Making its big debut on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries this weekend is the new mystery series based on the FIXER UPPER MYSTERY novels by Katie Carlisle. Starring Jewel and Colin Ferguson, the new mystery series sets up tales of murder, mystery and a dash of romance in the small town of Lighthouse Cove.
While attending the recent Crown Media TCA event, we chatted with star Colin Ferguson about bringing this cool new mystery series to screen.
When did you get cast in the FIXER UPPER MYSTERY series?
COLIN: I got cast in September, October. I thought it would take a little while to get up and running, but we shot the first one in November and we’re shooting the next one [FIXER UPPER MYSTERY] next month. They wanted to do the next one in June. But I was like: whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.
It was so unexpected and yet I was so happy to see you in the first commercial for it. I kept rewinding my DVR to see the ad over again.
COLIN: [Laughs] Awesome. Thank you. That’s when we began shooting and they said that we’re going to air mid-January.
How did getting cast in the show happen? Did you get the script? Did they approach you?
COLIN: They sent me the script. So they approached me. They said, “We’d like you to do it.” I read it and I called around and was like, “Is Jewel really nice?” And she’s amazing. The best news — what I didn’t know is: she’s great. She’s a great actor. She’s present. She knows her stuff. We have a good thing. Again, I seemed to have lucked into something, which is amazing.
Should we assume that because it’s on Hallmark that there might be a bit of a romance between your and Jewel’s characters?
COLIN: [Laughs] There might be. I don’t want to lean to heavily on it right now. The great news is that they always have to cut the chemistry out.
You guys probably get along too good in your scenes.
COLIN: [Laughs] We get along great. We started finishing each other’s sentences. We speak the same way. We have the same sense of humor. So it just fit. We both would love to take credit for being amazing craftsmen, but when it fits, it fits.
What did your wife say when she found out you were going to working opposite Jewel?
COLIN: She was ecstatic. She was really really happy.
She must be a fan of Jewel’s then.
COLIN: Yeah, she is.
Do you do any home improvement stuff yourself?
COLIN: All of it. I can do plumbing, I can do electric, I can frame, I can put in everything, though I don’t do fine carpentry. I don’t do mudding and dry wall. I don’t do cement work.
What have you been doing recently for home improvement?
COLIN: Recently I’m designing an island that’s going to go into the kitchen because I don’t like the kitchen. That’s going to go in and I had a fan go out on me. An outdoor fan, so I’ve got to actually rewire the gazebo.
Does your wife give you a little wish list of things, like, “this is what I want you to work on next”?
COLIN: [Laughs] A little “Honey Do List”? Not really. I’m more on it than she is. It’s one of these, when you work out of town all the time you always have to get the house prepped before you leave. Then you have to fix everything right when you get back, so I’m really on that. She’s always more complacent than I am. She’s like, “It’s fine.” I was like, “It’s not fine. It doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to work we’ve got to fix it, optimize it.”
This is kind of a natural fit for you then on the show.
COLIN: Actually, Jewel is the contractor in the show. I’m like a novelist.
So tell me about your character. Who is he?
COLIN: His name is Macintyre Sullivan and he’s a published novelist. He used to be sort of a crime journalist or crime reporter, and he wrote a book and now he’s a successful guy.
How does he connect with Jewel’s character?
COLIN: He moves to the town where she lives. She does phenomenal work, and he’s renovating a house that he got in a bit too deep on and that is how they meet.
So he’s over his head and she comes and fixes it.
COLIN: [Laughs] Yeah. She sets him straight. That seems to be the game that they play most of the time.
Is he the kind of the more natural sleuth then?
COLIN: We both are. We both have our strengths. I have the experience of it and the history of it, but she as the contractor knows what building code is and how things should be, so she can walk into a place and go, “That’s off, that’s off and the police aren’t seeing it.”
It’s definitely a team effort then.
COLIN: Definitely. It is fun. I’m really excited.
Hallmark’s trying to keep you in the family after you CEDAR COVE guest arc then. That’s wonderful.
COLIN: They are so good to me. When Hallmark invites you into something, they welcome you. They’re very warm and that’s all you can ask for is a lovely place to work, where people want you there.
You and Lucas [Bryant] are both in Hallmark family now. Are you guys calling up Eric Balfour [their former HAVEN co-star] and saying, “Hey, come on board at Hallmark?”
COLIN: [Laughs]That would be great. That’d be amazing. I’d love to get him out there. Actually, Lucas did one this year didn’t he?
Lucas did two for Hallmark: “Tulips In Spring” and “Summer Love.”
COLIN: Good for him! Yeah, I just did “Every Christmas Has A Story” for Hallmark.
I am hoping Lucas will be in another movie for Hallmark.
COLIN: Definitely! I’d love to get him up to guest on this one [FIXER UPPER MYSTERY series]. He’s such a good guy. Hallmark is good at hiring nice people. Everyone is so nice!
What else are you up to?
COLIN: I’m teaching a class at UCLA for Emily [Rose]. She’s in alum. She has these classes and every year she calls me in and I help.
What type of class is it?
COLIN: It’s acting.
I should assume that, but I don’t want to assume.
COLIN: [Laughs] It’d be great if it wasn’t — like I was teaching micro biology or something. But, no, it’s an acting class. So that has been fun.
So what would you like fans to know about the FIXER UPPER MYSTERY series coming up?
COLIN: It’s great. We had a good time making it and we are proud of it. So just watch!
To see how the first FIXER UPPER MYSTERY “Framed For Murder” unfolds, tune in for its premiere on Sunday, January 15th at 9:00 p.m. on Hallmark Movie & Mysteries.