In March, Samuels, 29, was announced as the new Aurora Teagarden for the upcoming Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Something New film following Candace Cameron Bure’s exit from Hallmark Media on year prior.
“Our viewers have been waiting for more adventures with Aurora and her friends,” Development Manager of Programming at Hallmark Media Emily Merlin said in a statement at the time. “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.”
The Switched Before Birth actress confirmed her casting that same month via social media. “Surprise … I’m the new Aurora 💁♀️🔎📝,” Samuels captioned a March Instagram snap. “So excited to be joining the mysterious and fun world of Aurora Teagarden. Let the mystery solving begin!”
The recast came as a surprise to some viewers after original lead Cameron Bure, 47, announced in April 2022 that she was leaving Hallmark for Great American Media. (The competing network, helmed by former Hallmark boss Bill Abbott, launched in fall 2021.)
At the time, Hallmark Media told Us Weekly in a statement that the company had “enjoyed over 10 years of collaboration with Candace. We respect her decision and thank her for her many contributions.”
Those accolades include 18 Aurora Teagarden films for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. The last of her mystery projects, Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Haunted by Murder, was released in February 2022 and costarred Cameron Bure’s daughter, Natasha Bure.
While a Hallmark spokesperson confirmed to Us in April 2022 that the network “will air existing [Aurora Teagarden] movies [but have] no plans for new ones,” fans desire for more from the librarian turned amateur sleuth caused the franchise to get a second wind earlier this year.
In the first installment of the revived franchise, which premieres on Friday, June 9, Samuels will slip into character as the young Aurora who “returns home to Lawrenceton after college to pursue her post-grad degree,” according to the official synopsis. While home, Aurora “finds herself embroiled in a mystery involving her friend Sally’s (Kayla Heller) fiancé.”
While original stars Cameron Bure, Lexa Doig (the original Sally) and Niall Matter (Aurora’s husband Nick Miller) will not be part of Something New, Aurora’s mother, Aida Teagarden, will still be played by Marilu Henner.
Something New will also star Evan Roderick as young Arthur, Hayley Sales as Kara Walker and Madison Smith as Matt Walker.
Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Something New premieres on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Friday, June 9, at 9 p.m. ET.
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