Futon Critic Reveals...
[via press release from The Hallmark Channel]
|Paul Greene and Lacey Chabert - image via: Instagram|
Hallmark Channel's 'A Wish for Christmas'
Annual 'Christmas Keepsake' Holiday Preview Returns Featuring the World Premiere of "A Perfect Christmas" Starring Susie Abromeit, Dillon Casey and Erin Gray on Saturday, July 16 at 9pm ET/PT
STUDIO CITY, CA - June 8, 2016 - Summer may be in the air, but with only 200 days until Christmas, Hallmark Channel begins plans for its flagship programming event Countdown to Christmas, with production commencing on 11 original movie titles set to premiere Holiday 2016. Cementing itself as the #1 viewing destination for holiday, Hallmark Channel's 2016 Countdown to Christmas will feature 18 original movies and over 1500 hours of programming, starring fan favorites Lori Loughlin, Lacey Chabert, Danica McKellar, Brooke Shields and more.
Although Countdown to Christmas will officially start October 29, 2016, Hallmark Channel will treat viewers to a sneak-peek preview of what's in store for the season with its annual programming event Christmas Keepsake, featuring original holiday movies Friday, July 8 to Sunday, July 17, including network favorites "Christmas Under Wraps," "Crown For Christmas," "Christmas Detour," "A Christmas Melody" and many more. The event is highlighted by the world premiere of the all-new original holiday movie, "A Perfect Christmas" on Saturday, July 16 at 9pm ET/PT starring Susie Abromeit, Dillon Casey and Erin Gray.
"Hallmark Channel is the number one holiday destination with more original Christmas content than any other network. This year's 'Countdown to Christmas' is set to be another top-rated, blockbuster event," said Michelle Vicary, Executive Vice President, Programming, Crown Media Family Networks. "This is only the beginning as we continue to build towards our biggest time of the year, with substantially more production and casting news for the 2016 holiday slate yet to come."
Following are the Hallmark Channel original holiday movies going into production. Please note the below are working titles.
A CURVEBALL CHRISTMAS
After enduring a horrible break-up with the man she thought she was destined to marry, Fiona Williams takes a trip to her parents' inn for Christmas. Holiday festivities and family bonding seem to be the only thing on the menu, but then Fiona's ex checks in to the inn with a new woman on his arm. Stuck between a rock and mistletoe, Fiona saves face by making the inn's opinionated and care-free cook her new "boyfriend" in hopes of making her ex jealous.
A FAMILY FOR CHRISTMAS
Several days before Christmas, a reclusive author Andrew rents an isolated cabin in order to finish his long overdue novel. Just as Andrew is settling in, a young nurse named Holly, her daughter and wisecracking mother become stranded nearby. Andrew takes in the three unwanted guests and due to a heavy snowstorm, they end up staying through Christmas. The energetic young nurse breaks down Andrew's anti-social defenses. They soon find themselves involved in a number of festive activities, including chopping down a Christmas tree, a snowball fight, playing charades and gatherings around the dinner table. But the sudden arrival of Holly's ex-husband complicates matters and threatens her blossoming romance with Andrew.
A PRINCE FOR CHRISTMAS
Stars: Jaime Pressley ("My Name is Earl")
When Maggie Marks (Pressley) faces a tough career decision, she flees to Europe for some soul searching and sightseeing with a friend over the holidays. There she encounters a handsome European playboy prince and lands herself in a world she has never known where she finds a new direction in life, while teaching him to be a better prince along the way.
A WISH FOR CHRISTMAS
Stars: Lacey Chabert ("Party of Five," "Mean Girls"), Paul Greene ("A Christmas Detour")
Sara Shaw (Chabert) is the type of woman who prefers to sit on the sidelines at work, but when her big idea for a Christmas initiative is stolen, she makes a wish to Santa that she'll finally have the courage to stand up for herself. Santa grants her wish but only gives her 48 hours. She is able to reveal to Peter Williams (Greene), the handsome owner of her company, that her boss stole her idea. When Peter selects her to present the pitch to a difficult client they end up having to drive to the White Ridge Ski Resort, which happens to be Peter's hometown. Once there, Sarah sets out to show Peter the magic of Christmas. With all this time together, they wonder if there's more to this relationship than business. But as the clock ticks down on Sara's wish, she'll have to find a way to channel the Christmas magic and speak her mind on her own... or risk losing everything.
CHRISTMAS BUCKET LIST
Isobel Gray plans a storybook Christmas with her boyfriend, including a snow-covered cottage in the Northwest, and a carefully composed bucket list of classic holiday traditions. But when the boyfriend goes AWOL, the list proves challenging and a tempting new romance turns her life upside down. Will Isobel have a White Christmas ending under the mistletoe?
