Kirk Franklin Bringing Holiday Movie to Lifetime Starring Naturi Naughton and Luke James

Kirk Franklin, Naturi Naughton, Luke James (Credit: Deposit Photos)

Kirk Franklin will mark the holiday season with a faith-based Lifetime movie titled Kirk Franklin’s The Night Before Christmas.

The gospel legend co-executive produces the film starring Naturi Naughton (Power, Power Book II: Ghost) and Luke James (Star, The Chi), Lifetime announced this week. The movie centers on an estranged mother and daughter, played by Naughton and Lorea Turner, who cross paths with a handsome youth pastor (James) and heavenly music teacher (Franklin).

Related storyLifetime’s ‘He’s Not Worth Dying For’ Offers a Cautionary Tale on Social Media

The movie is part of the network’s 2022 “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” slate, and marks Franklin’s second Lifetime holiday film. The Grammy-winning artist executive produced, wrote, arranged the music and made a cameo appearance in last year’s Kirk Franklin’s A Gospel Christmas, as previously reported.

Kirk Franklin’s The Night Before Christmas is one of three new films Lifetime will air this holiday season.

Toni Braxton executive produces A Christmas Spark, which reunites Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman stars Jane Seymour and Joe Lando. The third new movie titled Merry Swissmas stars Jodie Sweetin and Tim Rozon.

Below are details on the three holiday films via Lifetime. Premiere dates will be announced later.

Jane Seymour, Toni Braxton, Joe Lando from A Christmas Spark. (Credit: Lifetime)
Jane Seymour, Toni Braxton, Joe Lando partner on A Christmas Spark. (Credit: Lifetime)

A Christmas Spark
Recently widowed Molly (Jane Seymour) has lost her zest for life and given up on ever finding love again. But when she decides to visit her daughter for Christmas she has no idea what holiday magic is in store for her. A former drama teacher, Molly reluctantly takes on the job of directing the town’s Christmas pageant and soon finds herself falling for her leading man, Hank (Joe Lando), the town’s most eligible bachelor. As Molly and the irrepressible Hank fall in love, she rediscovers her inner free spirit and finds a new lease on life. And when the star of the pageant loses her voice moments before the show, it will be up to Molly to step into the spotlight and shine brightly for the first time in her life.

A Christmas Spark is produced by Lighthouse Pictures and is distributed by Sony Pictures Television. Toni Braxton, Stephen Bulka, and Jamie Goehring are executive producing. Rhonda Baraka directs from a script by Eirene Tran Donohue.

Jodie Sweetin and Tim Rozon in Merry Swissmas. (Credit: Lifetime)
Jodie Sweetin and Tim Rozon star in Merry Swissmas. (Credit: Lifetime)

Merry Swissmas
Alex (Jodie Sweetin) has wonderful memories of Christmas with her best friend Beth (Mikaela Lily Davies), until Beth started dating Alex’s ex, Jesse (David Pinard). Because she missed the last few Christmases with family due to her demanding job as an architect, Alex is excited to spend the holidays with her mother Caroline (Jane Wheeler), who is opening an inn in Switzerland. Much to her dismay, she learns that Jesse and Beth are also visiting for the Inn’s opening. When Alex meets Liam (Tim Rozon), a single father and the manager of her mother’s inn, Liam attempts to show her all the Christmas traditions and culture of Switzerland and helps Alex open herself up to love and forgiveness this holiday season.

Merry Swissmas is produced in association with Reel One Entertainment for Lifetime. Executive producers include Tom Berry, Barbara Fisher, Kenneth Hirsch, Laura Francis, Serge Desrosiers, and John L’Ecuyer, who also directs from a script by Lauren Balson Carter.

Kirk Franklin’s The Night Before Christmas
While driving on Christmas Eve, estranged mother and daughter, Journee (Naturi Naughton) and Nia (Lorea Turner) are caught in a snowstorm that forces them to take refuge inside a church where parishioners are reeling from the cancellation of their annual holiday concert. The spirit of the season takes hold as Journee and Nia weather the wintry storm together with the other churchgoers, including Adam (Luke James) a handsome youth pastor and a heavenly music teacher (Kirk Franklin), who motivate the mother and daughter to reconcile their differences through music, faith, and love. With the help from this unlikely yet spirited group of strangers, Journee and Nia then band together in the hope of helping the church salvage not only their holiday traditions, but also their show-stopping Christmas day performance despite the raging storm outside.

Kirk Franklin’s The Night Before Christmas is produced by Swirl Films and Big Dreams Entertainment. Kirk Franklin, Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd, Eric Tomosunas, Angela Plasschaert, Leslie Greif and Alex Kerr serve as executive producers. Tailiah Breon directs from a script by Tara Knight.

The three films join previously announced Lifetime holiday movies Santa Bootcamp starring Rita Moreno and directed by Melissa Joan Hart; Steppin’ into the Holidays with Mario Lopez and Jana Kramer; A New Orleans Noel starring Patti LaBelle and Keshia Knight Pulliam from EP Whoopi Goldberg; and A Country Christmas Harmony with Brooke Elliott.