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Patricia Heaton produces Christmas film

“The Christmas Heart” will air at 7 p.m. Sunday on Hallmark Channel.
By Jay Bobbin Modified: November 29, 2012 at 12:15 am •  Published: November 30, 2012

Tess Harper (“Tender Mercies”) also stars in the drama, and Heaton says it's “just so exciting to see something that you've worked on for so long come alive. And in particular, these actors are amazing in these roles. It's slightly heavier subject matter than you would think for a Christmas movie, and we were really appreciative that Hallmark wasn't afraid to go there. The payoff is just huge at the end.”

Because of her shooting schedule on “The Middle,” Heaton didn't have much time to visit the Winnipeg filming location of “The Christmas Heart,” but she regularly received footage to look at.

“I know how good it is,” she says, “because I was watching the actors do the same scenes a couple of times, seeing them just standing there right before starting ... and still, it was really moving.”