BY KELLIE FREEZE
Hallmark Channel’s Chesapeake Shores returns Aug. 5, and this season, the sound of fame is echoing through the quiet coastal town. At the end of the drama’s second season, Abby O’Brien (Meghan Ory) encouraged her boyfriend Trace (Jesse Metcalfe) to leave Chesapeake Shores to follow his dreams of music stardom. And it looks like the handsome country singer has found it.
“Season 3’s a lot about how Trace is dealing with his newfound fame and success, and how Abby is dealing with it because it’s a completely different world for her, too,” explains Ory. As the limelight falls on Trace, it also shines on Abby, her children, family and even the town, and they all struggle with the lack of privacy that the attention brings.
In addition to the stress of fame, Abby and Trace struggle with being apart. “They’re trying to figure out how to navigate a long-distance relationship,” Ory explains. “I think they realized that it’s easier said than done.”
Other big news from Chesapeake Shores comes in the smallest of packages. In Season 2, Abby O’Brien frequently hid behind packages and wore lots of uncharacteristically bulky sweaters. Ory reveals that she and her husband, actor John Reardon, recently welcomed their first child and laughs, “When I showed up on set this year not pregnant, everybody gave a sigh of relief.”
Motherhood has allowed Ory to see her role with new eyes, and she shares, “It’s been a really interesting and exciting thing to experience as an actor, going from playing a mom and not having kids to now being a mom. I feel like I relate to Abby in a completely different way.”
Season 3 will also expand the stories of the O’Brien family, so fans will get more insight into the characters played by Treat Williams, Diane Ladd, Barbara Niven and the rest of the cast. “Everyone’s relationships are more intricate,” Ory says. “You get to fall in love with these characters in a deeper way.”
But even with these changes, the traditions of Chesapeake Shores remain the same, Ory assures. There will still be ice cream in bed. “It wouldn’t be Chesapeake Shores without ice cream,” the actress giggles and adds that large, all-family breakfasts remain unchanged, too. “There are many, many crazy morning breakfast scenes,” she says. “It’s always interesting how the writers find ways to justify everybody being at the O’Brien house for breakfast.”
And speaking of breakfast, Ory offers this spoiler: “Apparently Connor and Kevin aren’t very good grocery shoppers.” She also teases, “I don’t know if I should tell you this, but why not? There’s a new sort of rival/nemesis to Abby. Her ex-husband Wes gets a new girlfriend …”
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