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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Hallmark Channel's 'Countdown to Christmas' 2016!

image via: Hallmark Crown Media

In all, 19 new original Christmas Movies will premiere in 2016 on the Hallmark Channel. I have listed them below in the order they are currently set to premiere.

UPDATE: (September 15, 2016) - The list below now has 16 movies. Includes the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie "A Heavenly Christmas!"

UPDATE: (October 11, 2016) - The list below now has 18 movies, including 'Journey Back to Christmas' and 'Broadcasting Christmas.'

UPDATE: (October 17, 2016) - The list below now includes all 19 New Movies!


(All information below via: HallmarkChannel.com and EW's press release here & here.)

Hallmark Channel's 'Countdown to Christmas' 2016:

Premieres Saturday, October 29th at 8/7c
Starring: Lacey Chabert (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. When Santa grants her wish and she gets a chance to prove herself to her boss (Greene) but Santa’s wish only gives her 48 hours. As the clock ticks down, Sara will discover how to channel the Christmas magic and speak her mind all on her own.

Premieres Saturday, November 5th at 8/7c
Starring: Jaime King (Hart of Dixie), Luke Macfarlane (Brothers and Sisters)
A chance meeting between two strangers who share a disdain for Christmas results in The Mistletoe Promise, a pact to help them navigate their holiday complications – together. But as they spend more time with each other and experience the magic of Christmas the phony couple discovers there may be more to their contract than business. Based on the bestselling novel by Richard Paul Evans.

Premieres Saturday, November 12th at 8/7c
Starring: Lori Loughlin (Fuller House), Colin Ferguson (Eureka), Willie Aames (Charles in Charge, Harvest Moon)
A TV personality (Loughlin) has an on-air snafu and admits she hates Christmas. Following the debacle, she is invited to the Most Christmas-y town in America 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.

Premieres Sunday, November 13th at 8/7c
Starring: Jill Wagner (Wipeout), Wes Brown (True Blood)
Aunt Sally’s Christmas Cookie Company is sold to a large conglomerate and executive Hannah (Wagner) must seal the deal and shut down the factory, which is the small town of Cookie Jar’s lifeblood. What was supposed to be a simple assignment for Hannah becomes complicated when she meets Jake (Brown), the factory owner who’s determined to keep the factory in town. 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 in love.

Premieres Saturday, November 19th at 8/7c
Starring: Danica McKellar (Wonder Years, Crown for Christmas), David Haydn-Jones (A Cookie Cutter Christmas), Deidre Hall (Days of Our Lives)
Christina Masters (McKellar), the manager of McDougal’s flagship department store, is determined to land the manager position for their new Paris location. She sets out to impress Victoria (Hall), the store’s owner, by creating the best holiday display in McDougal’s history. Fresh out of inspiration despite assuring Victoria otherwise, Christina turns to a recently-fired store employee (Haydn-Jones) who also happens to be a talented artist and single dad to his young son. As they work side-by-side, the business relationship becomes personal and she finds herself falling in love. Will the allure of her dream be too strong or will she choose to follow her heart?

Premieres Sunday, November 20th at 8/7c
Starring: Jessica Lowndes (90210), Daniel Lissing (When Calls the Heart)
Aspiring interior designer Layla O’Reilly (Lowndes) is dreading the Christmastime wedding of her cousin who’s marrying Layla’s ex-fiancรฉ. Although Seth Murphy (Lissing) is the one responsible for introducing the bride and groom, she begrudgingly accepts his offer to be her date as she’s out of options. Seth gets carried away at the reception and announces they’re engaged, forcing a mortified Layla to keep up the pretense. But as the faux couple spends more time together they find themselves feeling something very real. Based on the book by bestselling author Denise Hunter.

Premieres Wednesday, November 23rd at 8/7c
Starring: Taylor Cole (The Originals), Michael Rady (Cloudy with a Chance of Love)
One of the most famous actresses in world heads to the Christmas-obsessed town of Homestead, Iowa, to shoot a holiday-themed. She is thrown for a loop when a romance brews between her and local inn keeper and single dad, Matt. As she gets a taste of small-town life and people who give of themselves without asking anything in return, she discovers the true meaning of Christmas.

Premieres Thursday, November 24th at 8/7c
Starring: Alicia Witt (Nashville), Gabriel Hogan (Heartland)
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?

