My wife is a dedicated viewer of the movies on the Hallmark Channel. A few days ago, they ran a promotion for their Countdown to Christmas series of new holiday-themed movies. I was in the kitchen making a snack when it came on, and I paid little attention to the sound coming out of the TV. Then they said one of their new movies was Christmas at Graceland and my interest perked up.
I said to myself, “I don’t remember reading anything about this on Graceland.com/news that I check out regularly. So, I did a little search on the site for “Hallmark Movie.” This is what came up:
No wonder I didn’t remember it. This news spot posted three and a half months ago, and there hasn’t been another feature about it since. There surely is a big one coming, but ElvisBlog will share with you now as much as I have been able to find.
This is a glamour shot of country singer Kellie Pickler who stars in the movie. Of course, this is not exactly the image Hallmark would want for their movie heroine, so she has a much different look in the film.
Actually, Kellie Pickler is much more than a country singer. She got her start on the fifth season of American Idol in 2006. That was one of the strongest groups of contestants ever, with Taylor Hicks winning, Katharine McPhee placing second, and Chris Daughtry coming in fourth. Despite finishing sixth, Kellie Pickler got a major record deal, and forged ahead with her singing career.
In 2013, Pickler and her partner, Derek Hough, were declared the winners of the 16th season of Dancing with the Stars.
She is also the co-host of the Pickler & Ben talk show on CMT, for which she earned a Daytime Emmy nomination.
And this is Wes Brown, her co-star in Christmas at Graceland. He has starred in many Hallmark Channel movies, including “June in January,” “Love Begins,” “Love’s Resounding Courage,” “Christmas Cookies,” and “Love Under the Stars.”
Here is a brief synopsis of the movie that appeared on the Memphis Commercial-Appeal website on September 20:
“Country singer Kellie Pickler stars as Laurel, a native Memphian turned Chicago finance executive who returns to her hometown for a bank deal. While in Memphis, Laurel reunites with old flame Clay (Wes Brown), a local music promoter with loftier aspirations.
“Though Laurel tries to keep her eye on the prize of the business acquisition, Clay is very persuasive reminding her of the days when they were a performing duo on the brink of stardom.”
And the audience stays glued to find out if she stays in the business world or falls in love with Clay and reunites with him to pursue that old dream. I think you can guess which way it goes.
There is a 22 second teaser video on the Hallmark Chanel website that opens with this shot of the lobby of the Graceland Guesthouse.
Then there is a clip of Kellie/Laurel walking into the lobby. No explanation about the young girl.
Then, as the action presumably shifts to Graceland, this shot is shown briefly.
And this clip is when Kellie/Laurel sings in front of Graceland.
I searched the web looking for a more complete synopsis of the plot. I did find these pictures of Graceland in July being turned into a winter wonderland with artificial snow (tiny bio-degradable flakes of recycled paper).
Notice the guy is wearing shorts.
This guy is, too. They even put up the famous Graceland Merry Christmas display.
On this shot down the drive from Graceland, you can see where the fake snow stops. That’s Elvis Presley’s Memphis across the street.
And here’s the final result:
Christmas at Graceland will premiere at 8 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Nov. 17, and be repeated during the same prime time slot several times over the following weeks. It probably will be at a different time when it is repeated on Christmas Day as part of a marathon of new Hallmark holiday movies.
I have a history of watching Elvis movies over and over. My wife does the same thing with those Hallmark Channel movies. So, I guess we’ll be watching Christmas at Graceland several times together. I’ll bet that many of you will watch it multiple times, too.
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