Eric Mabius on “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” and guest star Valerie Harper

New drama comes from “Touched By An Angel” executive producer Martha Williamson.
By Barb Oates | Tuesday, April 15, 2014 8:39 am

Ugly Betty alum Eric Mabius stars in Hallmark Channel’s delightfully endearing new drama series Signed Sealed Delivered, which premieres Sunday, April 20 at 8pm ET/PT. The series follows a group of postal detectives who are dedicated to delivering undeliverable mail from the past, an act that often transforms the recipient and/or Eric Mabius in Signed, Sealed, Delivered on Hallmark Channelsender’s life. The series is written by Martha Williamson (creator of Touched by an Angel), who has a gift for writing appealing programming for a broad age range. “Anyone from 8 to 80 can sit around and watch because there are aspects from each of these characters that everyone can relate to,” Mabius shares. “The challenges Martha set for us have been so wonderful and sort of life-changing in some ways.” Here’s what Mabius had to share.

Tell us what excited you about playing the role of Oscar in Signed, Sealed, Delivered? Martha’s made the series far better than any of us could have dreamt. As an actor to play the part of Oliver there are so many layers to him that keep getting revealed and unfolding and there are so many opportunities for romantic interaction, comedy, broad comedy and addressing friendships. Oliver gets to be a brother to someone, an uncle to other, a father to other, a romantic interest for others. More and more what as we see what Martha has set into motion, just when we think it can’t get any better we’ll have another read through and she’ll slay the room. It’s incredible. It’s such a wonderful journey so far. It doesn’t feel like work.”

Valerie_Harper_webValerie Harper guest stars in Signed, Sealed, Delivered in the first few episodes. Can you tell us what that was like? What has always been so special about her — and multiplied exponentially now — she can light up a room like no one I’ve ever seen just through sheer energy. … [Her character] is there to help each of us along on our paths, which makes her so great in her job, and it’s hard to separate that character from Valerie because she wants everyone to succeed. … To have someone so transformative as Valerie taking it on was just pitch perfect.

So where exactly does undelivered mail go? There is an office that deals with it. They have a kinder term for it. … Martha presented the pilot and the idea that this show was conceived and written as a big thank-you from an event that happened to her when she was a young girl, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the place when she made that presentation.

What’s it like to imagine a world where the post office actually has the time and resources to go to such lengths to deliver mail? It’s great to imagine a world where there was time to do these things because each letter or parcel makes such a difference in these people’s lives. Even if the specifics aren’t true, there is the aspect of the mail itself that we’re trying to reintroduce to an audience that’s used to tweets and emails and incomplete sentences. Nothing beats getting a hard piece of mail from someone — a letter from someone, a package from someone — it’s still an exciting thing and I get to relive that with my two young boys. There’s just something different, there’s some weight to things that arrive in your mailbox. You pull it out, it makes it more tangible.

Do you have a favorite episode you are excited about or a particular storyline you can share with us? I tend to feel whatever I’m working on that moment is my favorite. I’m very proud of the second episode where we tackle the issue of a veteran and losing his place, and feeling abandoned by the people he loved and the people he put his faith in, and finding that again. It really is a hard topic to take on in television.

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