Premieres Friday, November 25th at 8/7c
Starring: Candace Cameron Bure (Full House, A Christmas Detour, Let it Snow), Oliver Hudson (Nashville), Tom Skerritt (Picket Fences), Brooke Nevin (On the Twelfth Day of Christmas)
“Hannah (Cameron Bure), a WWII-era nurse, is transported in time to 2016 and meets Jake (Hudson), a man who helps her discover the bonds of family and that the true meaning of Christmas is timeless.”

Premieres Saturday, November 26th 8/7c
Starring: Kristin Davis (The Shaggy Dog), Eric McCormack (Borrowed Hearts) and Shirley McLaine (Terms of Endearment)
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.

Premieres Sunday, November 27th at 8/7c
Starring: Melissa Joan Hart (Santa Con, God's Not Dead 2), Dean Cain (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, God's Not Dead, The Case for Christmas), Cynthia Gibb (Fame), Jackee Harry (227), Richard Kline (Three’s Company)
Emily (Hart) is an ambitious television anchor, aimed at climbing the ranks. When the opportunity to co-host a talk show with the fabulous talk show diva Veronika (Harry) presents itself two weeks before Christmas, she thinks this is her big break. To her surprise, she discovers she has stiff competition with Charlie (Cain), the local TV anchor who is her near equal on another station. With such interest and support for both reporters, a contest is created: for the two weeks leading up to Christmas, who can cover the best and most meaningful Christmas stories on the local news? As they shoot their heartfelt Christmas stories, they realize the top prize is not as important as they once thought. They experience the true meaning of Christmas with the subjects in their news segments – and with each other.

New Title: A DREAM OF CHRISTMAS (working title)
Premieres: Dec. 3, 8 p.m., Hallmark Channel
Starring: Nikki DeLoach (CSI), Andrew Walker (When Calls The Heart)
Penny (DeLoach), an ambitious but discontented young married woman, gets more than she bargained for when she is granted a wish to be single again. She awakens one morning to discover she has everything she thinks she wanted: Her dream home, a great car, and a dream job where she’s the boss. But the tradeoff is not all wine and roses. Her husband Stuart (Walker) is gone — their marriage doesn’t exist because in this world they never even met. Penny eventually adjusts to life in this new ‘wish world’. In spite of her professional successes and romantic advances from a handsome, bachelor client of hers (Christopher Russell), Penny soon discovers the most important thing is missing in her life — her husband Stuart. She resolves to find and meet Stuart — for a second time — and get to know him all over again in the hope they’ll fall in love and rekindle the romance that was lacking in the ‘real world.’

Premieres Sunday, December 4th 8/7c
Starring: Dylan Neal (Gourmet Detective), Anne Heche (One Christmas Eve)
Carol is an over-involved mother but nothing compares to the holiday season when she goes over-the-top spearheading her kid’s school’s Christmas Spectacular each year, which earned her the nickname Christmas Carol by the parents and faculty. All that changes the day Terry moves to town with his teenage daughter. Also single, he is very fond of the holiday himself, having volunteered to mount the Christmas play each year at his daughter’s former school. Carol tries to politely tell the single dad his help won’t be needed but he has no intention of stepping aside. The tug-of-war turns into something of a rumble and it becomes clear neither of these parents is willing to work with the other. With the competition lines clearly drawn in the sand, the dueling duo sets out to outdo each other to create the most memorable Christmas spectacular ever. The pressure is ON to make this the best Christmas ever as it’s anybody’s guess if “Christmas Carol” will live up to her moniker or if newly titled “Terry Christmas” will become the new holiday hero. The two will ultimately learn the error of their ways and put aside their differences while learning they have a lot more in common as an unexpected romance begins to bloom.

Premieres Saturday December 10th 8/7c
Starring: Amy Acker (Person of Interest), Sascha Radetsky (Flesh and Bone)
Rising star, Lilly James lives and breathes ballet. Her sister, Beth, is not only her biggest fan but often forgoes her own needs to make sure Lilly has every opportunity possible. Lilly’s devotion pays off when she is accepted into the New York City Ballet. Her biggest dream comes true when she lands the lead role of Clara in The Nutcracker and will make her debut on Christmas Eve. As she prepares for her big night, she receives the tragic news that her sister has died. She is removed from the show by none other than Mark, her boyfriend and dance partner. Betrayed and heartbroken, she vows never to dance again. Years later, Lilly’s niece receives the same Christmas wish, the role of Clara in the prestigious Philadelphia Nutcracker Ballet, only to find that the Ballet Director is Mark, who betrayed Lilly years ago. Will Lilly see the truth about her past, and allow herself a second chance to dance and another chance to find love?

