Lifetime's First LGBTQ Christmas Movie Will Star Real Life Couple — and Fran Drescher

Tuesday September 15, 2020

Blake Lee, left, and his partner Ben Lewis, right.
Blake Lee, left, and his partner Ben Lewis, right.  (Source:Instagram / @blakeleeblake)

Lifetime's first-ever LGBTQ-themed Christmas movie will star two gay actors who are married in real life as well as "The Nanny Star" Fran Drescher, TVLine reports.

Ben Lewis ("Shadowhunters") and his partner Blake Lee ("Parks and Recreations") are set to star in "The Christmas Setup," the network's first holiday movie with a lead LGBTQ storyline. In the film, Hugo (Lewis), a lawyer from New York City who goes to Milwaukee with his BFF Madelyn ("GLOW" star Ellen Wong), to spend the holidays with his mom Kate (Drescher), who happens to be in charge of the local Christmas festivities.

TVLine continues:

Ever the matchmaker, Kate arranges for Hugo to run into Patrick (played by Lee), a high school friend and secret crush of Hugo's who has recently returned after a successful stint in Silicon Valley. As they enjoy the local holiday festivities together, Hugo and Patrick's attraction to each other is undeniable and it looks as though Kate's Santa-style matchmaking is a success. But as Hugo receives word of a big promotion requiring a move to London, he must decide what is most important to him.

Lifetime is working with GLAAD on "The Christmas Setup," which was written and directed by LGBTQ people, in order that it represents the LGBTQ community correctly.

The duo reacted to the news of the movie on Instagram. Sharing TVLine's report on the film, Lee captioned his post: "'Have yourself a merry little Christmas, make the yuletide GAY!' We hear you & we will!"

Meanwhile, Lewis used the news to urge fans to vote:

"There's good-weird and bad-weird. 2020 has been bad-weird (please, for the love of God, #VOTE) but starring alongside my husband @blakeleeblake (not to mention my old friends @ellewongster, @chadjc and the ICON @officialfrandrescher) in Lifetime's first gay Christmas movie (directed by @patkmills) definitely qualifies as good-weird. In fact, it's the most surreal, wonderful early-Xmas gift I could ask for," he wrote.

When the project was first revealed last month, Lifetime's executive VP and head of programing Amy Winter commented on it.

"We are thrilled to continue our legacy of creating a holiday destination that is welcoming to all at Lifetime... With more new movies than any one cable network for streamer, I couldn't be prouder of the incredible talent joining us in front of, and behind the camera, on these new holiday movies," Winter said at the time.

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