CROWN MEDIA NETWORKS PRESENTS ITS ORIGINAL PROGRAMS TO ADVERTISERS FOR 2011-2012, INCLUDING 25 ORIGINAL MOVIES TO PREMIERE ON HALLMARK CHANNEL
Number of Original Movies Rivals All Other Cable Nets; New Lifestyle Original Programs and Animated Holiday Special Join Lineups
Stars Include: Wendie Malick, Catherine Bell, Kim Delaney, Sir Roger Moore, Martin Mull, Judd Nelson, Adrian Pasdar, Rhea Perlman, Teri Polo, James Patrick Stuart, Billy Ray Cyrus, Cheryl Ladd, Bruce Boxleitner, Nancy McKeon, and Many More
NEW YORK CITY - Crown Media Networks, part of the television portfolio that includes Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel, today presented its cable television networks' 2011-2012 slate of Original Programs. Highlights of Crown Media Networks' presentation include the announcement of 25 Hallmark Channel Original Movies; eight Hallmark Movie Channel Original Premiere movies; a new 13-episode, unscripted lifestyle series "The Spirit Table," hosted by cultural icon Maya Angelou; a Hallmark Channel Original Animated Special, "Jingle All the Way," a half-hour animated Christmas special starring Hallmark Cards' Jingle(TM) the Husky Pup. In addition, Hallmark Channel Original Specials include "Martha Stewart Presents," a primetime one-hour interview show with Martha Stewart interviewing today's most fascinating people; the 123rd Tournament of Roses Parade; and the "Hallmark Channel Home" lifestyle block's debut of the Hallmark Channel Original Series, "Emeril's Table."
"Original programs that celebrate holidays, occasions, family, and all of life's special moments, are the centerpiece of Hallmark Channel's programming schedule," said Michelle Vicary, Executive Vice President, Programming, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel.
"Hallmark Channel created a one-of-a-kind television destination and unique programming events through its 'COUNTDOWN TO' franchise, anchored by original programs scheduled around major holidays including Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and others. Hallmark Channel was #1 in ratings for its COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS campaign, which included more original movies, specials and holiday-themed lifestyle series episodes than any other network.
"Beginning October 29, Hallmark Channel will COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN with the World Premiere of 'Oliver's Ghost', starring Martin Mull and Rhea Perlman, followed by Original Movies starring Sir Roger Moore, Catherine Bell, and Bill Ray Cyrus, among others. "While movies themed around holidays form the core of Hallmark Channel's Original programming strategy, the HALLMARK CHANNEL HOME block, anchored by the Emmy(R) Award-winning "The Martha Stewart Show," will in Q4 welcome a new lifestyle series, "Emeril's Table," a sizzling new cooking show with America's best-loved premier chef, Emeril Lagasse.
"Synergy between Hallmark Cards and Hallmark Channel has created limitless original programming possibilities. The first characters across the creative bridge are 'hoops & yoyo,' the whimsical, pink kitty and green bunny team, returning to do hosted program wraps for holiday 2011. And Jingle the Husky Pup, the star of a half-hour Hallmark Channel Original Animated Special based on the interactive storybook and story buddy will premiere in Q4. As the story goes, Jingle is a very good dog who does everything he is told. The only thing he could not do is 'go home' because he didn't have one. This holiday season, Jingle the Husky Pup and all of his friends will come home to Hallmark Channel, America's family network," Ms. Vicary concluded.
The slate of Hallmark Channel Original Movie presentations include:
OLIVER'S GHOST, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (4Q 2011), stars Martin Mull and Rhea Perlman in a story about 11 year-old Oliver and his unique ability to see 'full-bodied apparitions' - ghosts! When his family moves from the bustling city to an older home in the suburbs, only Oliver is able to see the spirit of Clive Rutledge, the previous owner. Clive causes every manner of destruction to force Oliver and his family to leave, but in the end, it will be Oliver who shows Clive how to release all his worldly regrets so he can leave the house in peace.
