‘The Baker and the Beauty’ cook up a romance on ABC

New ABC series adapts an Israeli show

Nathalie Kelley stars in “The Baker and the Beauty,” premiering Monday on ABC.

Unlikely romances have been popular subjects since the beginning of storytelling, and they still are.

One of the latest examples is ABC’s Americanized revision of an Israeli show. Premiering Monday, April 13, “The Baker and the Beauty” casts Victor Rasuk and Nathalie Kelley (who was the first Cristal on The CW’s current reboot of “Dynasty”) as … well, check the show’s title again. Family-oriented Miami chef Daniel has an unexpected encounter with globally famous celebrity Noa, and as their initial chemistry deepens, the people in their respective lives have plenty to say about it.

“I’ve landed in a role that is much more right for me” than Cristal, maintains Kelley. She says that for ABC’s version of “The Baker and the Beauty,” she built Noa “from the ground up, and that was a really fun, enriching experience. She’s an amazing character to be able to play. I’m so grateful that ABC has given me the opportunity to portray an intelligent, aspirational woman like Noa. I think that’s something the audience, and especially young women, need to see right now.”

Victor Rasuk and Nathalie Kelley star in “The Baker and the Beauty,” premiering Monday on ABC.

For his part, fellow star Rasuk adds that he likes that the theme of “The Baker and the Beauty” lets him “incorporate the experiences that I had coming up from the Lower East Side of Manhattan to Hollywood. And all the stories in-between.”

With Dan Bucatinsky and Lisa Vidal among its other cast regulars, “The Baker and the Beauty” was developed by writer-producer Dean Georgaris, whose Jimmy Smits-starring “Bluff City Law” was on NBC last fall. “Part of the fun of (this) show,” Georgaris reasons, “is … two worlds colliding. When a relationship becomes intense, you inherit a new family. In this case, it’s an entire family not just inheriting someone in Noa, but inheriting all that comes with someone like Noa.”

Indeed, notes Georgaris, the new series also puts plenty of focus on the backgrounds of Daniel’s baking-devoted relatives: “With the bakery, you believe it is a family-run business. You believe it as a Cuban-immigrant business. We get all the great associations of food, all the great associations of family. If you think ‘baker,’ you’re working long hours and you’re getting your hands dirty — and then, you put (that) against one of the most glamorous and famous women in the world. I think the contrast is just really fun.”

Puerto Rico has doubled for Miami as the headquarters for “The Baker and the Beauty,” and Kelley believes the show filmed there “at a very exciting time for the island. They were really grateful for the production and for the work. The island is experiencing a renaissance, and it’s been really inspiring to be amongst such resilient, beautiful people.”

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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