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Hallmark Channel - Hallmark Channel

American cable television network

The Hallmark Channel is an American pay-TV cable channel operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc., which in turn is owned by Hallmark Cards, Inc. The station's programming is primarily aimed at families and features a mix of television films and miniseries, original and acquired television series, and lifestyle programs.

As of February 2015, Hallmark Channel is available to around 85,439,000 pay-TV households in the US (73.4% of households with television). Despite being largely an apolitical brand, Hallmark Channel has garnered a following among politically conservative viewers in both suburban and rural areas, which, according to Manhattan Institute for Policy Research's Steven Malanga, rolled into one Los Angeles Times op-ed, feel the network and its original programming nourishes their desire to "express traditional family values ​​and also turn away from political issues and stories that denigrate religion". Their largest conservative competition in terms of entertainment programming is INSP, with FETV being a lesser competitor. Much of the filming for Hallmark Channel's most popular shows is done in Canada with Canadian stars, backdrops and talent.


The Hallmark Channel traces its history back to the introduction of two separate religious cable channels, the American Christian Television System (ACTS) and the Vision Interfaith Satellite Network (VISN). The two networks began alternately in 1992 on a shared transponder slot on the Galaxy III satellite. According to the original timeshare agreement, the network was called VISN / ACTS. Each network was given time for its programming blocks and used its own logos.

VISN was launched on July 1, 1988 and founded by the National Interfaith Cable Coalition in collaboration with several cable providers. The membership of the coalition consisted of 65 different religious groups. It aired approximately 16 hours a day and hosted religious programming from Protestant denominations such as the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the United Church of Christ. In addition, Roman Catholic, Latter-day Saints, Jewish, and Islamic faiths also provided some programs. VISN was broadcast in the morning and in the evening. ACTS began operating in 1984 and was owned by the Southern Baptist Convention. It was broadcast by evangelical and fundamentalist non-charismatic Christian groups such as the SBC, the Christian Reformed Church and the Association of Regular Baptist Churches, as well as well-known evangelists such as Jerry Falwell, Charles Stanley and D. James Kennedy. Both channels broadcast children's religious programs several hours a week, some of which overlapped, including Sunshine Factory , Joy Junction , Davey and Goliath as Jot .

In 1993 the network was renamed the Faith and Values ​​Channel. During this time, some secular programs were added, including exercise shows, health and cooking shows, and family-oriented drama series and films.

Odyssey Network

In 1995, Liberty Media, a cable conglomerate of Tele-Communications Inc., acquired a 49% interest in the Faith and Values ​​Channel and took operational control of the network. It added more secular programming to the network and reduced religious programming to about 10 hours a day. In 1996 the network was renamed the Odyssey Network (although on-air promotions often referred to the network simply as "Odyssey") and a website called Odysseyfamily.com was launched to provide program listings for the network.

Logo as Odyssey Network from 1996 to 2001

In 1997 the station's CEO, Gary Hill, died. The teaching of Christ , the daily mass and a biblical portrait of marriage were regular religious programs on the channel. Healthy off-network series were on the channel Brooklyn Bridge and Trapper John, MD , as well as the Claymation children's show by Davey and Goliath . The channel produced shows shows under the name Odyssey Productions. The station had a variety show called by the gospel singer CeCe Winans CeCe's Place was moderated, and launched on July 1, 1998 Landmarks of Faith .

Hallmark Entertainment and The Jim Henson Company purchased significant stakes in Odyssey in late 1998, some of which were paid for through programming commitments. Liberty had convinced Hallmark not to open its own domestic broadcaster because it was difficult to get a promotion. The National Interfaith Cable Coalition and Hallmark-Henson would have an equal stake, while Liberty would increase its stake while the three groups would share control of the board. Hallmark and Henson had discussed the selection of the CEO. When adding the Henson and Hallmark libraries, the channel was unable to make significant changes to the programming format, so cable systems could not delete them. Hallmark hired former Fox Kids Network vice chairwoman Margaret Loesch to redesign Odyssey into a family channel earlier this year.

As part of the new ownership structure, Odyssey underwent a comprehensive program overhaul on April 4, 1999 under the motto "a Hallmark and Henson Network". The revision reduced the number of religious programs on the network to an average of four hours per day, even though more hours were religious on weekends. The station focused more on family-oriented entertainment programs, including some classic sitcoms, children's programs, and additional family-oriented films. The premiere show was under the new schedule Gulliver's Travels- Mini-series produced in its cable premiere by Hallmark and Henson. The Henson programs on the channel included The Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock . This revision had other children's programs like the syndicated one Zoobilee zoo and the Archie Show . The new program even used Hallmark Entertainment's Hal Roach Studios library for Leonard Maltin Presents . In 2000, the station broadcast its first original vacation film.

