Tuesday, December 13, 2016





image via: Hallmark Crown Media
(See a Video Clip Preview Below!)

STUDIO CITY, CA – December 13, 2016 – On the heels of Hallmark Channel’s unprecedented #1 rated ‘Countdown to Christmas,’ the network invites viewers to continue the celebration and cozy up at home with its seasonal programming event ‘WINTERFEST.’ The holiday cheer doesn’t have to end once the season concludes, as the network will premiere three new original movies for viewers to fall in love with by the fireplace. Julie Berman, Andrew Walker, Merritt Patterson, Jessy Schram and Luke Macfarlane are just some of the stars set to warm up the cold, January nights and help you kick-off the New Year to a bright, fresh start!

Hallmark Channel will also engage viewers on social and digital platforms to celebrate Winterfest. The network will solicit viewers to “Show Us Your Snow” where fans can upload photos of their winter festivities on their social media platforms and engage with Winterfest enthusiasts. Users are encouraged to use the hashtag #ShowUsYourSnow and tag @HallmarkChannel to help create a social wall that features fans enjoying the snowfall this winter – whether it’s skiing, vacationing, building snowmen or sharing majestic landscapes the beauty of Winter has to offer. Additionally, the network will also host on HallmarkChannel.com “Season Your Selfie,” where viewers can select filters to add the merriment of the winter season to their personal photos. Lastly, Hallmark Channel will also offer its Winterfest Sweepstakes, featuring a grand prize pack including a home entertainment center, sofa and more to help our viewers stay cozy and warm at home while enjoying Hallmark Channel! The sweepstakes will run from January 1, 2017 – January 27, 2017.

Tis the season for ice skating, snowball fights and hot chocolate and Hallmark Channel is ready to deliver the entertainment!

LOVE ON ICE – Saturday, January, 7, 9 p.m. ET/PT
Stars: Julie Berman (“Chicago Med”), Andrew Walker (“A Dream of Christmas”), Gail O’Grady (“NYPD Blue”)

Former figure skating champion, Emily James, now 27 years old and considered a relic in the world of figure skating, gets an improbable shot to reclaim skating glory when a young coach sees greatness in her. Together, they find their love of skating goes far beyond the ice.

A ROYAL WINTER – Saturday, January 14, 9 p.m. ET/PT
Stars: Merritt Patterson (“The Royals”), Jack Donnelly (“Atlantis”)

While on a last-minute European holiday, a young woman finds herself in the middle of a real-life fairy tale when a chance meeting with a handsome local leads to something more. However, things get complicated when she learns that the “local” is actually a prince who is about to be crowned King, and whose mother is dead-set against her royal son’s romance with the tourist.

BIRTHDAY WISH – Saturday, January 21, 9 p.m. ET/PT
Stars: Jessy Schram (“Falling Skies”), Luke Macfarlane (“Brothers & Sisters”)

With her thirtieth birthday approaching, Gwen Turner (Schram), a young TV commercial director who plans every detail of her life, hopes her boyfriend, Alex Stone, will finally propose and fulfill her goal of being engaged by the time she’s thirty. Gwen meets Dave McKinley (Macfarlane), a charming commercial director with a spontaneous approach to life, when an upscale ad agency pairs them to work together. When Alex does not propose, a disappointed Gwen makes a birthday wish: to see what her life will look like in ten years. The next morning, her wish miraculously comes true when she sees a vision of her future in which she is a happily married mom. But to her surprise, the man she’s married to in her vision is Dave, not Alex.


Hallmark Channel is Crown Media Family Networks’ flagship 24-hour cable television network, distributed nationwide in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to 89 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.

(end of Press Release)


This is "Snow Much Fun" News for all of us who LOVE the "Countdown to Christmas" movies and will miss them "Snow Much" come January! (okay, I over used the pun a little, but I couldn't help myself!) Anyway, the winter-themed movies should help in the after-Christmas transition time!

All of these new 2017 Winterfest movies featured above sound like wonderful, snuggle in and watch movies to enjoy on a cold winters night.

I also want to say a special thank you to our movie friend - Sherry in California for sharing a sneak peek of these titles originally - here! It's official!

And, I know many of us will not enjoy seeing the Christmas movies go... but, hold on to your hat, as we will look forward all throughout the year - here at "It's a Wonderful Movie"... to Christmas in July and next years Christmas Season together, which is certain to be filled with even more MOVIES and (hopefully!) Surprises!!! Enjoy the video preview below...