THE GOOD WITCH'S FAMILY, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (4Q 2011), which stars Catherine Bell and Chris Potter in the 4th installment of one of Hallmark Channel's most beloved movie series, "The Good Witch." Life is becoming routinely good for Cassandra "Cassie" Nightingale and her husband Jake, Police Chief of Middleton. But not everything in Middleton is good, fair or fair to middling. In fact, some things are downright bad. Evil blows into town in the form of Cassie's long-lost cousin Abigail, who whips up wickedness like a tornado darting across the Plains. With friction in her once happy marriage, her family unraveling, and Abigail's constant "double, double, toil and trouble," what's a Good Witch to do?
CHRISTMAS RETURNS TO CANAAN, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (4Q 2011). In the sequel to 2009's "Christmas in Canaan," Billy Ray Cyrus again stars as Daniel Burton, a single father raising his children in Canaan, Texas in the late 1960s. In this installment, Daniel takes his son Bob to San Francisco for exploratory treatment to help the boy learn to walk again after he was struck by an automobile. On the trip, Daniel meets someone special and must learn to let go of the memory of his late wife so that he can find the courage to fall in love again.
A PRINCESS FOR CHRISTMAS, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (4Q 2011), starring Sir Roger Moore and Katie McGrath in a story about a newly appointed legal guardian, Jules, who struggles to parent her niece and nephew who are still recovering from the loss of their parents. When the kids' grandfather (Moore), a Duke living on an estate in the English countryside requests a visit, Jules decides to take them to England for Christmas. In spite of the strained ties that had marked Jules' sister's marriage, the extended family will find kinship and have a remarkably memorable holiday this Christmas.
DEBBIE MACOMBER'S TRADING CHRISTMAS, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (4Q 2011) about Christmas travel calamities that lead to cross-country romances when widowed Washington State teacher Emily Springer engineers a house-swap with Boston history professor Charles Brewster in order to visit her daughter at Harvard. Too bad Emily's daughter Heather is headed to Florida with her new boyfriend!
LUCKY CHRISTMAS, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (December 2011) is the story of Holly Ceroni, a single mom trying to get back on her feet, but who is crushed to learn her winning lottery ticket is in the glove compartment of her recently stolen car. Mike Ronowski, the construction worker behind Holly's missing property, goes along with a master plan to befriend Holly and coerce her into giving him half of her winnings. Mike unexpectedly falls in love with Holly and learns there are more important things in life than quick money in time for the holidays.
ANNIE CLAUS' YEAR OFF, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (December 2011) about Santa's daughter who travels to Los Angeles in search of love. Little does she know that one of Santa's helpers has hired an actor to win her over, so Annie leaves the North Pole to make the permanent move to Los Angeles. Although Annie falls for the imposter, she discovers in the end that the man she truly loves is the toy store owner who will need her help to turn his little shop into a big Christmas success.
CHRISTMAS PAGEANT, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (December 2011), is the story of Vera Parker, an overbearing theater director whose hard-to-work-with reputation leaves her no choice but to take a job directing a small-town Christmas pageant in upstate New York. To her surprise, Vera learns a lot about herself and comes to enjoy the experience of directing the pageant. After rekindling an old flame and directing a fantastic production, Vera discovers life's unexpected turns can lead to wonderful new beginnings.
CANCEL CHRISTMAS, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (December 2011), starring Golden Globe nominee Judd Nelson. In "Cancel Christmas," Santa Claus (Nelson) is called to a meeting with the Christmas Board of Directors and told that St. Nicholas' favorite holiday has become too material and commercialized; therefore, Christmas, having outlived its original purposes of friendliness and charity, must be cancelled. Santa retorts that according to his contract, he cannot be involuntarily retired, nor can Christmas be cancelled, without notice. The Board plays the role of Scrooge, giving Santa just 30 days to change the attitudes of children from "What would you like to get?" to "What would you like to give?, or forever lose Christmas as we know it.
