Hallmark and Lifetime may have cornered the market on holiday TV movies, but don’t count out CBS. The broadcast network is getting in on the yuletide fun with A Christmas Proposal, which airs tonight, Sunday, Dec. 12, at 8:30 p.m. ET and 8 p.m. PT.
In fact, A Christmas Proposal and next Sunday’s Christmas Takes Flight mark CBS’ first original television movies since 2012, according to a press release, and PopCulture reports the network hasn’t aired an original Christmas movie since 2010.
A fake relationship takes a turn for the sincere in ‘A Christmas Proposal,’ thanks to a little holiday magic.
A Christmas Proposal follows a struggling chef named Maria who aspires to launch a line of food trucks. She’s also a ride-share driver, which is how she meets a hotshot Seattle attorney named Julian, who needs a fake girlfriend so he can prove to his relatives that he’s the best person to lead the family’s firm. Maria agrees to the charade, but “their business relationship is complicated by the magic of the season as real sparks begin to fly,” as CBS explains in a press release.
The movie was directed by Martin Wood and written by Mark Amato, the latter of whom has 10 other Christmas TV movies on his screenwriting résumé. Mark got the idea for A Christmas Proposal while driving an Uber passenger from Los Angeles to San Diego one day, as he explained on the Series Business podcast earlier this month. “I thought to myself, this is a perfect movie idea,” he added. “Every time there’s no more Christmas movies to be told, I come up with another one.”
CBS veterans Adam Rodriguez and Jessica Camacho lead the cast.
The broadcast network didn’t have to look far to find its leads for A Christmas Proposal. Jessica Camacho, who starred in the CBS legal drama All Rise, plays Maria in the movie. And Adam Rodriguez, an alum of the CBS procedurals CSI: Miami and Criminal Minds, shares the screen as Julian.
For his part, Adam told Entertainment Tonight last week that “representative really mattered” to him when he took the part, especially “the fact that I hadn’t seen any Christmas movies, especially not on a network, that was centered around American families of Latin descent.”
“So I really was excited about being the first to do that — from what I understand, the first — and to do it on CBS, who have been in partnership for so many things over the course of my career,” he added. “It was really a great opportunity to jump in and do this and to have a hand in giving it shape the whole way through.”
The cast and crew filmed ‘A Christmas Proposal’ in Vancouver this summer.
Like many other Christmas TV movies, A Christmas Proposal was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Adam had his first experience snowshoeing during the shoot.
“We filmed in summer, so we had to go pretty high up a mountain to get some real snow,” he told TV Insider recently. “It’s not as difficult as we had to pretend it was — but it is possible to stumble. It is awkward walking with, like, a size 32 shoe attached to your boot.”