Hallmark Press Release...
HISTORIC RATINGS SUCCESS INTO 2017
WITH AN AMBITIOUS SLATE
OF ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING
Popular Franchises Commemorating Celebrations
and Seasons, the Return of Original Primetime Series
and More Adorable Kittens in Store
PASADENA, CA – January 14, 2017 – Hallmark Channel’s record ratings in 2016 are owed to its programming surrounding celebrations and seasons along with stellar performances by its original, primetime series and specials. This program strategy catapulted the 15-year-old network to historic audience levels and has positioned it to ride this success into the new year. A robust slate of new, original movies plus brand-new seasons of original, primetime series as well as specials will bring more original content to the network than ever before.
“Viewers have embraced our programming and we work hard to make sure our content not only stays true to the Hallmark Channel brand but also provides the audience with a television experience they can’t find on any other network,” remarked Michelle Vicary, Executive Vice President, Network Programming and Publicity, Crown Media Family Networks.
Hallmark Channel kicks off 2017 with its second annual “Winterfest” line-up of original movie premieres keeping viewers cozy on cold, snowy nights. Next, Cupid takes center stage with the popular “Countdown to Valentine’s Day” event starting with the premiere of “Love Locks,” the next offering from the Hallmark Hall of Fame, starring real-life husband and wife Rebecca Romijn (“The Librarians,” “Skin Wars”) and Jerry O’Connell (“Scream Queens,” “Mistresses”). As the country enters the waning days of winter, “Spring Fling” emerges from the frost with fresh stories in sunnier spaces. Not far behind, here comes the bride with “June Weddings,” a month-long celebration of all things love and matrimony, including “The Wedding March 2,” the follow-up to last year’s hit with stars Josie Bissett (“Melrose Place”) and Jack Wagner (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) reprising their roles.
Thirty weeks of Sunday night series drove Hallmark Channel’s historic 2016 ratings and are set to do so again in 2017. The network’s most socially engaged fan base (#Hearties) will enjoy 10 all-new episodes of “When Calls the Heart,” starring Erin Krakow (“Army Wives”), Lori Loughlin (“Fuller House,” “90210”), Daniel Lissing (“The Last Resort”), Jack Wagner, Pascale Hutton (“Sanctuary”), Kavan Smith (“Supernatural”), Niall Matter (“Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce”) and Paul Greene (“A Wish for Christmas”). The most dramatic, emotional season in the series’ history begins February 19 (9 p.m. ET/PT).
This will be followed by “Good Witch,” on April 30 (9 p.m. ET/PT), returning for a third season of magical adventures and romance. Based on “The Good Witch” movie franchise, the most successful in the network’s history, the series stars Catherine Bell (“Army Wives,” “JAG”), Bailee Madison (“Northpole: Open for Christmas,” Just Go with It, Trophy Wife ) and James Denton (“Desperate Housewives,” “Devious Maids”) and introduces new characters that take the show in an exciting direction.
Recently renewed for a second season, “Chesapeake Shores” premieres its first of 10 new episodes on July 23 (9 p.m. ET/PT). The most-watched series in the network’s history among W25-54 and A25-54 on a L+3 basis, fans of the show will be treated to 10 new episodes that continue the story of the multigenerational O’Brien clan that viewers fell in love with. The series stars Jesse Metcalfe (“Dallas”) stars alongside Meghan Ory (“Once Upon A Time”), Golden Globe® nominated actor Treat Williams (“Everwood,” “Hair”), Academy Award® nominee Diane Ladd (“Wild At Heart”), Barbara Niven (“Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove”), Laci Mailey (“Falling Skies”, Emilie Ullerup (“Sanctuary”), Brendan Penny (“Supernatural”) and Andrew Francis (“Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove”).
As football season draws to a close, Hallmark Channel also gets into the game with “Kitten Bowl IV,” premiering Sunday, February 5 (12 p.m. ET/PT) featuring a stadium full of adoptable, furry felines as they pounce on the gridiron and strut their cuteness from goal post to goal post. A new addition to the network’s pet-centric programming this year is the recently announced “Meow Madness,” premiering Monday, April 3, a special that will showcase 100 adorable, adoptable “catl-letes” purr-fect an unstoppable zone defense while taking shots from the “flea throw” zone as each team claws its way to “The Final Fur.” Both programs are part of the network’s Pet Project initiative, aimed at raising awareness of the plight of homeless animals and shining a spotlight on the joy they bring to our everyday lives.
ABOUT HALLMARK CHANNEL 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.”