO's True Blood. After talking to her dead mother
on Supernatural, she helped track a killer on NCIS. Wilson had a raucous encounter with
Dexter where she managed to keep her head and a sultry evening on Mad Men where she
made the men lose theirs. She weaved her way through social media with Jesse Eisenberg and
Justin Timberlake in David Fincher's The Social Network and kept the boys of TBS's Men at
Work
guessing her intentions.

No stranger to the horror genre, Wilson appeared as the lead character in Parasomnia, a story
of a girl suffering from a medical condition that causes her to sleep her life away, waking briefly
on rare occasions. Wilson expertly portrayed a woman unsure whether the dream world or the real world was, in fact, reality.

Wilson has also appeared as a recurring character on 90210 for the CW and an episode of the once popular crime show Cold Case. Her numerous other credits include a series regular on Twelve Miles of Bad Road, a series that was created for HBO, but cut short due to the Writers Guild strike.

Cherilyn Wilson was raised in Northern California and got her start in San Francisco theater. She studied music and singing as a girl before she found her home in acting. Wilson is now a full time Los Angeles resident, who, while acting, received a college degree in Political Science and theory. She is always expanding her mind and experiences and spends her free time traveling and seeking any and all kinds of outdoor adventures with family and friends.

CUYLE CARVIN (Greg) – Cuyle Carvin is a native of small town, Oneonta, New York. Since
arriving in Los Angles, he's quickly become a name to follow.

Carvin has appeared in guest starring roles on some of network television’s most successful shows, including Law and Order: SVU, The Mentalist, NCIS and Ironside. He was part of the ensemble cast for the 2011 Hallmark Channel Original Movie Keeping Up with the Randalls.

On the big screen, Carvin worked alongside Nick Wechsler, Paul Sorvino and Bill Sadler in the
motion picture Mineville. He starred in the cult classic Alien Opponent alongside Roddy
Piper and Jeremy London. Carvin also stars as Jeremy Ross in the award winning sci-fi web
series, Revelations, attracting thousands of devoted viewers. In 2014, he will appear in the
feature Alienate.

In 2009 Carvin became a cartoon character for The Cuyle Carvin Coloring Book, a nonprofit publication teaching children the importance of exercise and nutrition. He appears at comic book conventions raising funds for veteran’s services and animal shelters.

MICHAEL ENSIGN (Phil) – Michael Ensign has graced both the stage and screen in his flourishing career. Ensign’s early work includes appearances on the West End for the Royal Shakespeare Company for productions including "Irene," "Curse of the Starving Class" and "The Red Devil Battery Sign."

From here, Enisgn established himself as a constant presence on television projects. His work
on television includes top series such as Boston Legal, Alias, Monk, JAG, CSI, The X Files, MacGyver and MASH, among many others.Ensign’s myriad film credits include Midnight Express, Superman, Not Another Teen Movie, Ghostbusters, Mr. Mom, Bringing Down the House, Down With Love, Titanic and Seabiscuit.

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