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In Case You Missed It--BIG News This Past Week from Hallmark & Great American Family!

Did You Hear the Scoop?

It's been a busy week for Hallmark and Great American Family! Both networks have shared exciting news about upcoming projects. To make sure you haven't missed any of the announcements, read on for a recap!

Hallmark and GAF news

Hallmark Channel Announces 12th Season for When Calls the Heart

On May 10, ET Online announced that Hearties could expect the long-running program, When Calls the Heart, to continue for a 12th season.

The new season will feature 12 episodes.

According to a press release from Hallmark Channel, "With more stories to tell in Hope Valley, season 12 will continue with themes about family, community, and of course romance as we move further into the 1920s."

Lacey Chabert Will Star in a Christmas Movie on Netflix

Hallmark Channel previously announced that Lacey Chabert (the Queen of Christmas) will star in a movie alongside Kristoffer Polaha during Countdown to Christmas 2024. The movie is set in Iceland and is called The Christmas Quest.

Netflix announced on May 13 that Chabert will also headline a movie for them called Hot Frosty. The movie is about a handsome snowman coming to life and co-stars Dustin Milligan.

Lacey Chabert stars in Hot Frosty

Although it's not unusual for Hallmark stars to bounce around networks, Chabert has been a Hallmark staple since 2010, so straying to another company has raised several eyebrows.

Chabert signed an exclusive 2-year contract with Hallmark in February 2022. The deal specified that Chabert would star in and executive produce movies and develop other content for Hallmark's channel and platforms over the span of two years.

It's interesting that once the contract expired, Chabert wasted no time in broadening her horizons, which makes you question what's going on behind the scenes at Hallmark!

The Chicken Sisters Series Is Coming to Hallmark Channel

The Chicken Sisters is a bestselling novel by K.J. Dell'Antonia which is being adapted into a new original television series on Hallmark Channel. The cast includes Schuyler Fisk, Genevieve Angelson, Lea Thompson and Wendie Malick.

The Chicken Sisters is a new series on Hallmark

Here's what The Chicken Sisters is about:

This family drama with southern charm and romance, is set in the fictional town of Merinac, where a generations-old rift between dueling fried chicken restaurants – Mimi's and Frannie's – has left the founders' families fractured and the locals taking sides. When a popular cooking show comes to town, things get more complicated as sparks begin to fly and secrets are uncovered.

If you want to read the book before the series airs, click on image above to find it on Amazon.

Hallmark Unveils Their New Christmas Experience!

Viewers are always looking for small towns where they can experience the magic of Christmas--Hallmark style!

On May 15, Hallmark announced their first annual Hallmark Christmas Experience taking place in Kansas City, Missouri, during the 2024 holiday season.

Visitors can experience a tree lighting, Christmas Market, a card sending station, ice skating, reindeer games with Hallmark stars, photo ops, and more.

The catch is the expense. Although a few of the activities are free, the other two tiers cost $259 and $699 respectively.

Hallmark viewers expressed disappointment on social media. Many had hoped for a 24/7 Christmas movie channel while others felt Hallmark was trying to exploit their faithful fan base. The price tag, especially when travel expenses are included, are too hefty for many who would love a more economical way to interact with their favorite romcom celebrities.

A New Mystery Series Starring Sarah Drew Is Coming to Hallmark

Fans of cozy mysteries AND Christmas are in for a treat that's almost better than a cup of Mrs. Santa's cocoa.

Mistletoe Murders is a new mystery series coming to Hallmark Mystery that casts Sarah Drew as Emily Lane.

Mistletoe Murders with Sarah Drew

According to Deadline, here's what the series is about:

When Emily isn’t busy running her charming small-town Christmas-themed store, “Under the Mistletoe,” she finds herself compelled to investigate local murders with the help of handsome local police detective and his teen daughter. On the surface, Emily is a perfectly lovely, good-natured mystery lover – but she is hiding a secret past that, if exposed, threatens to destroy the new life she has built in Fletcher’s Grove.

This sounds amazing!

More Movies on the Way for Great American Family Viewers

CEO of Great American Media, Bill Abbott, shared a "Family Insider Update" from the GFAM network on May 12.

For several weeks, Great American Family has been airing old, syndicated shows like Murder, She Wrote, Columbo, and Perry Mason. Viewers who expected more movies and series are growing impatient, especially those who paid additional money to have the channel.

Great American Family cast

Abbott's letter explained that he and the leadership team are listening and are doing their best to respond to the demand. He outlined what's coming next:

  • Movies will return (though a date wasn't referenced)

  • GFAM will run its annual Christmas in July

  • At the end of July, GFAM will borrow movies from Great American Pure Flix to air on GFAM, including God's Country Song on July 29, Heaven Sent on August 6, along with five more. GFAM is calling these "Pure Flix Classics" to distinguish between brands.

  • A new slate of original movies will then premiere throughout the remainder of 2024, including Mr. Manhatten with Alexa and Carlos PenaVega.

  • The Ainsley McGregor Mysteries: A Case for the Winemaker starring Candace Cameron Bure is set to premiere this year, too.

Abbott also shared that older series attract double or triple the viewership than movies, a Nielson ratings fact that floored GFAM movie enthusiasts who can't fathom anyone tuning in to watch ancient shows. The numbers don't lie, and GFAM needs the ratings to attract advertisers, which funds the making of new programming.

Here's the kicker: Cable providers pay GFAM's competitors (cough, cough Hallmark) to carry their channels, but they don't pay GFAM to carry theirs. This gives the other network(s) a significant financial advantage. The worst part is the cable providers even charge more for you to have GFAM in your package, even though they are carrying the channel for free.

Understanding this dynamic is helpful. Wonderful, faith-filled programming is on the way from GFAM!

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1 Comment

May 18

Only news that interested me this week was Bill's letter. All of Hallmark's news is either 'meh' or 'not interesting' to me

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