MEANT TO BE (working title)
Premieres Sunday, December 11th at 8/7c
Starring: Brennan Elliott (Strong Medicine), Bonnie Somerville (Holiday Engagement)
Maddie, a high-powered marketing executive, is on her way to a client’s wedding but her plans are derailed by car trouble. When a fork in the road leads her to Christmas Valley, a town in love with Christmas, an unexpected encounter and a group of strangers that start to feel like family will have her questioning what she’s really been missing in life.

Premieres Saturday, December 17th at 8/7c
Starring: Meredith Hagner (Veep), Bobby Campo (Scream: The TV Series), Gregory Harrison (Rizzoli & Isles)
Christmas Expectations is about a hopeless romantic who can’t ever seem to give a guy a real chance, that is until she starts receiving each of the ‘12 Days of Christmas’ as gifts anonymously at her door (yes, from the song… a partridge, leaping lords, milking maids… 5 golden rings!!). It’s a fun mystery that she tries to solve with her core group (including her sister who’s about to have a Christmas wedding) to see if there’s a suitor on the other end to finally live up to her expectations.

Premieres Sunday, December 18th at 8/7c
Starring: Erin Cahill (Power Rangers Time Force), David Alpay (The Vampire Diaries)
Laurel is in charge of her hometown’s Christmas parade, and with budget cuts, she’s having trouble making it a special event this year and, after a recent divorce, getting into the holiday spirit. When she and her daughter Scarlett cross paths with a lone farmer who has a sleigh that he claims came from Santa crash-landing on his property years ago, they are both skeptical. But the sleigh would make a great addition to the parade if it could be restored. When the farmer gives Laurel the sleigh for the parade, her ‘luck’ slowly changes. It’s almost as if the sleigh is leading her to all the right pieces she needs to make the parade a success, including meeting a handsome man from town who has the loving touch to restore the relic. Laurel is converted into a true believer and rekindles that holiday spirit with her daughter, especially when she realizes the real Santa is riding his lost sleigh in the Christmas parade.

Premieres Sunday, December 25th at 8/7c
Starring: Erin Krakow (Army Wives), Daniel Lissing (Last Resort), Jack Wagner (Melrose Place) and Lori Loughlin (Fuller House)
An intriguing peddler comes to Hope Valley selling the townspeople his wears and teaching them valuable lessons about joy and giving. And when the townspeople realize that the recently displaced settlers in the area will not have a proper Christmas, they come together to create a special holiday celebration – including a Nativity presentation from the schoolchildren — that will infuse everyone with the true spirit of Christmas.

Premieres Sunday, January 1st at 8/7c
Starring: Rachel Boston (In Plain Sight), Marc Bendavid (Summer in the City)
Andy (Boston) is a passionate and talented artist whose Pasadena family has been building Rose Parade floats for generations. But when her Dad gets sick and can’t lead this year’s efforts as usual, Andy has no choice but to take the helm and supervise the construction and decoration of their client’s float over Christmas with only a few weeks to go. And to make matters worse, she’s saddled with the extra challenge of dealing with Cliff, a demanding businessman whose company commissioned the float. Forced to work together, these two can’t help but clash – she’s a creative type who knows this flower-strewn process inside out, while he’s all business with no time for art. But working side-by-side over Christmas, they each learn the other is not who they seem. And together, with a ragtag team of volunteers, they might just have what it takes to create a magnificent Rose Parade float… IF they can pull it together by New Year’s.

*Please note: I will be sure to update when I learn of any new details for these films!



  1. Looking forward to November 5th for the new movies to begin! Thanks for the info!

  2. Thank you, Net!


  3. Its weird. didn't they post trailers for the upcoming films when they made the announcements last year?

  4. Its weird. didn't they post trailers for the upcoming films when they made the announcements last year?

  5. I'm most looking forward to seeing The Nutcracker one.


  6. Thank you ever so much for keeping this updated with all the latest changes! I love Christmas movies and hearing every detail I can about them!

    1. Me, too!!! (Obviously!) Thank you for commenting & counting down to Christmas with us!!! :)

  7. About the 19th movie, I thought Brooke Shields had one in the mix. How sure are we about It's A Wonderful Wife being for this year?

