Hallmark Channel’s ‘Sense and Sensibility’ stars mostly Black cast

Hallmark Channel gives Jane Austen’s classic novel a makeover

It’s usually Christmastime on the Hallmark Channel. However, this month they’re doing things differently with a special event called “Loveuary” — celebrating the Regency era with unique adaptations of famous authors.

To wrap up the month, the channel is doing its adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel “Sense and Sensibility,” with a twist — featuring a predominately Black cast.

This fresh take on the classic story premieres Feb. 24 with a dynamic cast list led by British actors Deborah Ayorinde and Bethany Antonia as the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, and other Black actors. The Hallmark Mahogany production is spearheaded by executive producer Toni Judkins, and prioritizes both authenticity and inclusivity.

Historical fiction expert Vanessa Riley helps the film re-create the early 19th century while acknowledging the presence of people of color during that era.

To make the film authentic to its direction, references to historical figures like Gen. Thomas-Alexandre Dumas and Phillis Wheatley enrich the storytelling without erasing history.

According to Blex Media, “the decision to cast actors of color in key roles reflects a broader trend in the entertainment industry, following the success of diverse casts in productions like Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘Hamilton’ and Netflix’s ‘Bridgerton.”’

The “Loveuary” event started at the beginning of February when the channel announced a project centering around four films that highlighted “women finding love in connection with their favorite writer.”

The first film, “Paging Mr. Darcy,” debuted Feb. 3. “Love & Jane” aires Saturday, and “Pride and Prejudice” airs Feb. 17.

“Sense and Sensibility” will wrap up the event at 8 p.m. Feb. 24.