One of Hallmark’s most popular movie franchises is staging a comeback… without its leading lady.
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries announced Thursday it had picked up a new Aurora Teagarden Mysteries movie.
The flick becomes the 19th movie in the franchise, but the first without Candace Cameron Bure, who departed the cabler for a lucrative deal with GAC Family in 2022.
At the time, it seemed like the franchise was dead and buried, but the easiest way for the cabler to switch things up is to take a trip to the past with Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Something New.
Skyler Samuels has been drafted in as the titular crime-solver in a movie that flashes back to Aurora’s post-college days “when she finds herself back home in Lawrenceton,” according to the official description.
While her mother, Aida, struggles to keep her newfound real estate business, Aurora supports herself by working as a teacher’s assistant in a crime fiction class, and waitresses at the local diner at night, where she shares her love of researching true crime with her friend Sally and police officer Arthur.
When Sally’s fiancé doesn’t show up at their wedding rehearsal, Maid of Honor Aurora gets Arthur to help her search for him.
When they discover a body, everyone assumes it is Sally’s tardy groom, but when it turns out to be someone else, Sally’s fiancé becomes the main suspect.
“Our viewers have been waiting for more adventures with Aurora and her friends,” Emily Merlin, Development Manager of Programming at Hallmark Media, said in a statement.
“What better way to do that than to take them back to when the young, amateur sleuth was just coming into her own?”
“The Aurora Teagarden franchise is a fan favorite and we’re excited to share this new chapter with viewers.”
Recasting the lead role will be bittersweet news for diehard fans, but the movie will include Marilu Henner as Aurora’s mother, reprising her role from prior movies.
Evan Roderick plays a younger version of Peter Benson’s Arthur.
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.