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[04/04/05 - 12:00 AM]
Summer Days (And Summer Nights) Are Hot on Hallmark Channel Network Schedules 14 Originals May-September

[via press release from The Hallmark Channel]

SUMMER DAYS (AND SUMMER NIGHTS) ARE HOT ON HALLMARK CHANNEL NETWORK SCHEDULES 14 ORIGINALS MAY-SEPTEMBER

Network�s Original Fare Includes Nine New Mysteries from the Hallmark Channel Mystery Movie Franchises, Three Blockbuster Hallmark Channel Original Miniseries and Two Contemporary Hallmark Channel Original Movies

Hallmark Channel keeps the heat on the network�s stellar year-to-date ratings announcing an ambitious summer schedule of all-new Hallmark Channel Original movies, miniseries and the premiere of season two of the popular Hallmark Channel Mystery Movie franchises. The announcement was made by David Kenin, Executive Vice President, Programming for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel from this year�s NCTA National Show in San Francisco.

�We are extremely bullish about our summer season, especially with the success our original programming has seen recently,� said Kenin. �We hope this summer strategy will draw new viewers to their sets and introduce them to the diverse slate of programming Hallmark Channel offers year round.�

The 14 programs for summer include two contemporary Hallmark Channel Original movies, three big-budget blockbuster Hallmark Channel Original miniseries and the launch of the second season of the network�s popular Hallmark Channel Mystery Movie franchises � nine all-new whodunits. Season one of the original mystery movies contributed significantly to the network�s recently announced first quarter 2005 ratings success.

Hallmark Channel has just delivered its highest quarter in network history, ranking #9 in Total Day Household Rating (.7 rtg, tied with 1 other network) and #13 in Prime Time Household Rating (1.0 rating, tied with 2 other networks). In addition to the previously announced ratings success of the Hallmark Channel Mystery Movie franchises, Hallmark Channel Original movie premieres � such as �Annie�s Point� and �Family Plan� � have also been a significant ratings driver for the network.

The Hallmark Channel Mystery Movie franchises -- �Mystery Woman,� starring Kellie Martin and Clarence Williams III, �McBride,� starring John Larroquette and �Jane Doe,� starring Lea Thompson � will begin premiering nine new installments beginning in early June.

�Mystery Woman,� which originally premiered as a single two-hour movie and instantly became a viewer favorite, was created in 2003 by Michael Sloan. But it is acclaimed �Diagnosis Murder� creator, Joyce Burditt, who fashioned the concept into a limited series and helms it today. Emmy�-nominated actress Kellie Martin (�Life Goes On�) is Samantha Kinsey, an amateur sleuth who inherits her uncle�s mystery book store and discovers that crime speaks volumes when she uses clues from the books to solve real-life crimes. Three-time NAACP Image Award-nominee (�The General�s Daughter�) Clarence Williams III (�Mod Squad�) is Philby, Samantha�s mysterious crime-solving partner. �Mystery Woman� also stars Nina Siemaszko (�The West Wing�) and Casey Sander (�Grace Under Fire�).

�McBride,� starring five-time Emmy� Award-winner John Larroquette, is a �copturned- attorney for the little guy.� Though his cases are mostly pro bono, McBride occasionally acquires some pay back through barter, like a rundown ranch house with an abandoned dog (Jesse, played by Kuma) who becomes tough-talking McBride�s constant companion. The defense won�t rest when McBride is on the case. �McBride� also stars Marta DuBois (�Luminarias�) and Matt Lutz (�Murder Without Conviction�).

�Jane Doe� stars Lea Thompson (�Back to the Future,� �Caroline in the City�) as Cathy Davis, a seemingly ordinary soccer mom with an extraordinary aptitude for solving puzzles and unraveling crimes. Joe Penny (�Jake and the Fat Man�) is Frank Darnell, Davis� former partner � now head of the super secret Central Security Agency -- who recruits Davis back to the agency to unravel the bureau�s most baffling crimes. When Darnell calls �code name Jane Doe,� the bad guys don�t stand a chance. William R. Moses (�Perry Mason Mysteries�) also stars.

Hallmark Channel also announces the premieres of two Hallmark Channel Original movies.

�Fielder�s Choice,� which premieres Saturday, June 18 (9/8 c), stars Emmy� Award-winner Chad Lowe (�Life Goes On�) as Phillip Fielder, a single guy whose impeccable wardrobe matches his perfectly organized apartment. Fielder doesn�t even allow his dog (Kuma) to shed hair indoors! But, Phillip�s world is turned upside down when his sister is killed in a tragic accident and he becomes an instant father to her son, Zach. Struggling to maintain his place in corporate America in the cutthroat world of advertising while also caring for his nephew, Phillip is forced to face the most difficult decision of his life. Marin Hinkle (�Two and a Half Men�), Bodhi Elfman (�Collateral�) and Academy� Award-nominee, two-time Golden Globe Award-winner and five-time Golden Globe Award-nominee George Segal (�Who�s Afraid of Virginia Wolf,� �A Touch of Class,� �Just Shoot Me�) also star.

