"The Watsons Go to Birmingham," With Anika Noni Rose, Wood Harris and David Alan Grier, Airs Sept. 20

By Adam Hetrick
September 20, 2013

Kenny Leon's made-for-television film "The Watsons Go to Birmingham," starring Anika Noni Rose, Wood Harris and David Alan Grier, airs Sept. 20 on the Hallmark Channel.



Tony Award nominee Leon (A Raisin in the Sun, Fences, Stick Fly, The Mountaintop) directed the film for the Hallmark Channel. The film was shot in Atlanta in April of this year. It airs at 8 PM ET. Check local listings. 

"The Watsons Go to Birmingham" is based on the Christopher Paul Curtis novel. In addition to Rose, who will return to Broadway this season in A Raisin in the Sun with Denzel Washington, the cast features Harris (A Streetcar Named Desire), Grier (Porgy and Bess), LaTanya Richardson Jackson (Joe Turner's Come and Gone), Bryce Clyde Jenkins, Harrison Knight and Skai Jackson.

Here's how the film is billed: "In the summer of 1963, Daniel and Wilona Watson and their three kids, 15-year-old Byron, 11-year-old Kenny and 8-year-old Joetta, leave their home in Flint, Michigan for a family road trip to Birmingham, Alabama. Daniel and Wilona are fed up with Byron's juvenile delinquent antics, and have decided what he needs is a dose of his Grandma Sands' no-nonsense approach. So the Watsons load up their 1948 Plymouth Brown Bomber and head south, with plenty of laughs en route. When they finally make it to Birmingham, they soon discover that life is very different there than in Flint - and not necessarily for the better. During that historic summer, the Watsons find themselves caught up in something far bigger than Byron's troubles; events that will change their lives - and the nation - forever."

"The Watsons Go to Birmingham" is produced by Tonik Productions, Walden Media, ARC Entertainment for the Hallmark Channel.

Visit hallmarkchannel.com.