Crown Media Holdings, Inc. was formed in 2000 with Hallmark Entertainment, Chase Equity Associates, Liberty Media, and the National Interfaith Cable Coalition transferred its 77.5 percent ownership of the Odyssey Network to Crown Media Holdings. The Henson Company, now owned by EM.TV & Merchandising, traded in March 2001 with Crown Media, the remaining stake in the Odyssey Network, for 8% of Crown shares.

Hallmark Channel

On August 5, 2001, the channel was renamed again and restarted as the Hallmark Channel. After agreeing to distribute a religious digital cable network, among other things, to lift restrictions on the Odyssey channel and effect rebranding with plans to quickly add original programming. The Miniseries Infinite Worlds of HG Wells was the first program under the rebranding. The new original program for the year included the third installment in his Sherlock Holmes film series, plus five other films, two miniseries and three screenplay series, one of which is from The Jim Henson Company. In April 2001, Crown Media acquired 700 titles from the Hallmark Entertainment Distribution film library, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hallmark Entertainment, for its cable channels and Crown Interactive. The broadcaster started a series called Mystery Movie Wheel in 2005 Mystery movie on Sunday evening .

In 2002 the Hallmark Channel had a weekday talk show, New Morning, premiered . A Sunday morning version hosted by Naomi Judd entitled Naomi's new morning was released in 2005 and lasted two years before being retired from the program in early 2007.

Hallmark Channels in international markets were sold to Sparrowhawk Media, a private equity group backed by Providence Equity Partners and 3i, for approximately $ 242 million in 2005. The station had its best-rated year in 2005 with a 34% increase in viewership and ranked seventh in growth. In 2005, Hallmark's "Meet the Santas" was the top rated commercial cable base film with a household rating of 3.6.

In 2006, the station licensed 35 Warner Bros. features, including "Troy" (2007) and "March of the Penguins" (2005), which cost in the multi-million dollar range. In 2006 the broadcaster set a new high rating (4.2 households) for an original film, The Christmas Card .

When RHI Entertainment's exclusive contract with Hallmark Channel expired, Larry Levinson Productions became the station's only producer. In 2007, more producers were added as suppliers as the broadcaster increased the number of original films by 50% from 20 in 2007 to 30 in 2008.

In January 2008, Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign bought an hour of prime time slots from Hallmark Channel under a paid programming agreement to run a town hall special for Clinton's campaign for president on February 4, the day before the multi-state "Super" United States to hold primaries Tuesday. The "Mystery Movie" wheel series was discontinued in 2008 because the station did better with lighter romances.

With a change of company president in May 2009, the new president planned to relocate the channel from being dependent on the West to a more lighthearted tariff in order to downsize viewers without alienating current viewers and better fitting the Hallmark brand. In mid-June 2009, the network announced it would sell individual commercial breaks with a single advertiser. The so-called "Fast Breaks" are preceded by short bumpers that announce that program streaming will return after a pause of 30 seconds. The cost of such standalone spots is about twice as high as a regular 30-second commercial on the channel. Hallmark Channel signed Mutual of Omaha insurance company as its first buyer.

Started at the end of 2009 the National Tree- Filmed his first annual seasonal program "Countdown to Christmas". Hallmark characters Hoops & Yoyo hosted "Movie Night" on Friday during the countdown.

In 2010, the station made a push into lifestyle programming. A multi-year contract with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO) in January 2010 brought the Martha Stewart Show from syndication to Hallmark in September. Stewart would also produce four one-hour prime-time specials for the station. Hallmark wanted to be a vacation destination. On March 26, 2010, a new weekday home and lifestyle block of Martha Stewart shows aired on the channel for seven hours. A shorter Stewart block would also air on the weekends. After a month in the air with lackluster ratings, the block was reduced to five hours. In January 2012 the station the Martha Stewart Show canceled as the show was inexpensive at the end of the season in May and the summer months were repeating. However, he intends to keep some MSLO shows.

