Thursday, September 15, 2016


Hallmark Press Release:





First Hallmark Hall of Fame to be Produced by Network’s Crown Media Productions;

Hallmark Channel Celebrates 65th Anniversary

Of TV's Longest-Running and Most Award-Winning Series

STUDIO CITY, CA -- September 15, 2016 -- Hallmark Channel proudly announces the stellar cast of the new, original Hallmark Hall of Fame movie "Christmas Angel in Training," including Emmy Award nominee Kristin Davis ("Sex In The City"), Emmy Award winner Eric McCormack ("Will & Grace"), and Academy Award ("Terms of Endearment"), five-time Golden Globe Award ("Terms of Endearment"), and Emmy Award-winning actress Shirley MacLaine ("Gypsy In My Soul").

The movie, which will premiere exclusively on Hallmark Channel Saturday, November 26 (8 p.m. ET/PT), is the first in the Hallmark Hall of Fame franchise to be produced by Hallmark Channel’s Crown Media Productions, and marks the 255th film in the vaunted movie franchise. The film will be a featured part of Hallmark Channel’s #1-rated "Countdown to Christmas" annual programming event as the network celebrates the 65TH anniversary of the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame, the longest-running and most award-winning series in the history of television.

"The casting of Kristin Davis, Eric McCormack, and the legendary Shirley MacLaine in ‘Christmas Angel in Training’ imbues this great holiday story with the high star quality that has been the legacy of Hallmark Hall of Fame for 65 years," said Michelle Vicary, Executive Vice President, Programming and Network Publicity, Crown Media Family Networks.

"Likely to become an instant holiday classic, the film is an upbeat, screwball comedy about a young woman who is plucked out of her life just a moment too soon, and is led by her guardian angel on a journey of what her life could have been. Kristin and Eric are a marvelous pairing, and, with Shirley MacLaine on Cloud Nine, viewers are sure to have a heavenly Christmas," Vicary added. 

Upon her untimely death, Eve Morgan (Davis), a workaholic finds herself tethered to her guardian angel (MacLaine) learning to become a Christmas angel in Heaven. Despite being the worst recruit in the history of Christmas, Eve is assigned the difficult task of helping a struggling singer Max (McCormack) use his musical gifts to heal old family wounds. As Max begins to overcome his issues, Eve begins to embrace the meaning of Christmas, heal wounds of her own, and perhaps find love along the way.

Executive Producers for "Christmas Angel in Training" are Jack Grossbart and Linda Kent. Harvey Kahn is producer. Paul Shapiro directs from the original teleplay written by Gregg McBride and Tippi & Neal Dobrofsky. Angelic Productions Ltd. is the production company on behalf of Crown Media Productions.


Hallmark Channel is Crown Media Family Networks’ flagship 24-hour cable television network, distributed nationwide in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to 90 million homes. As the country’s leading destination for quality family entertainment, Hallmark Channel delivers on the 100-year legacy of the Hallmark brand. In addition to its signature new, original movies, the network features an ambitious lineup of other new, original content, including scripted primetime series, such as "Good Witch," "When Calls the Heart" and "Chesapeake Shores"; annual specials including "Kitten Bowl" and "Hero Dog Awards"; and a daily, two-hour lifestyle show, "Home & Family." Additionally, Hallmark Channel is the exclusive home to world premiere presentations of the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame franchise. Dedicated to helping viewers celebrate life’s special moments, Hallmark Channel also offers annual holiday programming franchises, including "Countdown to Christmas," "Countdown to Valentine’s Day," "Summer Nights," "Fall Harvest" and "Winterfest." Rounding out the network’s diverse slate are some of television’s most beloved comedies and series, including "The Golden Girls," "The Middle," "Last Man Standing," and "Frasier."

Hallmark Cards, Inc. owns and operates Crown Media Family Networks.


  1. Thanks for finding this. The movie sounds really good and Kristin Davis has already been in one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies, Three Days, so I have very high hopes! Plus, always nice to see a legend like Shirley MacLaine.

  2. Great to see that they gave it the high-profile Thanksgiving Day weekend to premiere but a little surprised that it's not on Sunday night which tends to have many more people in front of their televisions. Hope it's good!

  3. And here I was hoping they might bring it back to the local networks. No such luck this go around. But happy to see HHOF will continue on.

  4. I don't know why some people are looked upon as being bigger stars than others. Hallmark has had plenty of people come on who have been in popular sitcoms and dramas on other networks. My point is, they are or should be, all the same.

    1. You can't deny that some actors are more recognizable and popular than others. Outside of Candace Cameron,Allie Sweeney, and Lacey Chabert the other regular Hallmark leading ladies are not as recognizable/well known outside of Hallmark

  5. Always sad to see these leave CBS or ABC, but glad we're getting another Hall of Fame film. :)

    1. So true, Rissi!!! - I'm amazed the local networks can't see that the HHOF movies are ratings gems! With the success "Coat of Many Colors" had last year on NBC, it truly baffles the mind.

