Alison Sweeney Talks ‘Chronicle Mysteries’ Movies, 'Hannah Swensen' Future

Alison Sweeney revealed why her Chronicles Mysteries movie franchise has taken a back seat at Hallmark, and sorry sleuth lovers, it’s partially to do with the Hannah Swensen Mysteries.

“It’s tough in the landscape with all the different competing mysteries at Hallmark,” Sweeney, 47, exclusively told Us Weekly as to why fans haven’t seen more Chronicle Mysteries films. “And I think they feel that the Hannah Swenson series is the one they want to focus on.”

Sweeney broke into the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries genre playing baker Hannah Swensen in the Murder, She Baked films in 2015. After starring in six movies as the Cookie Jar owner and amateur sleuth, Sweeney’s Hannah Swensen adventures temporarily stopped in 2017.

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The actress, however, didn’t stop making mysteries for the network. The Chronicles Mysteries premiered in 2019 with the last installment airing in 2021. During the five movies, Sweeney played podcast host, Alex McPherson, who works with newspaper editor Drew Godfrey (Benjamin Ayres) to solve crimes when they aren’t doing their real jobs.

“Oh my gosh, we loved working on those movies together. It was so much fun,” Sweeney told Us of acting alongside Ayres, 47. “Ben and I really enjoyed working together, and I’m sure we would love to figure something else out to do together again.”

While fans may be unhappy that Sweeney and Ayres aren’t reprising their mystery alter egos, the two recently teamed up to star in Hallmark Channel’s Love & Jane. The movie, which is part of the network’s Loveuary programming, follows Lilly (Sweeney) on her journey to find love with the help of her literary idol, Jane Austen.

Alison Sweeney Talks Chronicle Mysteries Movies Hannah Swensen Future
Hallmark Media/David Astorga

“I am a huge Jane Austen fan, so when David Weaver, the writer, pitched me this idea, I jumped and grabbed on with both hands, like, ‘We’ve got to do this,’” Sweeney told Us of the project.

Love & Jane is Sweeney’s next Hallmark project, but it won’t be her last. Earlier this month, Hallmark announced that the actress will be back as Hannah Swensen in the upcoming One Bad Apple: A Hannah Swensen Mystery. The movie will mark the fourth Hannah Swensen Mystery since 2021, which is the revived movie franchise.

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“I think the really crucial thing for Hannah is [that] we do work from the books, the wonderful Joanne Fluke books that she’s written, and she has 30 of them,” Sweeney told Us of the franchise’s future. “So there are tons of stories and mysteries and adventures for Hannah that lie in weight for her, which is so fun.”

Sweeney teased that her character’s future with ex-fiancé Mike Kingston (Cameron Mathison) might not be the end game movie fans want.

Alison Sweeney Talks Chronicle Mysteries Movies Hannah Swensen Future
Bettina Strauss/Hallmark

“It is a push pull with Mike, and he isn’t always the right man for her every step of the way in those books,” Sweeney said. Hallmark confirmed to Us in February that Mathison, 54, will not be in the next Hannah Swensen Mystery after the network shared that Victor Webster will be part of the cast for the May release. Mathison’s future with the franchise has not been announced.

Sweeney, meanwhile, explained to Us that she’s looking to “focus on” Hannah’s desire to “be a better crime solver” in the next few movies.

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She joked that her dad has to get “credit” for her new approach to Hannah. “Two or three movies ago, my dad was like, ‘That’s not enough evidence to convict someone. You don’t know that he did it,’” Sweeney told Us, noting it was a lightbulb moment. “[He’s like], ‘Well, I’m just saying, I mean, that’s not real evidence.’ And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I think he’s right. I have to develop the evidence, get proof.’”

Love & Jane premieres on Hallmark Channel Saturday, February 10, at 8 p.m. ET.

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