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Primetime Show Reviews
review by Suzanne
Premieres on Lifetime Monday, November 29 at 9 pm ET/PT
I enjoyed watching this...it was a little slow at first, and
maybe I was just distracted, but I had a hard time figuring out that Ben and
Lorrie were married and that Ben was the father of the teenager because Eric
Close just looks so young still. He doesn't seem old enough to have a teenage
son, and they purposely made Mathis look middle-aged since she is supposed to be
competing with his young-looking high school sweetheart, Ava (Mädchen Amick).
So it took me a while to figure that out. But after that, and some slow
stuff, it got better.
I guess it really picked up after Ben and Ava started hanging
out more. I know we are supposed to pull for the stable and loving family
relationship between Ben and Lorrie, but the movie made them seem kind of
boring. This is a good family drama, though, so it has the kind of ending
you might expect. Patty Duke plays the grandma, and honestly, it is not a
big enough part for her so she is kind of wasted.
In a way, all of the actors were wasted because they are all
pretty good and should have been given better material. It's not like the movie
is really bad, it just could have been better. I guess they were trying to seem
like real life, but real life is too boring. Older people, religious
people, and kids should enjoy this holiday movie.
It has some nice songs by Garth Brooks because it is based on
one of his songs.
PHOTOS (click on the thumbnail to see the larger photos):
Lifetime Television will premiere the original movie Unanswered
Prayers, based on the popular Garth Brooks song of the same name that debuted at
#1 on the Billboard and R&R charts. Starring Eric Close, Samantha Mathis and
Patty Duke, Unanswered Prayers will premiere on Lifetime Monday, November 29, at
The film explores the themes of marriage, family, community and second chances
with love, asking “Did I let the one I loved get away or is she right in front
of me?” It is the story of a happily married father (Eric Close) living the
American dream. When the woman (Mädchen Amick) of his high school fantasies
returns home, he has to face his past and will be presented with a choice that
could change his future forever. Samantha Mathis portrays his wife. Patty Duke
portrays his mother-in-law.
LIFETIME TELEVISION TO PREMIERE ORIGINAL
MOVIE UNANSWERED PRAYERS
BASED ON GARTH BROOKS’ HIT SONG
Starring Eric Close, Samantha Mathis,
Mädchen Amick and Patty Duke
LOS ANGELES (November 8, 2010) – Lifetime Television will premiere the original movie
Unanswered Prayers, based on the popular Garth Brooks song of the same name that debuted at
#1 on the Billboard and R&R charts. Unanswered Prayers will premiere on Lifetime Monday,
November 29, at 9PM ET/PT.
ABOUT UNANSWERED PRAYERS
The film explores the themes of marriage, family, community and second chances with love,
asking “Did I let the one I loved get away or is she right in front of me?” It is the story of a
happily married father (Eric Close) living the American dream. When the woman (Mädchen
Amick) of his high school fantasies returns home, he has to face his past and will be presented
with a choice that could change his future forever. Samantha Mathis portrays his wife. Patty
Duke portrays his mother-in-law.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
The film’s executive producers are Lisa Sanderson, Producing Partner and CEO of Red Strokes
Entertainment, and multi-Grammy®-winning country music artist Garth Brooks. Certified by the
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) as the #1 selling solo recording artist in U.S.
history, Brooks has sold more than 128 million albums and has won every accolade the industry
can bestow on an artist. President Obama himself requested that Brooks headline his Inaugural
Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, and Brooks currently plays 15 weekends a year at the
Encore Theatre, Wynn Resort in Las Vegas.