FIXING PETE, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (1Q 2012), starring Brooke Burns as a fashion writer Alexis Boyd who is given the extreme makeover assignment of turning messy, chauvinistic, sports journalist Pete Mallion (Dylan Bruno) into a suave, debonair broadcaster. Although Alexis is at first repulsed by Pete, as he makes changes in his personality and behavior, her feelings for him also change - until they're both madly in love! Also stars Valerie Harper and John Ratzenberger.
A TASTE OF ROMANCE, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (1Q 2012), starring Teri Polo and James Patrick Stuart in a tale about former firefighter Gill (Stuart) who opens up a barbecue restaurant and discovers everything he does irritates the uptight French restaurateur Sarah (Polo) who owns the small, eclectic bistro next door. As the ice slowly melts between them, Sarah helps Gill's restaurant win praise from an important food critic at the expense of gaining publicity and notoriety for her own eatery. Realizing they have fallen in love, Sarah and Gill decide to gut both places and open up a restaurant that combines both of their specialty cuisines. Also stars Charles Shaughnessy.
BE MY VALENTINE, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (1Q 2012), is the story about a young widowed father Daniel Farrell who is navigating mourning and parenting Tyler, his adolescent son. Father and son have a great relationship so Tyler can't wait to confide to his dad that he has a crush on a girl in his class. Assuming that his dad is an expert on women, Tyler solicits his dad's help in wooing the girl. While teaching his son the ropes on dating, Daniel discovers he too has many things to figure out about love. [IN DEVELOPMENT]
CUPID, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (1Q 2012), is the story of Eve Lovett a talk show host who is given a matchmaking assignment by none other than Cupid himself. Find three couples and make them fall in love before Valentine's Day and Eve will be rewarded by finding the love of a lifetime. [IN DEVELOPMENT]
CHASING LEPRECHAUNS, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (1Q 2012), starring Adrian Pasdar as Michael Garret, a New York corporate "fixer" who is sent to a small town in Ireland to close a deal on a smelting plant construction site that is believed to be inhabited by leprechauns. Needing the approval of the town's pixie expert, Michael tries to win over Sarah Cavanaugh (Amy Huberman), but she refused to disturb the "little people." When Michael unexpectedly falls in love with Sarah, he comes up with a plan to close the deal and make a home for himself in the tiny Irish village known for its leprechaun magic!
RITES OF SPRING, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (2Q 2012), is the story of Beth Little, a single, twenty-something drama school teacher who has recently been crowned "Strawberry Festival Queen" in her hometown burg of Coleman. Jason Stone is a handsome country singer whose audience appeal is a little long in the tooth. To revitalize Jason's career, his manager books him on a singing tour that comes through Coleman in time for the Strawberry Festival. Emily and Jason find love as the magic of spring blooms all around them. [IN DEVELOPMENT]
THE NOTE 3, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (2Q 2012), is the third installment of one of Hallmark Channel's highest-rated movie series of all time, "The Note." Genie Francis and Ted McGinley reprise their roles as Peyton MacGruder (Francis) and King Danville (McGinley) and, in this installment, Peyton finds a baby abandoned on her doorstep. An anonymous note begs for Peyton to take care of the infant. As MacGruder and Danville search for the baby's rightful home, Peyton is stunned by the growing maternal instinct she feels for the small child.
MATCHMAKER MOM, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (2Q 2012), is the story about Ally, a thirty-something career woman who is about to cave to pressure from her meddling mom to find a nice single man to settle down with and raise a family. As Ally and her mom begin their search for the perfect man, the two will learn that they are at odds over what is best for Ally. However, they also both learn that true loves turns up when you least expect it. [IN DEVELOPMENT]
WILD HORSE ANNIE is a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (2Q 2012) starring Wendy Malick ("Hot in Cleveland"). Malick will partner with producer Helen Bartlett ("North Country") to star in and produce. Jenny Wingfield ("The Man in the Moon") will write the teleplay based on material from Deanne Stillman's book, Mustang: The Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West. The story chronicles the legendary activist, Velma Bronn Johnston, dubbed "Wild Horse Annie" for her crusade in the 1950's to end the slaughter and suffering of wild mustangs.