HALLMARK's Winterfest 2017 Video Clip Promo:


  1. That's what I like about Hallmark. Always something new to look forward to!


  2. Can't wait...Love Andrew Walker and Gail O'Grady, especially!

  3. Sherry was right about A Royal Winter movie! Congrats!
    I noticed that it was the only movie to make the clip with scenes from it's movie.


  4. Net, do you know if any other movies have been scheduled to premiere during Winterfest? Three movies seems a bit short for the line-up.

  5. Sherry In CaliforniaTuesday, December 13, 2016

    Three new movies make sense for Winterfest in 2017. In some years there might be 4 January movies, but unless they start showing movies on Sundays in January too (which doesn't seem to be the plan), then 3 would be the only option for 2017.

    There were 4 Winterfest movies in January 2016 because of how many Saturdays there were in January. They could run a new movie for 4 consecutive Saturdays and call it Winterfest. However, on the 5th Saturday in January they had to begin the Countdown to Valentine's Day.

    So... this time around, in 2017, We have "A Rose for Christmas" on Sunday, January 1st. The first Saturday in the month is January 7th. That's why Winterfest has to begin on January 7th. There will be 2 Winterfest movies over the next 2 Saturdays. ("A Royal Winter" was originally called "A Winter Prince.")

    Then, on Saturday, January 28th, the Countdown to Valentine's Day will begin.

    These are the 5 known movies that are coming to the Countdown to Valentine's Day (though keep in mind that the titles could likely change before it begins):

    --A Worthwhile Life (with Amy Smart, Adrian Grenier, Jonathan Bennett)

    -- Love Locks (this is the next Hall of Fame movie, starring Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell -- this has been filmed in France and in Montreal)

    -- Walking the Dog (starring Jennifer Finnigan, Lini Evans, Peter Benson and -- *I think* -- possibly Sam Page)

    -- Second Time Around (starring Billy Baldwin, Michelle Morgan and Stefanie von Pfetten -- directed by David Winning)

    -- A Dash of Love (formerly called Pinch of Love, starring Jen Lilley, Brendan Penny and Peri Gilpin -- directed by Christie Will)

    Mariah Carey was *supposed* to have a movie in this year's Countdown to Valentine's Day, delayed from the originally planned Countdown to Christmas movie in 2016. But it looks like her Valentine movie is not happening, unless there is suddenly a surprise filming in January somewhere.

    The last Countdown to Valentine's Day movie premiere *should" be on Sunday, February 12th. There will be new movies on 1/28 and 1/29, 2/4, 2/11 and 2/12. There probably won't be any new movie on 2/5/17, as that is Hallmark's Kitten Bowl day, as well as being Super Bowl day.

    Over on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, the new movies coming in January are:

    -- The new Garage Sale Mystery movie;

    -- The brand new Fixer Upper Mystery movie starring Jewel, Colin Ferguson, Marcus Rosner and Erin Karpluk (Marcus Rosner is also in "Birthday Wish" with Jessy Schram and Luke Macfarlane);

    -- Most likely the new Signed, Sealed, Delivered movie.

    There is a movie called "An Uncommon Grace" (filmed in Kentucky, which Net knows about) that may or may not end up on the HMM channel in January or February. It has been said to be a Hallmark Channel movie, but it sounds a bit more like something they would put on HMM -- IF it is, indeed, a Hallmark movie.

    I don't know for sure that "An Uncommon Grace" is going to either Hallmark channel, but it stars Sean Faris, Jes Macallan and Kelly McGillis.

    1. Sherry In CaliforniaFriday, December 16, 2016

      Update to this -- I was told that Eric Mabius indicated a February premiere for the next SSD movie. So that means that, if he is correct, there are only 2 new premieres on HMM in January, unless "An Uncommon Grace" ends up there too.

    2. Sherry In CaliforniaFriday, December 23, 2016

      Another Update!!! As everyone has probably seen, Hallmark has officially begun to promote 2 of the upcoming Countdown to Valentine's Day movies.

      "Love Locks" is kicking off the event, it seems, on Saturday, January 28th.

      "Love At First Glance" -- the movie formerly known as "A Worthwhile Life" -- is apparently ending the event on... Tuesday, February 14th??

      I saw the Tues., 2/14 date yesterday, on Yahoo TV, and I honestly thought it was a mistake until I saw Hallmark confirm the date today. Hallmark doesn't even premiere new movies on Tuesday nights during the holiday season (Wednesday, yes, but not Tuesday), but they are doing it on Valentine's Day evening?

