Bruening, O'Keefe star in social drama

Hallmark Channel has cast Jodi Lynn O’Keefe, Justin Bruening, Constance Marie and Eric Roberts in original film “Class,” which will air in 2010.

The cabler also announced it will begin broadcasting in high definition on Feb. 1.

In “Class,” Bruening (“Knight Rider”) plays a privileged law student who is given the responsibility to aid O’Keefe’s financially challenged single mother. Marie plays the professor of Bruening’s character, and Roberts plays his father.

Dave Cass is directing a script written by Pam Wallace. Larry Levinson exec produces.On Saturday, Hallmark’s “Christmas in Canaan” with Billy Ray Cyrus became the week’s highest-rated movie on basic cable and boosted Hallmark to its highest weekly ranking ever. The film drew 3.7 million viewers. Another Hallmark holiday movie, “The Three Gifts,” starring Dean Cain and Jean Louisa Kelly, premieres Saturday.

Regarding the move to HD, Hallmark Channels prexy-CEO Bill Abbott said he believes that not having the format available is a deal-breaker for some viewers.

As more homes have high-definition televisions, viewers are becoming more selective in their television program choices,” Abbott said.

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