OPERATION CUPCAKE is a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (2Q 2012). TJ Carson comes home on military leave only to discover he has real trouble acclimating to civilian life. To help anchor her husband and give his life new meaning and direction, TJ's wife asks him to help her run her bakery. His new role won't be a piece of cake, but TJ is committed to reclaiming his role as husband, father and caretaker of his family.
BULLETPROOF BRIDE, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (3Q 2012), is the story about a highly-trained security guard Tanya who has lost her zest for romance after being jilted at the altar. Tanya takes an assignment posing as a bridgesmaid for a woman who has been receiving death threats before her wedding day. While undercover, Tanya unexpectedly falls for Jake, an attractive groomsman, and becomes great friends with the bride-to-be. Not only does Tayna end up solving the mystery, but she is able to move past old hurts and take a second chance on love.
NEARLYWEDS, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (3Q 2012). When three recently wed women discover their marriages aren't legal, each will have to decide whether to legally wed their not-so-Prince Charmings again. Stella, Erin and Casey have something in common: they were all married by the same minister who died before signing their marriages licenses. The three friends commiserate their "nearlywed" troubles and realize not being married officially may actually be a blessing in disguise. [IN DEVELOPMENT]
KISS AT PINE LAKE is a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (3Q 2012). Luke Garvey, a philanthropic entrepreneur, buys his uncle's Camp Pine Lake for sentimental reasons only to find himself as the new owner of a sinking business. Zoe McConnell, Luke's girlfriend from camp years ago, is the point person in her development firm assigned to convince Luke to sell his new land. When the two meet, they rekindle an old flame, and Zoe agrees to help Luke any way she can to save their favorite, childhood retreat.
THE MUSIC TEACHER is a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (3Q 2012). Hallmark Channel's first movie musical! A high school music teacher is crushed when the school board cuts funding to her after-school music program. To save the class, her former students plan a production of their old high school musical in hopes of raising the necessary funds. The reunion, however, uproots unsettled differences from the past, and the real question is will the cast be able to keep it together to make the show a success?
LOVE AT THE MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere (4Q 2012) is a film about the executive producer of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade who is retiring and who wants to promote her second in command to fill her post. But the company's President wants to be sure the nominated candidate is the right fit. He puts one of his executives in the undercover ranks of the parade to see if she is up for the job. Things get complicated when the President's "secret agent" and the employee is he spying on begin to fall in love. [IN DEVELOPMENT]
NORMAN ROCKWELL'S SHUFFLETON BARBERSHOP, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premier (4Q 2012), is a film that begins on the famous Normal Rockwell Saturday Evening Post cover of April 29, 1950. The scene fades in from that image to three men holding instruments in a small-town barbershop as painted by the great Norman Rockwell. Young musician Trey Cole returns to his hometown and the barbershop where he got his first haircut. Amid the small town pageantry of the Christmas season, Trey finds ways to mend old fences and will discover the power of forgiveness. [IN DEVELOPMENT]
About Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Channel, owned and operated by Crown Media Networks, is a 24-hour basic cable network that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming available in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to a national audience of 87.5 million subscribers. The top tier program service is distributed through more than 5,450 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. Hallmark Channel is the nation's leading network in quality family programming with an ambitious slate of original TV movies, lifestyle and general entertainment content, and is the home of "The Martha Stewart Show", which anchors the channel's new daytime HOME block. Hallmark Channel's sibling network is Hallmark Movie Channel, also available in HD and SD, which focuses on the family friendly movies with a mix of classic theatrical films, presentations from the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame library, original Hallmark Channel movies and special events.