      A very interesting programming choice, indeed.

      So... that leaves the question of what that means for the rest of the Valentine premiere schedule.

      If the upcoming Valentine event were being handled like it was last year, then there would be premieres on the nights of 1/28, 1/29, 2/4, 2/11 and 2/12.

      We now know what is happening with 1/28 and -- surprisingly -- 2/14! But what about 1/29, 2/4, 2/11 and 2/12??

      There are 3 other known movies that have been filmed -- with the working/tentative titles of "Second Time Around," "A Dash of Love" and "Walking the Dog" (casts listed in my above post) -- but there are 4 open dates for new movies.

      Does that mean that Hallmark will leave one of those dates without a new movie premiere? OR... is there a surprise 6th movie being thrown in to fill an open slot somewhere?

      The movie (tentatively titled) "An Uncommon Grace" -- recently filmed in Kentucky (cast mentioned in my above post) -- was said to be Hallmark (though that won't be confirmed until Hallmark actually announces it themselves), and was said to be airing on the Hallmark Channel in February. However, the story -- involving a nurse back from, I think, Afghanistan falling for an Amish man -- seems more like something that would go to the HMM channel and not to the main channel, IF it is actually a Hallmark film.

      So, who knows? Maybe there IS a 6th Valentine movie to fill one of those open dates I mentioned, and maybe it will be "An Uncommon Grace"? Or maybe Hallmark will just stick with 5 new Valentine movies and leave one of the open dates without a new movie?

      Nothing else has been filmed other than: Love Locks, Love At First Glance, A Dash of Love, Walking the Dog, Second Time Around.... and An Uncommon Grace (which may not even end up as a Hallmark movie, but we'll find out soon). Those are the only ones that could possibly go into the Valentine event, unless Hallmark picked up another movie from someone like MarVista -- something that was already filmed earlier this year -- and plans to show it during the Valentine event. If they did that -- got a movie from someone else, but didn't actually produce it or make it themselves -- then that opens up more possibilities, as there were plenty of other movies filmed earlier this year that seem to have disappeared ("Bad Date Chronicles," "Same Time Next Week," "Surprise Me," etc.).

  6. Sherry In CaliforniaTuesday, December 13, 2016

    Net --

    I was kind of hoping that they would keep the "A Winter Prince" title, but, alas, they did not. I like it better than "A Royal Winter."

    At least "Birthday Wish" (directed by Peter DeLuise) and "Love On Ice" stayed intact.

    I would guess that Marcus Rosner is playing the "Alex" role in "Birthday Wish."

    In any case, from some of the photos I saw during filming, there will be a lot of real, authentic snow in at least a couple of scenes in "A Royal Winter." Some of the snow will be artificial (one of the people involved in the shoot posted a video of some snow being made), but some of it will definitely be real!

    I know what you mean -- when the Christmas movies come to an end, it's sad because it's kind of like an old friend leaving. The old friend has stayed with you for 2 months, and you've had a wonderful time, but now it's time for the old friend to leave. You know you will see the old friend again, but you will still miss the old friend until you meet again in the future.

    It was especially interesting -- as you know, personally -- following this year's movies, particularly the Countdown to Christmas movies, after tracking ALL of the movies for both Hallmark channels (and some other networks too), as they filmed throughout the entire year.

    Don't you find it fascinating (as I do) to watch the productions (in photos) as they take place, find out who is in the movies, see what some of the sets looks like, etc., and then watch the finished product come to fruition in Nov-Dec? I always say that it's like watching a seed grown into a tree. And I feel more invested in these movies when I have followed (from afar) their productions -- that goes for any themed event, and not just the Christmas movies.

    So... what do we have next, after the 5 Valentine movies?

    Well, Spring Fling was kind of wonky this year, as Hallmark first said there would be 4 new movies in April, which turned into 3 new movies in April and then 2 random movies in the second half of May.

    In 2017, will Hallmark fine tune Spring Fling and make sure there are 4 movies this time? Will they start it in March, or April only? Will September be completely lacking in any new movies on the main channel at all?

    What I do know is that Michelle Vicary and Bill Abbott said they would like to put out 85 movies in 2017 (between the 2 channels). That would be an increase of about 8 movies, up from the 77 this year. Will that extra 8 go mostly to HMM as they continue to build up the programming on that channel, or will they split the extra 8 and give 4 to the main channel and 4 to HMM? Will they do 20 new Christmas movies on the main channel in Nov-Dec? Will they finally build up Fall Harvest a bit more?