Hallmark Channel and the joint film service Hallmark Movie Channel were shut down by AT&T U-verse on September 1, 2010 due to a carriage dispute over a proposed increase in retransmission payments that U-verse deemed disproportionate to lower audiences was watching audience numbers for the channels at the time. As of July 23, 2015, both channels returned to U-verse.

In 2011, Hallmark started its animal shows with the Hero Dog Awards. The 2014 Kitten Bowl versus the Super Bowl had 1 million viewers. Jingle the Husky puppy (a Hallmark merchandising character) was featured in an animated Christmas special on November 25, 2011, Jingle All the Way , presented. In 2012, the Christmas in July program was launched over a weekend to promote Hallmark cards. new Christmas ornaments debut and have become an annual event.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, Hallmark Channel revised its daily schedule. The channel started one Marie! Talk show with Marie Osmond and Home & Family while three MSLO programs are repeated. Two TV pilots, Cedar Cove and When calls the heart , both book adaptations, were also shown. Home & Family was previously on The Family Channel. Cedar Cove was ordered in October 2012 before its film premiere in January 2013 for a series, the first prime-time original series of the station. and When calls was also recorded as a series. Marie! was canceled after its first season.

In the 2011–2012 season, ABC took the Hallmark Hall of Fame on with the Hallmark Channel showing each episode a week later. The Hall of Fame series was moved from ABC to Hallmark for the 2014-2015 season and should be broadcast up to four times a year. The first episode to debut on Hallmark Channel was One Christmas Eve with Anne Heche. A maximum of four original films would be shown on the cable channel as part of the Hall of Fame with multiple encores. The HHOF library would also be available.

On March 15, 2013, the broadcaster, in collaboration with Walden Media and others, presented a new family-oriented film block on Friday evening, the Walden Family Theater . In an unusual deal in 2013, CBS syndicated The Good Wife to Hallmark, two streaming services and television station that received the shows over the weekend. While the show achieved its good storytelling goal with a four hour prime-time series, the broadcaster withdrew the show after many months because it didn't fit in other ways.

Two new series, Good witch and Sign, Sealed, Delivered , were picked up for the 2014–2015 season. The character is from Martha Williamson, while the Good Witch passed over from a film series. In February 2015, the station aired its first programming event "Countdown to Valentine" based on its success. "Countdown to Christmas" accounts for 30% of annual advertising revenue.

In April 2014, the broadcaster launched the TV Everywhere video-on-demand service "Hallmark Channel Everywhere", which offers subscribers of participating television providers a streaming selection of Hallmark Channel films and series.

In 2015, Mariah Carey directed and starred in a Christmas film for Hallmark. you moderated also Mariah Carey's Merriest Christmas, the most watched show on the station. Carey signed a three-telefilm deal for her in May 2016 to develop, produce, direct, produce and write an original song for three films for "Countdown to Valentine's Day".

The station's first "Winterfest" season program took place in January 2016. At the March 2016 preliminary meetings, Hallmark Channel executives announced they wanted to divide their program into themed seasons throughout the year to build on the success of Countdown to Christmas and other franchises.

On October 20, 2016, the Sling TV service was expanded to include the Hallmark Channel and the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel. On November 15, 2017, PlayStation Vue added Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and Hallmark Drama to its lineup.

In October 2017, Hallmark Channel launched a new, over-the-top subscription service called Hallmark Movies Now, which features new and existing original content from the network. In October 2018, the three linear Hallmark channels were added to the Philo streaming service. With SiriusXM, Crown Media launched the Hallmark Channel Radio channel as a music format around the clock on November 1, 2018 as part of the network's "Countdown to Christmas" campaign. Network talents would introduce the music and include segments from the vacation films behind the scenes.

One night in November 2017, the station hit his Hallmark Hall of Fame- Movie The Christmas Train all four major broadcasting networks in the ratings. In March 2019, Hallmark announced that Lori Loughlin had been banned from future corporate projects due to her role in the 2019 college admissions bribery scandal.

In December 2019, the broadcaster stopped broadcasting advertisements for the online wedding registry Zola.com, in which two brides kissed after complaining that lesbians were kissing and promoting same-sex marriages. A lead complainant was One Million Moms, a division of the socially conservative American Family Association that has been classified as an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Similar ads featuring straight couples kissing were not drawn. As a result, social media users called for a boycott of the channel, while competitors such as Netflix and the Disney-operated Freeform cable channel announced their LGBTQ inclusivity in response. On December 15, Hallmark overturned its decision and announced it would resume advertising and partner with GLAAD, an LGBTQ media surveillance organization, to create more extensive programming.


