MEET THE FAMILY
Check out character bios for the new Hallmark Channel original series, "Chesapeake Shores."
A beautiful young woman of Irish-American extraction, Abby is the divorced mother of 8-year-old twins. The product of a broken home, Abby left Chesapeake Shores at an early age and started the uphill climb to stellar success. Now one of the top financial analysts in a prestigious investment firm, she returns home for a weekend visit to help out her scatter-brained younger sister, whom she has been bailing out of jams since childhood. Once back home, however, Abby begins to assess her situation afresh. Although her life is seemingly "perfect" to outside observers, Abby is intensely unhappy, tired of the rat-race in which her every move is rigorously planned. Abby begins to realize that her future may not lie in Manhattan, but in a slower and more family friendly field office nearer to the Shores. Abby's meeting with Trace, her old love, complicates her emotions considerably, as does her still-fractious relationship with her workaholic father, Mick. It may finally be time for Abby to mend her fences with her family and put the past to rest. At the same time, she may get a chance to revive her long-lost true love.
The handsome Trace is Abby's old love, a young man who has never forgiven Abby for abandoning him, without warning, when they were very young. Abby feared that Trace would never leave their hometown, but she underestimated his resolve. After being on the road as a musician, Trace is now home reassessing his life and working as a contractor. He is initially cool towards Abby, but during the course of their interactions, their old attraction for one another is rekindled. When Abby's planned departure is delayed, the two begin to remember just what they had and lost, but whether they can re-establish their relationship on a solid footing remains to be seen.
Mick is Abby's dad, an imposing and stubborn self-made man, the kind of person who neither gives nor accepts excuses. Mick is a successful contractor/developer who works long hours, and his workaholism finally caused his wife, Megan, to walk out on him and their family. Still, Mick has no apologies for the past. As far as he's concerned, he was merely providing for his family the best way he could, and he doesn't see the toll his emotional unavailability has taken on his adult children. When daughter Abby points out his failings, it's the beginning of self-knowledge for this old school patriarch, who is finally realizing that he has some burned bridges to rebuild with his family.
The matriarch of the O'Brien clan, Nell is warm, maternal and wise. When Megan, her son Mick's wife, abandoned him with a passel of young kids, Nell moved in and took over the rearing of the O'Brien brood. Throughout the decades, she has been the glue that has kept this fractious, fractured family together. She is all too aware of her loved ones' weaknesses and mistakes, but she never dictates a course of action for them, allowing them to find their own paths -- sometimes later than sooner.
A beautiful woman who fled the responsibilities of her family when Abby was just 17, Megan left her husband Mick to deal with their large brood. Now living in Manhattan and working at a museum, she has a relationship with Abby and her twins, but otherwise has had zero contact with the rest of her family for the last 17 years. When Mick summons her to Chesapeake Shores, it's certain that old wounds will be reopened, but whether Megan can help heal the damage she has caused is unclear.
Abby's youngest sibling is a bubbling, energetic young woman who talks a mile a minute and changes jobs more often than most people change shirts. Always in hot water, she has relied on Abby to bail her out over the years, and she summons Abby home for her latest crisis. Jess has just bought a beautiful but dilapidated old inn that she intends to transform into a bed and breakfast. But she's maxed out her credit and is poised for financial disaster until Abby offers some assistance. Bull-headed and flighty, Jess still insists on spending money she doesn't have for high-end appliances and fixtures that are sending her into early bankruptcy. She adamantly refuses to accept help from her contractor dad, Mick, but Jess will have to grow up a lot, both personally and professionally, if she hopes to make the inn a success. Meanwhile, she just might have to stop resenting both her parents, whom she bitterly blames for abandoning her when she was still a child.
Another of Abby's siblings, Bree is a charming neurotic who is as flamboyant as she is insecure. A playwright whose first play earned her glowing reviews, Bree hasn't been able to recreate her early success, which has been largely labeled "beginner's luck" by the critical establishment. Currently in an unhappy relationship with an egomaniacal theater director, she has also watched her latest play crash and burn. Full of anxiety and faced with a long-running writer's block, she returns home when she gets news of her beloved grandmother's illness, but she just may stick around to recharge her mental batteries and find a new direction in her life.
Carrie is Abby's elder daughter, a perfectly put-together young lady who attends an elite private school in Manhattan with her twin sister, Caitlyn. She immediately warms to her nurturing great-grandma, Nell, who welcomes her to Chesapeake Shores. But Carrie fears that she will ultimately be forced to go live with her father and his new wife -- not a pleasant prospect.
Carrie's younger sister, Caitlyn also attends a posh Manhattan private school. During their visit to Chesapeake Shores, she bonds closely with her loving great-grandma, Nell. However, she, too, is plagued by the fear that she and Carrie will be forced to live with their father and his new wife. That's not appealing, to say the least.
Currently 31 and 15 at the time of his parents’ divorce. Life comes easy to Kevin O’Brien. Or is it that Kevin O’Brien comes easy to life? While the other O’Brien children were variously weeping and wailing about the divorce, Kevin was shouting with exhilaration – over the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl win. It wasn’t that Kevin didn’t care; he did, very much. In fact, shortly after the divorce, Kevin packed a suitcase and offered to move to New York and join Megan post-9/11. “I’m worried about mom,” the teen explained to his father. To this day, besides Abby, Kevin has the best relationship with his mother of any of his siblings (which, by the way, is a particularly sore spot between himself and his younger brother, Conner, who always seems to be living in Kevin’s lengthy shadow). Kevin has always shown concern for others and been ever-ready to take up a cause in which he believes he can help. It’s the reason he left med school to enlist. But while his father, Mick, objected strongly, Mick would never say that this fair-haired heir apparent “dropped out” then later became a paramedic. Kevin has deployed three times to Afghanistan and is about to deploy a fourth… after which life will no longer come so easy to Kevin O’Brien.
Currently 29, Connor was 13 when his parents divorced – which Connor took very hard. Nicknamed “Duck” by his older brother, this moniker stuck at an early age because of Connor’s early fear of being hit by any kind of ball (football, baseball, soccer ball) causing him to “duck” out of the way. The root of this fear grew after Connor was hit in the mouth (causing the loss of his two temporary front teeth) by a baseball thrown by his father who, ironically, was teaching Connor how to stay in front of the ball… and not be afraid of getting hit. Connor also had a lot of health issues as a child: croup, impetigo, tonsillitis, ear infections… And even though his mother was still married and living at home for these early illnesses, it was often his grandmother who stayed up nights with Connor while he ran high fevers, coughed, and cried in discomfort and pain – while his mother was busy caring for the other three, then four, children. As a result, Connor and his grandmother have a strong and unique bond, one that Megan wishes she shared with Connor and about which Megan is subconsciously jealous. Connor may feel like the family’s “odd man out” but the O’Brien “fire in the belly” so often referred to by Nell about Mick and Mick’s father, has been growing in Connor’s belly and has the potential of becoming a raging inferno.