      I'm happy to see them continue, too! :)

    2. The HHOF stopped being ratings gems for the the CBS and ABC that's why they dropped them. ABC and CBS haven't done TV movies in awhile so who knows how a tv movie would fair for them. NBC's been struggling compared to the other two but the specials and events have been doing well for them

    3. When CBS and ABC last dropped the Hallmark Hall of Fame franchise, it was reported at the time that the Hallmark Hall of Fame movies always drew in good ratings. The problem was, they wanted to go a different direction. CJ

    4. The weirdest part is that with Hear My Song, earlier this year, it was announced the Hall of Fame movies were set to return to network TV on CBS. Then Hear My Song got dropped, due to being somewhat controversial (child abuse scandal involving the featured school), and now, without any other comment, Hallmark Hall of Fame is back on the Hallmark channel.

    5. Sherry In CaliforniaSaturday, September 17, 2016

      I don't recall ever seeing it announced in an official capacity -- meaning by Crown Media, Hallmark or Hallmark Hall of Fame -- that future, upcoming, Hall of Fame movies would be returning to network TV or to only CBS. I think that was an incorrect assumption that a lot of people made based on one single movie being assigned to CBS, and the wording that was used to promote/announce it.

      That specific movie -- "Hear My Song" -- was going to air on CBS. HMS was a Hallmark acquisition that they were going to run under the Hall of Fame banner. It was already available on DVD under a different title ("Boychoir" or "The Choir"), so it wasn't even a "new" movie in the standard sense. It was not a traditional new Hall of Fame movie that Hallmark had just made, in other words, but under the Hall of Fame banner it would have been new to television, I suppose.

      All of the new, made by/for Hallmark, Hall of Fame movies are debuting on the Hallmark Channel (and later on HMM), which was announced by Hallmark only 2 years ago. They debuted "One Christmas Eve" on the Hallmark Channel in 2014. They debuted "Away and Back" on the main Hallmark Channel. They debuted last year's Eloise Mumford movie on the main Hallmark Channel. They are debuting this year's Hall of Fame movie on the main Hallmark Channel.

      Hallmark has moved most of the older Hall of Fame movies ("November Christmas" and many others) over to the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel, and my guess is that if the HMM Channel had as many viewers as the main Hallmark Channel has, they'd probably be debuting all of the new movies on HMM. Unless and until HMM gains many more viewers, I think they will continue to premiere the new Hall of Fame movies on the main channel and then move them to HMM.

      So, ultimately, nothing has changed since 2014. It's just that the "Hear My Song"/CBS thing was a fluke, and I think it confused a lot of people into thinking that all future Hall of Fame movies would return to network TV (I can understand the confusion!). Maybe someday they will, but right now it seems that Hallmark wants to keep the movies on their own channels.

      Michelle Vicary said (at the Variety TV Summit a few months ago) that Hallmark is aiming to try to premiere 2 Hall of Fame movies every year on the Hallmark Channel -- maybe in some years there might just be one, or in other years there might be 3, but they are striving for 2 every year. She indicated (and I can't recall her exact wording so I have to paraphrase) that they want to try to air the Hall of Fame movies at times in the years when they fit with whatever else is going on in the programming on the channel. So, in other words, they try to do a new Hall of Fame Christmas movie every year, to fit in with the Countdown to Christmas, and they are doing a Valentine Hall of Fame movie to fit in with the Countdown to Valentine's Day coming up in 2017.

    6. Actually CBS dropped the HHOF due to low ratings back in 2011. And when ABC gave it there shot they also got low ratings. From a business perspective if something's not working you get rid of it. I hope Hallmark starts putting more effort into them now that they'll continue to air on Hallmark Channel. The past few have been disappointing and boring.

    7. I admit I assumed that HOF movies were heading back to network after the Hear My Song announcement, and thought it might be due to NBC's strong success with Coat of Many Colors last holiday season. The networks have gotten so far away from made-for-TV movies, leaving that niche to cable, that when NBC brought it back it was almost a novelty, and they found there was an audience for something that used to be a regular feature, than became a glut, and now is new again. (Everything is cyclical.) Anyway, while networks are always all about ratings, the Hallmark Hall of Fame productions were less about that than most, since ratings are used to determine ad revenue, but the Hall of Fame productions were sponsored primarily by Hallmark themselves, so there was little ad revenue to raise.

      That being said, it's clear that Hallmark's HOF budget has not been the same; these are not the same prestige movies they once were, and while the budget may be slightly higher, with slightly bigger names as a result, they're much more typical Hallmark movie, than HOF of old. I still look forward to them, but they're not even of the same quality we had in the early 2000s, let alone the HOF heyday of the '80s and '90s.

  6. While Sunday is, generally, a top TV-watching night, Saturday is considered the primo TV movie launch spot, so this is their jewel position, in perhaps their most-watched week of holiday TV.

    1. I was pretty surprised to see the HHOF movie take the Saturday night time slot for Thanksgiving week, since Candace has held that for two years.

      If anyone is interested in checking out our chat here on which Christmas movie, Candace may be starring in this year, check it out, here!

      Thanks for joining in SleepyKittyPaws!!! (Love your name, by the way!)

  7. Great cast and I really like the title "Christmas Angel in Training"; sounds like a fun, mischievous movie. I fell in love with Eric McCormack and Roma Downey in "Borrowed Hearts" and hope that this one will be on the same caliber.

    1. The Hallmark Hall of Fame movies are generally good. Hope this one can live up to all the hype.


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