Early last spring, when I interviewed Alison Sweeney for her Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film, Murder She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery, the actress excitedly shared that she was working on a new film project for Hallmark. She revealed, “I’m producing another movie for the Hallmark Channel that is tentatively titled Radio Hype. The main character is a talk radio host and it’s sort of a fun premise — she ends up doing a program with her nemesis and it’s like a he said/she said radio show. The banter is really clever.” Sweeney also said, “I’ve had so much fun on that project and bringing it to life. We’re starting production in April and then we’ll air in the fall.”
So fast-forward to now. Fall is in the air and Sweeney’s hard work has come to fruition. The romantic comedy — now titled Love On The Air — will premiere Saturday, Sept. 26 on the Hallmark Channel. And as Ali promised, she’s playing a charming radio host who follows her boyfriend to a new city and a new job. When their very public breakup hits the airwaves, Sweeney’s character finds herself pitted against a shock jock played by Jonathan Scarfe (Hell on Wheels, Raising the Bar). Their antagonistic banter is such a success that they find themselves paired together in the hottest radio call-in show in Chicago. Before long, they realize they have more in common than their on-air personas reveal.
Sweeney says she learned that having your own radio show is more than just talking into a microphone. “I’ve had such great experiences being on radio shows throughout my career, but now I have an entirely new appreciation for how hard their jobs truly are each and every day! I got to shadow a DJ friend, Valentine, and that helped me see just how busy that job is — they’re always multi-tasking!”
Sweeney reveals that acting as an executive producer and the film’s star presented new challenges, and new excitement. “During pre-production, I couldn’t help but get so invested in the concepts, the vision in my head of how it’s going to turn out,” she says. “Once we were actually shooting the movie, it was hard to get myself to focus on just my character and me, because my brain was always going a million miles a minute. I’m type A, and it’s hard and challenging to shut that off.”
In addition to flexing her producing muscles, Sweeney tells me that working Love On The Air has broadened her radio tastes. “I love all kinds of music but since doing the movie, I’ve started listening to more talk radio.” And since she’s mastered the art of radio hosting, I ask Sweeney if she’s given herself a cool radio DJ name. “HA!” she laughs. “I’ve never thought about this. I would have to turn to Twitter and get the fans to come up with something clever for me.” So what radio DJ name would you bestow on Alison Sweeney? Sound off below!
Love On The Air > Hallmark Channel > Saturday, Sept. 26, 9pm ET/PM
All images © 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Eike Schroter