Andie MacDowell will be a pioneer for the Hallmark Channel, starring in the network's first prime-time series.
Hallmark said Wednesday that MacDowell will portray municipal court Judge Olivia Lockhart in "Cedar Grove." It will start with a two-hour movie airing later this year and continue with a 13-episode series early in 2013.
The new series is based on books by author Debbie Macomber. Movie adaptations of Macomber's books have been among the top-rated programs that Hallmark has shown over the past three years.
MacDowell's movie credits include "sex, lies and videotape," ''Groundhog Day" and "Four Weddings and a Funeral."