�Back to You And Me,� which premieres Saturday, July 23 (9/8 c), stars Grammy� Award winner Lisa Hartman Black (duet with Clint Black, �When I Said I Do,� also Soap Opera Digest winner for �Knot�s Landing�) as Dr. Sydney Ludwick, a beautiful physician who is grieving the loss of a beloved patient to cancer -- and the emptiness of a relationship of convenience with another staff doctor -- when she reluctantly decides to return to her small hometown long enough to attend her high school reunion. Rue McClanahan (Emmy� Award-winner and three-time Emmy� Award-nominee, �The Golden Girls�) stars as the mother whose misunderstood acceptance of Sydney�s father�s suicide leads to deep resentment between the two women. Sydney rashly decides to go back to the city, but a chance meeting with an ex-boyfriend (Dale Midkiff, �Love Comes Softly�) rekindles romance and a chance for happiness where she could not find it before � at home. �Back to You & Me� also stars Larry Manetti (�Magnum, P.I.�) and Barbara Niven (�One Life to Live�). Hartman Black is married to country superstar, Clint Black, who provides the music for �Back to You & Me.�

Hallmark Channel will premiere three big budget blockbuster Hallmark Channel Original miniseries this summer.

�Frederick Forsyth�s ICON,� which premieres Monday, May 30 (7/6 c) stars threetime Golden Globe Award-nominee Patrick Swayze (�Ghost�) in the fiercely compelling four-hour miniseries, which is an adaptation of the novel by the same name from bestselling author, master of intrigue and international suspense, Frederick Forsyth. In �Frederick Forsyth�s ICON,� the manifesto of a new Russian presidential candidate has been found � a disturbing blueprint for returning his country to a military dictatorship. Only one ex-CIA operative is qualified to stop him. Now the life and death fight to save the future of Russia and its people has begun. �Frederick Forsyth�s ICON� also stars New York Film Festival Award-winner Annika Peterson (�Moment in Time�), Ben Cross (�Chariots of Fire�), Patrick Bergin (�Patriot Games,� �Sleeping with the Enemy�), Niko Nicotera, Marta Kondova and Emmy� Award-nominee Michael York (�The Lot�).

Jules Verne�s �The Mysterious Island,� which premieres Saturday and Sunday, July 2-3 (9/8 c), stars Golden Globe Award-winner and two-time Emmy� Award-nominee Kyle MacLachlan (�Twin Peaks�), two-time Emmy� and Golden Globe Award-nominee Patrick Stewart (�The Lion in Winter,� �Moby Dick�), Gabrielle Anwar (�Scent of a Woman,� �Body Snatchers�), Omar Gooding (�Hangin� With Mr. Cooper,� �Smart Guy�), and the UK�s Empire Award-winner Vinnie Jones (�Two Smoking Barrels�) and follows the adventures of a group of castaways who use their survivalist savvy to build a functional community on an uncharted island. Based on Jules Verne�s classic novel, �The Mysterious Island� chronicles a hot air balloon that is blown far off course and crash lands with all of its passengers on an uncharted island. One of the marooned voyagers nearly dies after a skirmish with bloodthirsty buccaneers, but is saved by mysterious medicine. The group discovers their secret helper is Captain Nemo (Stewart) who later dies and is buried at sea in his beloved submarine.

�Supernova,� which premieres Saturday and Sunday, September 3-4 (9/8 c), stars Luke Perry (�Beverly Hills, 90210�), two-time Golden Globe Award-winner, twotime Oscar� nominated and Emmy� Award-nominee Peter Fonda (�Ulee�s Gold,� �The Passion of Ayn Rand� and �Easy Rider�) and two-time MTV Movie and Alma Award- nominee Tia Carrera (�True Lies,� �Wayne�s World� and �Relic Hunter�) as a team of scientists who make the horrifying discovery that the next star set to explode is our sun. It�s an Armageddon that will engulf everything before turning the universe into a vast black hole -- the most devastating explosion in nature. With flames traveling faster than the speed of light, �Supernova� will obliterate the entire world unless the dedicated astronomers throw disaster off course.

Hallmark Channel is a 24-hour basic cable channel that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming to a national audience of 68 million subscribers. The program service is distributed through 4,800 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. Crown Media Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRWN) owns and operates Hallmark Channel. In 2004, Crown launched its second 24-hour linear channel, Hallmark Movie Channel. Through its subsidiary, Crown Media Distribution, LLC, Crown also distributes titles from its awardwinning collection of movies, miniseries and films for exhibition in a variety of television media including broadcast, cable, Video-on-Demand and High Definition Television.

For more information, please visit www.hallmarkchannel.com

-- HALLMARK CHANNEL --





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