September 18, 2009 / 5:08 AM / 9 years ago

Billy Ray Cyrus to star in Hallmark movie

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Hallmark Channel is planning “Christmas in Canaan,” starring Billy Ray Cyrus.

Cast member Billy Ray Cyrus attends the premiere of "Hannah Montana the Movie" in Los Angeles April 2, 2009. REUTERS/Phil McCarten

The telefilm, slated to air in December, is based on a novel written by another country star/actor, Kenny Rogers, and Donald Davenport.

“Christmas” chronicles the unlikely friendship that develops between two boys — DJ (Zak Ludwig), who is white, and Rodney (Jaishon Fisher), who is black — in 1960s Texas as they bond over concern for a wounded puppy.

Cyrus plays DJ’s dad, who, with Rodney’s grandmother, concocts the puppy plan after the boys get into a schoolyard tussle.

Neill Fearnley is directing from a script by Davenport and a story by Rogers.

Editing by SheriLinden at Reuters

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