Hallmark Channel's programming consists of classic and some recent / original television series and original television films. It will also die Hallmark Hall of Fame- Anthology series broadcast.

Original programs broadcast on the network include the talk show Home & Family (which originated on Freeform in April 1996 when it was known as The Family Channel) and When calls the heart (based on the novels by Janette Oke). The network's original programming originally consisted mainly of lifestyle programming and television films. Hallmark Channel debuted in July 2013 with the premiere of Cedar Cove (based on the novels by Debbie Macomber) its first prime-time original screenplay series.

Original films

The network's TV movies are family-friendly and inspiring, ranging from vacation-themed movies to westerns. In the early stages of the station's development, Hallmark Channel had a firm production schedule for one film per month or 12 per year, with the films being produced primarily by RHI Entertainment. However, in 2008 Crown Media had increased its production schedule to around 30 films per year and opened it to other production companies, although RHI is still producing some films for Hallmark Channel. The network premiered 35 original films between 2009 and 2010.

Original Hallmark films were valued at $ 2.2 million in 2007. Hallmark doesn't pay the full cost of films, so the production company has deficit-financed them.


  • Hallmark Hall of Fame : Originally just an encore or a library home for the anthology film series Hallmark Hall of Fame , the series moved its original ideas to the canal in 2014.
  • Mystery movie (also Hallmark Channel Mystery Wheel ): The broadcaster started a Mystery Movie Wheel series in 2004 called Mystery movie on Sunday evening . This wheel series consisted of four separate film series with four films that were later shown on Hallmark Movie Channel. Two of the film series were Mystery woman and Jane Doe . A follow-up series, Original Mystery Wheel , was founded in 2015 on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel.
  • Walden Family Theater (2013) On March 15, 2013, the broadcaster launched its family-friendly Friday night film series in collaboration with Walden Media, Arc Entertainment, Procter & Gamble and Walmart Walden Family Theater . P&G and Walmart sponsored partners with Walmart, who sold the DVD movie in store on the Tuesday after it aired, while Arc and Walden partner produced. The first film was the world premiere of Return to Nim's Island , one of six new films produced for the series. Space warriors was shown later in the main season, with additional films from Hallmark's film library. The second season of the series opened on September 6, 2013 with the premiere of the film Dear Dumb Diary based on the Scholastic book. Next up is the drama The Watsons Go to Birmingham from the First performed time of civil rights.

Seasonal programming

Hallmark Channel is known for scheduling themed programs for major holidays like Christmas, Mother's Day, and Valentine's Day - with new original movies relevant to that holiday. With the introduction of the Countdowns for the Christmas branding in 2009, the broadcaster gradually expanded the number of seasonal programming events it hosted. During its preparatory work in 2016, the network stated that in addition to its holiday events, it has begun to divide its schedule into thematic "seasons" throughout the year. Some of these events are linked to the various original series on the network. Crown Media CEO Bill Abbott stated that this strategy allowed the network to position itself as a "year-round destination for celebrations" that don't have to depend on a single series or franchise to increase audience numbers. This programming strategy also creates synergies with Hallmark Cards.

  • "Winterfest" (2016 - today) will air in January; His first original film was Love in Paradise .
  • "Countdown to Valentine's Day" (2015 - today) In 2015 the event lasted 15 days with four original film premieres.
  • "Spring Fever", formerly "Spring Fling", is in March and April. The two original series from 2016 were When calls the heart and Good witch
  • "Countdown to Summer" started in May 2019.
  • "Summer Nights" has its franchise show in 2016 Chesapeake Shores .
  • "June Wedding"
  • "Fall-Harvest" (2015-present) airs in September and most of October primarily air fall-themed films (sometimes Halloween-related).
  • "Five Nights of Original Vacation Movies" (2015 - Today) that air near Thanksgiving.

Countdown to Christmas

From the last weekend in October through January 1st, Hallmark Channel operates a seasonal block called Countdown to Christmas with a mixture of holiday films, specials and original programs on the subject of holidays. The block will run from December 26th to January 1st Countdown to New Years branded and ends with the broadcast of the Parade of the Tournament of Roses by the broadcaster.

