THE INDUSTRY'S LEADING PRODUCER OF ORIGINAL MOVIES FOR TELEVISION, HALLMARK CHANNEL, IN DEVELOPMENT ON FIRST-EVER ORIGINAL PRIMETIME SERIES
"Cedar Cove" and "When Calls the Heart," Both Back-Door Pilots,
Among Possible Contenders to Go On to Series Order
Hallmark Channel, the industry's undisputed leading producer of original movies for television, today announced for the first time in the network's young history that it is in active development on two Hallmark Channel Original Series for premiere in 2013. The potential series are based on concepts from authors whose books have been previously adapted into highly-successful original movies for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel. Movie pilots for these two series, "Cedar Cove" and "When Calls the Heart," will be produced in 2012 for broadcast during the 2012-2013 season.
"Cedar Cove" is adapted from original literary works by famed bestselling author Debbie Macomber. Macomber's books-to-film adaptations have been ratings gold for Hallmark Channel: Mrs. Miracle (2009), Call Me Mrs. Miracle (2010) and Trading Christmas (2011) were all #1 for the day and the week when they premiered.
"Cedar Cove" is about community and connection in the same way that "Glee" unfolds in the hallways of William McKinley High School or that "Grey's Anatomy" plays out within the operating theater of Seattle Grace. The small town of Cedar Cove presents fertile ground for relatable stories, big and small. Executive Producers of "Cedar Cove" are Dan Wigutow and Michael Scott.
"When Calls the Heart" is a period drama based on the bestselling book by author Janette Oke. Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly books-to-films adaptations for Hallmark Channel have also delivered inspired ratings for the network. Executive Producers are Brad Krevoy and Michael Landon, Jr.
"When Calls the Heart" is a romantic adventure which tells the story of Elizabeth Thatcher, a beautiful, wealthy young woman from the East Coast, who has a passion for teaching, but a fear of leaving the safety of her comfortable world.
Inspired by her adventurous aunt, Elizabeth gains the strength to accept a teaching position in a new, frontier town. Despite the hardships, she begins to build a new life, but will Elizabeth allow a handsome lawman into her heart and life, changing her world forever?
"In Hallmark Channel's 10-year history, the network has produced a number of successful movie franchises that we know have the story potential to go forward as episodic programs," said Bill Abbott, President & CEO, Crown Media Family Networks, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel.
"Hopefully these two projects will pave the way for development for other series based on our movies. Going into series is the next right step to bolster our strong foundation in original programming," Mr. Abbott concluded.
Hallmark Channel, owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc., 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 million subscribers. The top-tier program service is distributed through approximately 5,500 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. Hallmark Channel is the nation's leading destination for quality family programming with an ambitious slate of original TV movies and specials, as well as some of television's most beloved sitcoms and series, including The Golden Girls, Frasier, Little House on the Prairie, and The Waltons. The channel is also home to The Martha Stewart Show and other lifestyle content. Hallmark Channel's sibling network is Hallmark Movie Channel, also available in HD and SD, which focuses on 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.