‘E.R.’ Alum Kellie Martin Joins Advice-Column TV Movie ‘Dear Viola’ (Exclusive)

Martin will also executive produce on UP project

Kellie Martin (“E.R.,” “Army Wives”) is going to dispense some advice — and find some love — in her new project.

Martin is starring in the romantic TV movie “Dear Viola,” from cable network UP. The film, which began production outside of Toronto this week, also stars Jefferson Brown (“Degrassi: The Next Generation”) Kira Gelineau (“Creative Galaxy”), Jackie Richardson, Arnold Pinnock and others. Martin is also executive producing on the film, with Entertainment One (eOne)’s John Moranyniss (“Hell on Wheels,” “Klondike”) and Ira Pincus (“Goodnight for Justice,” “Window Wonderland”).  Jonathan Schwartz is the supervising producer on the film.

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In the movie, Martin plays Katie Miner, a shy accountant at the local newspaper in the quaint seaside village of Bellport. After the writer of beloved advice column “Dear Viola” retires, Miner begins penning the column on the sly, and discovers that the townspeople become enamored of the column’s new refreshing, no-nonsense tone.

Sifting through the mountain of letters she received, Miner finds one from a widower named Russ (played by Brown), who can’t seem to move past the death of his wife five years earlier. Through correspondence, Miner begins to fall for Russ, but when Russ begins to date a girl in town at “Viola’s” advice, Miner must decide if between remaining anonymous or losing Russ to the other woman.

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“‘Dear Viola’ is a charming, classic Hollywood romance set in a beautiful village by the water,” UP’s senior vice president, original programming Barbara Fisher said of the project. “Viewers will be rooting alongside the fun, fictional townspeople of Bellport for star Kellie Martin’s shy accountant-turned-secret-columnist to fall in love, push the brassy blonde aside, and get the guy as the story is revealed both on and off the pages of the local paper.”