    1. Great question, Laura! Nothing is in stone, yet, and yes there was talk of a Christmas movie with Brooke Shields, titled 'JOY TO THE WORLD.' There was also mention of a Christmas movie with Jaime Pressley ("My Name is Earl"), titled 'A PRINCE FOR CHRISTMAS.' So, movie #19 is still anyone's guess for sure - but I haven't seen any news on these two filming, but anything is possible! I will reveal the news here as soon as I know!!!

    2. Sherry in CaliforniaWednesday, October 12, 2016

      Laura --

      As Net said, Brooke's movie and Jaime Pressly's movie have apparently not been filmed. Or, if they were filmed at any point, the film shoots were so off the radar that no one heard of them or saw evidence of them, and that is very unlikely. In this day and age of social media, something would have leaked out about those shoots if they had happened.

      Also missing from the list of Christmas movies this year is "Curveball Christmas," which Hallmark announced in press releases more than one time. It vanished into the ether.

      More than likely, "Joy to the World," "A Prince for Christmas" and "Curveball Christmas" joined the previously announced "A Family for Christmas" in the development stages, with a possible 2017 release date. AFFC was supposed to be part of the 2016 group of Christmas movies, but it is now showing (on IMDB) as "In Development" and on track for 2017.

      Things can get stuck in development for a variety of reasons, including script rewrites and changes, cast changes, location problems, budget issues, an actor's schedule, etc. All kinds of things can pop up to delay something from going into production.

      An example would be Alison Sweeney's movie "Love on the Air," which was in development for 2 years before it finally got made for Hallmark.

      So, what can happen is that Hallmark has in mind an initial line-up of movies for their two channels during the holiday season of 2016. But they are always developing other movie ideas too, for the following years. Suddenly, a problem comes up in the development of one of their planned titles this year, but another movie planned for next year might be ready to go into production a little sooner, so that one gets bumped up and fast-tracked into production... and it takes the place of the originally planned title.

      "It's a Wonderful Wife" (or whatever it ends up being called) is something that is actually filming and movie forward, so unless some sort of major setback occurs to delay the completion of the shoot or interfere with post-production, IAWW is on track to be the 19th movie in the Countdown to Christmas.

      Hallmark could still shuffle things around on the schedule and movie different movies from certain dates to different dates, or from one channel to the other channel, but right now, at this moment, it appears that "It's a Wonderful Wife" could potentially end up premiering on Saturday, December 3rd. That's not definite, but very possible. IAWW has to go through the post-production stage after it wraps filming, which is why a December premiere is likely -- and, right now, the "available" weekend dates in December are 12/3, 12/24 and 12/31. December 3rd seems to be the most likely date, but they could move something from another weekend to 12/3, and then premiere IAWW on a totally different weekend in December.

      Also, I should add, Hallmark doesn't typically film their Christmas movies more than a year in advance. They don't even film their Christmas in July premiere movies this far in advance. That could always change if they start making even more Christmas movies than the 26 they are putting out this year (26 between the 2 channels), but that's not their usual way of doing things.

      All of the new Christmas movies airing on the two Hallmark Channels in 2016 were filmed this year. A Hallmark Christmas movie can go into production as early as late January, and a totally different Hallmark Christmas movie can wrap up filming as late as early November, with a large number of Christmas movies being filmed in September and October. There are movies made all year, but Sept-Oct is a hotbed of Christmas movie filming activity for movies set to premiere the same year.

    3. Thank you both for all of that information. I didn't realize neither Brooke's or Jamie's had been filmed. From little we can see, It's A Wonderful Wife looks very cute. My guess is that Nikki will be the title character. I'm very curious to see who the guy will be in this one. The whole slate this year looks amazing and I am so excited!!

    4. She has two drop dead gorgeous guys! Talk about lucky! LOL


    5. I know Andrew Walker is in this movie with her and I agree with you about him. There is another handsome man in this movie too? Who?? You have peaked my curiosity!

    6. Sherry In CaliforniaSaturday, October 22, 2016

      Laura -- Christopher Russell ("Midnight Masquerade," "Wedding Bells," "Merry Matrimony") is the other handsome man in the Nikki DeLoach-Andrew Walker movie!

      Christopher will also be seen in "A Puppy for Christmas" with Cindy Busby and Greyston Holt, which was originally believed/rumored to be a Hallmark movie but now seems to be going to the UP network.

    7. UP hasn't announced yet, but 'A Puppy for Christmas' is definitely coming to their network. 'Married by Christmas' premieres the first on November 6th, and 'Merry Christmas, Baby' is the next, November 13th!

