The upcoming show is the first scripted series by the Hallmark Channel, which airs a mix of television movies, miniseries and syndicated series.
Cedar Cove, an adaptation of Debbie Macomber's book series of the same name, tells the story of Judge Olivia Lockhart (MacDowell), whose personal life often carries over into her courtroom.
Hallmark Channel will first air the pilot of Cedar Cove as a two-hour movie later this year, with the series premiering in early 2013.
The 54-year-old actress, who previously appeared in last year's Footloose and Monte Carlo, can also be seen in the ABC Family show Jane by Design, where she plays creative director Gray Chandler Murray.
Desperate Housewives actress Teri Hatcher is set to join Jane by Design as a guest star and a director in June.
Watch a trailer for Footloose below: