Christmas might still be nine months away, but Hallmark is already looking ahead to its most movie-filled time of the year. Between Hallmark Channel and its sister network Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, there will be 34 new festive flicks premiering, according to Entertainment Weekly. This is the most that Crown Media, which owns the channels, has ever debuted, topping last year’s total of 33.
Of the new movies, 22 will premiere on Hallmark Channel as part of its Countdown to Christmas event, with fan-favorite actress Danica McKellar already set to star in one of them. Over on HMM, 12 original Christmas films will air, including one currently titled “Vet,” featuring Kellie Martin, who is the network’s very own “Hailey Dean Mystery” franchise star.
As if the early holiday gift of this news wasn’t enough, Hallmark revealed on Wednesday a slew of other network additions and updates. The company was set to unveil all the announcements during a formal Upfront presentation in New York, but after it was canceled due to the weather, Bill Abbott, president & CEO, and Ed Georger, EVP of ad sales, as well as actresses McKellar and Candace Cameron Bure, held a Facebook Live event to share their news.
Hallmark Channel’s hit drama series “When Calls the Heart,” which is currently in the midst of airing Season 5, has been renewed for another season. Meanwhile, the network’s foray into primetime reality shows seems to be going well as a second season of their new docuseries “Meet the Peetes” has been ordered.
The good news only continues, with the addition of three original movie franchises to HMM’s lineup. Lacey Chabert and Brennan Elliott are teaming up once again, this time to piece together puzzle in “Crossword Mysteries,” which is set to premiere in June. “Enchanted Christmas” stars and real-life couple Alexa PenaVega and Carlos PenaVega will be figuring out mysteries in “Picture Perfect,” while Alison Sweeney will be solving cases in “The Chronicle Mysteries.”
On the interactive side of things, Hallmark will be holding a “Home & Family” contest to give the winner’s home a complete Christmas decoration overhaul in the same vein as those seen in their incredibly festive holiday movies. The prize will include a full front exterior and interior renovation that will be filmed and shown during a segment of the network’s daytime talk show.
The new original Christmas movies won’t come until close to Thanksgiving; This contest won’t open until fall, and the first new mystery franchise won’t begin until June. Yet, there are still so many new Hallmark projects to look forward to in the coming days and weeks. Hallmark Channel is currently debuting a slew of new spring movies on Saturdays, while “When Calls the Heart” and “Meet the Peetes” air new episodes on Sundays.