Annie Barrett
September 18, 2009 AT 10:13 AM EDT

Hallmark Channel’s Christmas in Canaan, based on a novel co-written by Kenny Rogers and Donald Davenport, will star country singer and Hannah Montana actor Billy Ray Cyrus, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The telefilm, slated to air in December, chronicles a friendship between two boys — black and white — in 1960s Texas as they bond over concern for a wounded puppy. Cyrus will play the father of DJ (Zak Ludwig).

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