Stars: Lori Loughlin ("When Calls the Heart," "Fuller House"), Colin Ferguson ("Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove," "Eureka")
When a TV personality (Loughlin) has an on-air snafu and admits she hates Christmas, she is invited to the Most Christmas-y town in the US to try and repair her image. Forced to work with her ex-boyfriend Jack (Ferguson), the show's producer, the magic of Christmas and this special town will change the way she views Christmas and her life.
Stars: Jessica Lowndes ("90210"), (Daniel Lissing ("When Calls the Heart")
Layla O'Reilly (Lowndes) is bound and determined to attend her cousin's Christmastime wedding with a man on her arm - especially since her cousin is marrying her ex-fiancé. Seth Murphy (Lissing) is the only guy available, who Layla dislikes since he introduced the bride and groom. But since Seth is able to help Layla with her interior design business she and Seth stage being a newly engaged couple. As Layla helps Seth makeover a house for a Christmas decorating contest, Layla discovers Seth is not who he seems to be and that he has had a secret crush on her for years. Is it possible the man of her dreams has been in her midst all this time? She just might get her wish of becoming a December bride. Based on the book by bestselling author Denise Hunter.
JOY TO THE WORLD
Stars: Brooke Shields ("Flower Shop Mystery")
Joy Edwards (Shields), host of a wildly successful cooking show "Joy to the World," must scramble to assemble a fake family when the network insists on doing a live Christmas episode from her house. Before long, she realizes her fake family is the Christmas gift she always wanted.
Stars: Jill Wagner ("Wipeout"), Wes Brown ("True Blood," "Hart of Dixie")
After Aunt Sally's Christmas Cookie Company is sold to a large conglomerate, executive Hannah (Wagner) must seal the deal and shut down the factory , which is the small town of Cookie Jar's lifeblood. The residents know their beloved little hamlet will soon dry up and everyone will move away. What was supposed to be a simple assignment for Hannah becomes complicated when she meets Jake (Brown), the factory owner determined to find a way to keep the factory in town and holds her at bay. Despite not being a fan of the holiday, the Christmas spirit in this small town is infectious and she gets swept up in the joy of the season while also falling for Jake. Will love make Hannah risk her job to save Cookie Jar?
AKA: Picture Perfect Christmas
Stars: Danica McKellar ("Wonder Years")
Christina Masters (McKellar), the manager of a flagship department store, is overjoyed when she finds out her company is hiring a new manager for the Paris store and is looking to promote from within. This is a dream job and the ever-ambitious Christina sets out to impress with holiday decorations galore. Things change, though, when her heart is won over by a little boy who asks the storefront Santa for help in finding his dad a new job. As it turns out, Christina has just fired this man for being late one too many times but she now realizes he is a single parent just trying his best to take care of his son. Christina is bound and determined to make things right and, to her surprise, finds herself falling in love. When Christina wows with this year's Christmas decorations and wins the dream job, she has a tough choice to make as she learns the true meaning of happiness.
PAIR OF JACKS
AKA: I'll be home for Christmas
UPDATE: June 24, 2016: According to an article on BroadwayWorld.com, this movie will air on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries!
Stars: James Brolin ("Hotel," "Catch Me If You Can"), Mena Suvari and young Giselle Eisenberg
Jackie Foster is smart, organized and professional. She has the perfect life...until her dad, Jack (Brolin), a retired cop who is crusty on the outside but a softy on the inside, returns home. He reluctantly agrees to stay for Christmas, and despite the baggage he brings - a dog, beat-up motorhome and some old wounds - they ultimately reconnect as a family and share a warm, love-filled holiday. Not only that, but Jack introduces her to a detective that helps Jackie avoid a potentially disastrous match with the wrong man.
ABOUT CROWN MEDIA FAMILY NETWORKS
Crown Media Family Networks is the umbrella unit subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, Inc., housing cable's leading family friendly networks, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, as well as their corresponding digital extensions HallmarkChannel.com and HallmarkMoviesandMysteries.com. The company operates and distributes both channels in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) with Hallmark Channel available to 90 million subscribers and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries in 66 million homes in the United States. Hallmark Channel features an ambitious slate of original content, including movies; scripted series, such as When Calls the Heart, and Good Witch; annual specials like Hero Dog Awards and Kitten Bowl; world premieres of Hallmark Hall of Fame presentations, and a daily 2-hour lifestyle show, Home & Family. Hallmark Channel is also home to annual holiday franchise, Countdown to Christmas, featuring a lineup of 24/7 holiday programming. Rounding out the networks' lineup are television's most beloved sitcoms and series, including The Golden Girls, The Middle, Little House on the Prairie, and Frasier. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is a 24-hour digital cable network featuring a unique mix of original movies and acquired series focused on the lighter side of the suspense and mystery genres. The network also features its own annual holiday programming franchise, the Most Wonderful Movies of Christmas, as well as presentations from the award-winning Hallmark Hall of Fame library. Hallmark Channel on Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube
*press release via: thefutoncritic.com