    And... will we ever see Jonathan Scarfe, Autumn Reeser or Paul Campbell again on the Hallmark Channels, or have they escaped the "family"? Lol

    1. Aren't Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell married? Thanks!


    2. Sherry In CaliforniaWednesday, December 14, 2016

      Misty -- Yes, indeed, they are! In fact, I'm sure I am not alone in that, when I first heard that they were the stars of the next Hall of Fame movie for Hallmark, "Love Locks," I found it to be an interesting casting choice. It is unexpected, I would say -- not something I would have predicted. I don't know who I would have expected, but it wasn't Jerry and Rebecca! Lol.

      The Hall of Fame movies usually have budgets that are a bit higher -- which is, I guess, one reason whey they were able to film a portion of this movie in France before moving to Montreal. So I guess they were able to bring Jerry and Rebecca into the mix for the right price.

      I would not be shocked if Rebecca and Jerry are secret fans of Hallmark movies -- or at least one of them might be. They seem to be a fun couple with a variety of TV viewing preferences, so I can picture them sneaking in an occasional Hallmark Christmas movie during the Countdown.

    3. I think that's cool that a married couple is doing a movie for Hallmark! I have hoped that one day that two co-stars fell for each other while filming, so this is as close to my wish! LOL


    4. Oh Sherry! I've wondered the same about Jonathan Scarfe. I think we've lost him to the vampire world! We can hope though. I would be happy to see Hallmark show Love On The air more often...am thinking they might move that one to HMM because all of Allison Sweeny's movies are on that channel.

    5. Sherry In CaliforniaFriday, December 16, 2016

      I think you're right, Joyce! The last season of Van Helsing stopped filming in June, so I figured that if Jonathan were going to do another Hallmark movie it would have been filmed sometime after July. But... he did not pop up in any of the photos from the various Christmas movie shoots, so I knew he was out of that round.

      However, when the Winterfest movies and Countdown to Valentine's Day movies went into production, I thought that might be another chance for a Jonathan Scarfe appearance -- and... he is not in any of them. Even if he somehow secretly filmed a part in one of the upcoming movies and just didn't get 'on the radar,' he would not be the leading man.

      The leading man is sort of a mystery (but not really) in the upcoming Jennifer Finnigan movie, "Walking the Dog" (or whatever it ends up being called), but I don't think that it going to be Jonathan. I think it is likely Sam Page. And all of the other movies' leading men are accounted for.

      So.. Van Helsing starts production again next month... which means no Hallmark movie shoots for Jonathan for a while. :( That's too bad -- I have to think that Hallmark continued to offer him roles after his last movie (Paul Greene says that if Hallmark likes you, they keep offering work), but I think he probably just declined. I picture him as being a sort of "Okay, I've done the Hallmark circuit; I don't need to do another movie for a long time" kind of person.

      I wish "Love On the Air" would come out on DVD as well. Like you said, I have a feeling it will mosey over to HMM because of Alison Sweeney's presence on HMM, even though LOTA really fits the main channel so much better in terms of general tone and story.

      I am also wondering if Autumn Reeser finally reached her Hallmark saturation point as well, and is taking a break from the movies. She appeared in 5 movies for Hallmark -- 3 of which aired within a 12-month period, more or less (from the Countdown to Valentine's Day 2015 to the Countdown to Valentine's Day 2016), and she was at all of the Hallmark TCA press events each year -- until this last one in July, when she was nowhere to be found.

      It definitely seemed like Hallmark wanted Autumn "in the family," but she has not been in a new movie since the last Valentine event, and she is not in any of the upcoming Winterfest or Valentine movies either. So I have to think that she has been offered some other Hallmark roles since "Valentine Ever After" and just turned them down.

      I think that a lot of the actors -- as much as we like them in these movies -- want to keep their options open and do other kinds of work, understandably. They don't mind doing some Hallmark movies every so often, but they don't necessarily want to be known as "regular Hallmark actors" -- especially if they have no trouble getting other jobs.

  7. Aw, these all sound really sweet and fun. I especially like the idea of the one about the Prince because those Christmas movies are always among my favorites. Hope these are all fun - I've SO enjoyed the Christmas ones I've seen thus far, so I'm looking forward to whatever Hallmark has in 2017!


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