The countdown to Christmas began in 2009, while the station's first original film aired in 2000. Hallmark characters Hoops & Yoyo hosted "Movie Night" on Friday, which began during the countdown in 2009. Countdown had 12 original films in 2013 and 21 in 2016. Actresses who appear frequently in the station's Christmas movies (called "Queens of Christmas") include Rachel Boston, Candace Cameron Bure (the other works for Hallmark Channel power, mainly as Aurora Teagarden). , Lacey Chabert, Erin Krakow, Kellie Martin and Danica McKellar. Autumn Reeser's and Alicia Witt Hallmark's "Christmas TV Ratings System" has names like "F for Family" and "J for Joy".

Since 2012, the network has also hosted a Christmas event in July with additional screenings of previous films: it will be used as a platform for the launch of the upcoming Christmas ornament lines from Hallmark Cards. In 2013 the event was around Home & Family expanded who give vacation tips. In 2014 the broadcaster added a movie premiere. Until 2015 the event included a new film.

In 2014, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Cards worked on a film for the first time called Northpole together which was shown during the countdown to Christmas. During the 2017 holiday season, the Hallmark Channel premiered 33 original Christmas holiday films, out of a total of 28 Christmas films in 2016. Hallmark has a total of 136 Christmas holiday-themed films in its original film library.

For 2018, Hallmark Channel partnered with Sirius XM to launch Hallmark Channel Radio - a Christmas music channel hosted by Hallmark Channel talents (including Holly Robinson Peete and Lacey Chabert) and a behind-the-scenes look at the countdown until Christmas offers programming.

In February 2019 it was announced that the station would be in honor of the upcoming 10th anniversary of the Countdown to Christmas- Events throughout the year on Friday evenings a selection of films from the franchise will be broadcast.

Tier special franchise

With the success of the Dog Hero Awards, the broadcaster launched a franchise from the show with additional shows that counter the programming of major sporting events. In addition to the Dog Hero Awards and the Kitten Bowl, the station features the Paw-Star Game, which runs during MLB's All-Star Game, and the Summer Kitten Games, which is the first to show the Rio Olympics. On February 2, 2014, the Hallmark Channel partnered with the New York North Shore Animal League and Last Hope Animal Rescue to create the Kitten bowl to debut during Super Bowl XLVIII. Hosted by Beth Stern and announcers John Sterling and Mary Carillo, the event is designed as a counter program to the Super Bowl and will air during the game's halftime show. It's similar to another animal-themed event that happened nine years earlier on Animal Planet, the Puppy Bowl. Kitten Bowl II returned on February 1, 2015 and was seen by 1.3 million viewers. Since then, a new Kitten Bowl has been broadcast every year, which runs repeatedly on Super Bowl Sunday in a three-hour program that includes "playoff games". In 2019 Hallmark added Cat bowl which premiered on the Super Bowl weekend.

Content standards

The Hallmark Channel has been criticized for editing its programs to remove what its Standards and Practices Department considers offensive words. After the word "God" in April 2014 from the film " It could happen to you "When viewers interpreted the mute as evidence of hatred of the deity, the practice failed. Blogger Donna Cavanagh criticized the station's content guidelines in July 2011, describing it as" worst-case censorship, "using swear words or nicknames such as "Ass" and "Hooker" removed. In response to Cavanagh's request, a network representative wrote:

Crown Media Networks is committed to family-friendly programming. Our standards and practices ("S&P" - the things that are or are not acceptable to a particular network) are very conservative. There are words and phrases that are commonly used on other cable channels and broadcast networks that are not acceptable under Hallmark Channel's S&P guidelines.

Cavanagh accused the network of hypocrisy in considering such material offensive by the network's standards while continuing to like sitcoms outside the network Frasier and The Golden Girls acquired that frequently contain sexual content, including references to promiscuity. Others have recommended the station's late-night programming, noting that removing words from these programs "slightly muffles the fun."

International versions

Hallmark Channel operated several cable channels in various international markets. They were sold to Sparrowhawk Media in 2005, which was acquired by Universal Networks International in 2007.

Universal's license agreement ended in July 2011; The networks were either shut down or renamed under a different NBC Universal brand (such as Diva Universal, Studio Universal, 13th Street Universal, or Universal Channel). In the UK, the original Hallmark films originally shown on the canal are now shown on Movies 24, a sister of the Hallmark Canal.

On October 25, 2018, Corus Entertainment announced that W Network would become the exclusive Canadian broadcaster of the Hallmark Channel original series and films, effective November 1. The deal includes brand blocks and broadcasts of the network's seasonal events. The program contract officially started with a Canadian version of the Countdown to Christmas event.

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