Produced by Sony Pictures Television and Red Strokes Entertainment, Unanswered Prayers was
directed by Emmy® Award winner Steven Schachter (Lifetime’s The Mermaid Chair, Door to
Door). Andrea Baynes (Lifetime’s The 19th Wife and Sex and the Single Mom) served as coexecutive
producer. Teleplay by Anne Gerard and Otis Jones based on a television story by Anne
ABOUT SONY PICTURES TELEVISION
Sony Pictures Television is one of the television industry’s leading content providers. It produces
and distributes programming in every genre, including series, telefilms, theatrical releases and
family entertainment around the world and for every platform: broadcast and cable television,
first-run and off-network syndication and digital distribution. In addition to one of the industry’s
largest libraries of feature films and television shows, SPT boasts a current program slate that
includes the top-rated daytime dramas and game shows, landmark off-network series, original
animated series and critically acclaimed primetime dramas, comedies and telefilms.
Internationally, SPT is a leader in local language productions around the world, some of which
are co-produced with local partners and sells SPE-owned formats in approximately 70 countries.
To better serve its clients and partners worldwide, SPT maintains offices throughout the world,
including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India,
Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, the People’s Republic of China, Russia, Singapore,
Spain, Venezuela and the United Kingdom. SPT’s worldwide television networks portfolio is a
key strategy in SPE’s long-range commitment to the global marketplace, with 122 channel feeds,
which are available in more than 140 countries reaching almost 438 million households
worldwide. SPT also creates original content for and manages SPE’s premium video website,
Crackle. Additionally, SPT is a part owner of cable channel GSN, FEARnet, the premier
horror/thriller website and VOD service, and national media sales company ITN Networks, Inc.
SPT advertiser sales is one of the premiere national advertising sales companies, handling the
commercial inventory in SPT’s syndicated series as well as in all of SPE’s digital businesses in
the United States, for Sony Music Entertainment and for the Tennis Channel. SPT
(www.sonypicturestelevision.com) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.
ABOUT RED STROKES ENTERTAINMENT
Red Strokes Entertainment is a film and television company, having been named after a Garth
Brooks’ song, “The Red Strokes.” Reflecting Brooks’ unique talent to bring stories to life in
song, he and partner Lisa Sanderson produced Call Me Claus for TNT, starring Whoopi Goldberg
and Sir Nigel Hawthorne, garnering the highest ratings for that year and has become a holiday
staple in television. Unanswered Prayers is a Thanksgiving gift to his audience. Red Strokes has
also developed original ideas for feature films and television with Paramount, Disney, Fox and,
most recently, New Line. Brooks and Sanderson co-wrote the song The Red Strokes, hence the
name of their company. They also co-wrote the title track to Call Me Claus.
ABOUT LIFETIME TELEVISION
Lifetime Television is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information
programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and their families.
Lifetime Television®, Lifetime Movie Network®, Lifetime Real Women® and Lifetime Digital™
(which includes myLifetime.com, LMN.tv, Lifetime Games, Roiworld.com,
DressUpChallenge.com, MothersClick.com and LifetimeMoms.com) are part of Lifetime
Entertainment Services, LLC, a subsidiary of A&E Television Networks, LLC. A&E Television
Networks is a joint venture of the Disney-ABC Television Group, Hearst Corporation and NBC
Eric Close has starred in the television series Without a Trace, Now and Again, The
Magnificent Seven, Dark Skies and McKenna. He will next star in the CBS CIA drama
Chaos, directed by Brett Ratner. He also starred in the television movies Seven Deadly
Sins (Lifetime Movie Network), Hercules, Follow the Stars Home, The Stranger Beside
Me, Long Island Fever and Without Consent, as well as the Golden Globe Award®
nominated-miniseries Taken, executive-produced by Steven Spielberg. Close’s feature
film credits include Saving Angelo, Alvarez & Cruz, Liberty, Maine, The Sky Is Falling,
Taking Liberty and American Me.
Close was born in Staten Island, New York, and lives in Los Angeles with his wife and
Samantha Mathis has crafted a distinguished career in television, film and theatre. She
will soon be seen in the thriller Good Day for It, opposite Robert Patrick, and in HBO’s
upcoming season of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Mathis’ television credits include the miniseries Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the
Stories of Stephen King, Salem’s Lot, First Years, Collected Stories, The Mists of Avalon,
A Stranger’s Heart and Oprah Winfrey Presents: Mitch Albom’s For One More Day.
