Danica McKellar's Next GAF Christmas Movie Has Been Revealed, And She's More Creatively Involved On This One

Danica McKellar in santa hat in Christmas at the Drive-in
(Image credit: Great American Famiy)

Danica McKellar is gearing up to continue celebrating The Wonder Years’ 35th anniversary by reuniting with some of her former co-stars at the upcoming ‘90s Con, but she’s obviously focusing on more than just her past. To that end, the cable movie queen has lined up her next big holiday movie for her current home at Great American Family, and she’ll be more involved behind the scenes than ever. 

One of the first entries to be revealed for GAF’s upcoming Great American Christmas 2023 line of features, Danica McKellar’s newest holiday project will be Royal Christmas Ball. For the film, the DC Super Hero Girls vet will star as Chelsea Shaw, a dance instructor living in Chicago who longs for a familial connection again many years after the deaths of her adoptive parents. As a way to fulfill that missing part of her life, Chelsea utilizes her Christmas break and makes a trip across the globe to the small European country of Havenshire, according to Deadline. As you might have imagined, this bustling burg is where her lineage traces back to. 

Which is certainly a good thing for the handsome-though-reluctant prince that’s part of the local royal family. (Christmas movies love a royal family storyline like nobody’s business.) In order to learn more information about her family, Chelsea figures out the fam is her best bet, so she takes a gig teaching the aforementioned prince how to dance a very special Waltz going into the annual Royal Christmas Ball.

You gotta love how the synopsis for this story squarely points out that Chelsea is going to find love in Havenshire, on top of learning answers to many of her long-held questions. And you bet your fanciest crown she’s going to make new family connections. Whether or not those are everything she hoped, that’ll get figured out when the movie airs on Great American Family later this year.

Making Royal Christmas Ball a unique GAF project for Danica McKellar is that it’s her first for the network where she’s serving as not only an executive producer, but also a co-writer. She co-penned the story with Marcy Holland, who has carved out a sweet corner for herself in the TV movie world, having written for Picture Perfect Mysteries, Matchmaker Mysteries, the Time for You to Come Home for Christmas series, and many more. (Psycho Escort? She co-wrote that one, too.) 

While McKellar has been an EP on quite a few of her small screen features in recent years, this marks her first writing credit in that field since the second Inspector Mom movie in 2007. She also helped bring the educational web series Math Bites to life in 2014, but that’s on a wholly different plane. 

The actress shared the news via Instagram Stories, with the caption:

So excited for the [Great American Family] 2023 Christmas movie we're preparing for you guys...!

Outside of the TV movie world, McKellar kept busy in 2022 as one of the judges on Fox’s Domino Masters, as well as voicing Miss Martian in the now-canceled Young Justice series on HBO Max. She also made a second guest appearance on Topher Grace’s ABC sitcom Home Economics. Not to mention her character Winnie Cooper factoring into a universe-connecting reveal on ABC’s The Wonder Years. You wouldn’t think she’d left the acting world for years given how busy she currently is, but audiences are all the better for her return.

Now there's just that whole "getting through the huge chunk of 2023 between now and Christmas movie season" to contend with. Perhaps there's a dance instructor waiting to fall in love with me somewhere in the meantime. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.