      It looks like poor Christopher Russell (of 'Midnight Masquerade') just might be the one who looses the girl in this one - 'A Puppy for Christmas'! Not sure what his role will be, yet, in 'A Dream Of Christmas' (Previously known as: It's a Wonderful Wife).

      Christopher Russell also starred in 'Merry Matrimony' last year on the Hallmark Channel. It's great to see him and Andrew Walker, as well as many others, again this year!!! :)

    8. Sherry In CaliforniaSaturday, October 22, 2016

      Net -- I was the one who first sent you the link to the article naming "A Puppy for Christmas" as being an UP movie, so I remember that it's an UP movie, believe me! :)

      I mentioned "Merry Matrimony" in my above comment. I like him. I didn't particularly like him with Jessica Lowndes, but I like him in general.

    9. Sherry In CaliforniaSaturday, October 22, 2016

      Oh, correction to the post I just sent (which hasn't been posted yet) -- but there is no way to go back and correct anything or delete and re-post!

      It wasn't the article about "A Puppy for Christmas" going to UP for which I sent the link (though I remember that article). It was the site with the extra promo photos from the movie that I linked.

      My "Puppy for Christmas" info was that Cindy Busby said that she wasn't sure if the movie would go to Hallmark -- and this was after it had been filmed and was being referred to as a Hallmark movie. She said she knew it would air in Canada, but beyond that she was not sure.

      Seeing that Cindy, Greyston and Christopher are in the movie, it seemed realistic that the movie would end up on Hallmark. It was surprising when it was said that it was going to UP!

      Both "A Puppy for Christmas" and "A Snow Capped Christmas" ("Falling for Christmas") are examples of movies that are said to be Hallmark at the time of production or immediately after... which ultimately end up elsewhere. That's a case of Hallmark never actually being the ones to announce the movies as their own, so anything can change even if someone else announces the movies as Hallmark movies.

      I really thought that "Love Always, Santa" was going to end up NOT being a Hallmark movie as well, as it was filmed so early in the year and it just seemed like it could end up with Lifetime or something. I was surprised that it actually remained a movie destined for Hallmark.

      There are 6 known (new) Christmas movies for UP this year, at my last count. Last year, didn't they have 7 or 8 new ones? So there should probably be one or two more on their list.

    10. Yes, you sent me those awesome promo pics for 'A Puppy for Christmas,' and I remember we both thought surely it would be for Hallmark, especially since Cindy Busby was quite popular after her Hallmark movie 'Unleashing Mr. Darcy.' And then, we were both surprised when I discovered that article, back mid-summer, saying it was going to UP. Good for UP - I am happy to see they have such talented actors in their movies! It's a win! win! for all TV movie fans!!!

    11. I really like Chris. I'm very curious what his part will be. Maybe her love interest in the Alternate World?

  8. Mean to Be had been change to Love You Like Christmas will premiere on 12/11/16 http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/love-you-like-christmas

    1. Oops! :) Yes, I had that corrected other places on my site, but overlooked changing/updating it here! Thanks so much for pointing that out - I do have it fixed above now!

      I'm soooo looking forward to this one with Brennan Elliott and Bonnie Somerville - I think they will be a fun match!!!

      Again, Thank You!!!

  9. Love Always Santa...why not in the New Movie list?? Says 2016 release!!

    1. The list above is from the Hallmark Channel. 'Love Always, Santa' is airing on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

      It is included in the press release, here.

      By the way, 'Love Always, Santa' is a fantastic Christmas movie! Definitely leaves you wanting more!!!

  10. I like Jamie Pressly any news on " A Prince For Christmas" I was looking forward to that one

    1. Sherry In CaliforniaThursday, January 05, 2017

      I think that the originally planned Jaime Pressly movie was re-worked and re-themed to no longer be a Christmas movie, but instead a "winter" movie. And then it was recast with a new actress, Merritt Patterson.

      So, in other words, I think that "A Prince for Christmas" ultimately became "A Winter Prince," which then was re-titled "A Royal Winter."

      Maybe Jaime changed her mind and no longer wanted to do the movie. Or maybe the filming got delayed and her schedule wasn't going to allow her to do it. Maybe Hallmark just decided they wanted someone else to star in it.

      They could always put her in something else down the road, though. Maybe Jaime will appear in another Hallmark movie this year. As long as no bridges were burned and Jaime is still open to working with Hallmark and they are open to working with her, I'm sure they will find another movie for her.


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