She also appeared on Lost and Grey’s Anatomy.
Mathis first burst onto the film scene in Pump Up The Volume, opposite Christian Slater,
followed by The Thing Called Love, alongside River Phoenix. Additional film credits
include a starring role opposite John Travolta in The Punisher, Attraction, The Simian
Line, American Psycho, Broken Arrow, The American President, How to Make an
American Quilt, Jack and Sarah, Little Women, This is My Life, The Music of Chance and
Touched. She has also appeared in numerous independent films such as Believe in Me,
Local Color, The New Daughter, Order of Chaos, Lebanon, PA and Fathers and Sons.
In 2002, Mathis made her Broadway debut in Arthur Miller’s The Man Who Had All the
Luck, opposite Chris O’Donnell. She also appeared in Fortin Bras at the Signature
Theater in New York and in Collected Stories, opposite Tony® Award winner Linda
Lavin at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. Mathis was most recently seen on
Broadway in Moises Kaufman’s 33 Variations, alongside Jane Fonda and Colin Hanks.
Next Spring, she will be reprising her role in Los Angeles with Fonda.
Mathis currently lives in New York City.
Mädchen Amick is best known for her role as waitress “Shelly Johnson” on David
Lynch’s television cult classic Twin Peaks and as “Lena Mathers” in the feature film
Dream Lover with James Spader.
Born in Reno, Nevada, Amick’s name means “maiden” or “young woman” in German
and results from the desire of her parents, Bill and Judy, to give their daughter a name
more unusual than their own. When she was 16, she moved to Los Angeles, where she
attended school while juggling a modeling career. Amick’s acting career began quite
modestly with roles on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and
Baywatch. Her first starring role in a feature film was in the Stephen King horror flick,
Sleepwalkers. Other feature credits include Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Trapped in
Paradise, French Exit, Scenes of the Crime and Four Corners of Suburbia. Amick has
additionally appeared on series such as CSI: NY, Damages, Californication, Gossip Girl
and ER, just to name a few.
She will next be seen on the big screen in the post-apocalyptic thriller Priest, opposite
Paul Bettany and Stephen Moyer.
Amick lives in California and is married with two children.
Over a career that has spanned six decades, Academy Award®-winning actress Patty
Duke, has crafted a distinguished career in television, film and theater. Her impressive
list of film credits includes the 1962 film The Miracle Worker, for which she won the
Oscar® and Golden Globe®, Billie, Valley of the Dolls, Me, Natalie, The Swarm and
Prelude to a Kiss. Duke’s numerous list of television credits include the series The Patty
Duke Show, It Takes Two, Hail to the Chief, Karen’s Song and Amazing Grace, as well as
the television movies My Sweet Charlie, If Tomorrow Comes, Two on a Bench,
Nightmare, Captains and the Kings, Having Babies 3, A Family Upside Down, The
Miracle Worker, Before and After, Mom, the Wolfman and Me, The Babysitter, The
Women’s Room, A Time to Triumph, Call Me Anna, Last Wish, A Killer Among Friends,
Cries From the Heart, No Child of Mine, A Matter of Justice, Falling in Love with the
Girl Next Door and Love Finds a Way Home, totaling approximately 100 movies for
television. Duke won three Emmys® (ten nominations), two Golden Globes® and a
People’s Choice Award.
Duke’s career first took off in 1959 from her critically-acclaimed stage performance as
“Helen Keller” in The Miracle Worker, opposite Anne Bancroft. She went on to star in
Isle of Children, Meetings on the Porch, Follies, Gypsy and Broadway’s Oklahoma!
Duke recently finished a year long run on stage at San Francisco’s Orpheum Theater as
“Madame Morrible” in the hit show Wicked.
Duke has written two best-selling books, Call Me Anna and A Brilliant Madness: Living
with Manic Depression Illness.
Duke currently lives in Idaho with her husband.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
GARTH BROOKS, Executive Producer is certified by the Recording Industry
Association of America (RIAA) as the #1 selling solo artist in U.S. history and has sold
in excess of 128 million albums. Brooks is the only solo artist in RIAA history to have
six albums top the 10 million mark. His most recent release The Ultimate Hits has been
certified 5x platinum.
In 2007 Brooks became the first artist to put out a simultaneous edition of his latest
collection for a charitable cause. The “pink edition” of The Ultimate Hits was and is
available only at the Susan G Komen website. His body of work – including the
groundbreaking No Fences, Ropin’ The Wind, The Hits, and Double Live – propelled
country music as a genre to the front pages of newspapers worldwide and the covers of
magazines, to the point where Forbes declared on its cover, “Country Conquers Rock”
and featured Brooks in a major music feature. According to the RIAA, Brooks is the topselling
solo artist of the 20th century.
The key to his record-setting success lies within the personality and talent of Garth
Brooks. It has been said that through the 1990s, his only real competition was himself.
Brooks brought daring individualism and a love of music to the table. His wide range
encompasses a variety of styles which include working class blues, honky tonk, bluegrass
and arena rock. Brooks’ easy-going, approachable charisma was matched only by his
fearless willingness to take chances and step outside the lines. He has had an
unprecedented run so far and opened the doors for many more country artists to follow.
Brooks has received every accolade the recording industry can bestow on an artist,
including: 2 Grammys, 17 American Music Awards, 11 Country Music Association
Awards, 18 Academy of Country Music Awards, 5 World Music Awards, 12 People’s
Choice Awards and 36 Billboard Music Awards. He was named Artist of the ’90s at the
1997 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, received the Artist Achievement Award at the
1997 Billboard Music Awards, was named “Artist of the Decade” at the American Music
Awards in 2000 and the Academy of Country Music Awards in 1999.
In the midst of one of the most successful careers in music history, Brooks retired in
2001, delivered his last record for Capitol Records and moved back to Oklahoma to raise
his children. While in retirement when called upon by events greater than his own selfinterest,
he returned to the stage. The latest of these was when President Obama himself
requested that Brooks headline his Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. He
performed as President Obama, his wife Michelle, their girls, Joe and Jill Biden and a
crowd of over 300,000 lined the mall from the Lincoln Memorial all the way to
the Washington Monument. It was a moment in history when all did the “wave” to
Brooks’ performance of “Shout” while the President sang along. He was called upon
once again to perform for President Obama’s very first late night television appearance
on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. When the Governor of California, Arnold
Schwarzenegger, asked for Brooks’ help, he responded by performing five concerts in
two days where proceeds from 83,000 tickets sold were donated to efforts to prevent fire
catastrophes from happening again. Portions of the live concerts were shown as a TV
special titled, Garth Brooks: Live in L.A. where viewers donated to the organization Fire
Intervention Relief Effort (FIRE).
On October 15, 2009 Brooks announced that he was out of retirement and soon entered a
five year relationship with Las Vegas resort developer, Steve Wynn. “I am naturally
nervous, but it feels good to be out from under the low ceiling of ‘retirement’ I put on
LISA A. SANDERSON, Executive Producer is CEO and Producing Partner for Red
Strokes Entertainment, a film and television company founded by superstar Garth
Brooks. She is also President and CEO of Sanderson Entertainment.
Sanderson and Brooks have partnered with Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds & Tracey
Edmonds to develop/produce a feature film for Paramount Pictures. The film was based
on a character created by Brooks. Jeb Stuart (Die Hard, The Fugitive) wrote the script,
The Lamb. They also developed a feature film project at Warner Bros., The Sprinkler
Queen with producer Sandra Bullock, as well as several television projects, which
include executive producing My Dead Dad, a pilot for ABC Family, written by Tracey
Gamble (creator of 8 Simple Rules). Sanderson and Brooks were executive producers
along with Whoopi Goldberg on Call Me Claus, starring Goldberg. The movie
premiered on TNT with the year’s highest ratings for a television movie. Sanderson and
Brooks are also executive producers on the pilot The Greybar Hotel, based on Brooks’
Sanderson and Brooks started their creative collaboration when Sanderson wrote an
episode of the hit NBC series, Empty Nest for “guest star” Garth Brooks. She developed
the show for him while vice president of development for Emmy® award-winning actor
Richard Mulligan’s film and television company, A Great Jalopy. Sanderson is one of
the writers on Brooks’ song, “The Red Strokes,” which appears on Brooks’ album, In
Pieces. The album has sold in excess of 8 million copies to date, winning an Academy of
Country Music award for the music video of the song. She is credited as one of the
publishers of the song through Sanderson Music. Sanderson is also a writer/publisher of
the title track for Call Me Claus. The song appears on Garth Brooks & the magic of
Christmas: Songs from Call Me Claus CD.
Sanderson was also a feature film development executive at The Walt Disney Company
and Twentieth Century Fox in conjunction with Red Strokes Entertainment. She is the
President of the Board of Santa Monica based One Voice, a non-profit organization
helping low-income families. Sanderson has raised over 3 million dollars for the
organization and was honored by the scholars program being named after her late father,
Robert W. Sanderson.
Sanderson and her family live in Los Angeles, California.
STEVEN SCHACHTER, Director is an acclaimed writer/director who has directed
numerous television movies and won multiple Emmy® Awards, including two for
Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special as well as
Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special for TNT’s Door to
Door in 2003. He received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Made for Television
Movie in 2005 for TNT’s The Wool Cap. He and William H. Macy have become a wellestablished
writing team and regularly wear the hats of writer/actor/director. Schachter
and Macy’s work together includes the telefilms Above Suspicion, Every Woman’s
Dream, The Con and TNT’s A Slight Case of Murder, as well as The Deal, an
independent feature which premiered at Sundance and starred Meg Ryan and Macy.
Schachter’s career began at Goddard College, where he studied with David Mamet.
While there, he also met Macy, his now long-time associate. The three of them later went
on to found The St. Nicholas Theater in Chicago, where Schachter served as Artistic
Director, directing more than 20 productions and winning the Joseph Jefferson Award for
Best Director. One project in particular, Mamet’s The Water Engine, began at the Public
Theatre and then later moved to Broadway. At 24, this made Schachter one of the
youngest directors on Broadway. Schachter also directed regional theatre throughout the
United States. He then directed The Water Engine for TNT and was nominated for the
CableAce Award. Other television directing credits include the telefilms The
Engagement Ring, It Must Be Love, Just a Walk in the Park, For All Time and the
Lifetime Original Movie The Mermaid Chair, starring Kim Bassinger.
Produced by Sony Pictures Television and Red Strokes Entertainment
in association with Lifetime Television
Ben Beck ERIC CLOSE
Lorrie Beck SAMANTHA MATHIS
Ava Andersson MÄDCHEN AMICK
Jeannette JENNIFER ASPEN
Henry DANNY CHAMBERS
Jesse Beck TONY OLLER
Monet ALEX FRNKA
Irene PATTY DUKE
Directed by STEVEN SCHACHTER
Teleplay by ANNE GERARD & OTIS JONES
Television Story by ANNE GERARD
Executive Producer LISA A. SANDERSON
Executive Producer GARTH BROOKS
Co-Executive Producer ANDREA BAYNES
Produced by JAMES SPIES
Co-Produced by SHANA FISCHER HUBER
Director of Photography ERIC VAN HAREN NOMAN
Production Designer ELOISE STAMMERJOHN
Edited by MARGIE GOODSPEED
Music by STEVE PORCARO
Costume Designer REBECCA BENTJEN
Casting STACEY ROSEN
Based on the song “Unanswered Prayers” by Garth Brooks, Pat Alger and Larry Bastian
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