Wednesday, August 3, 2016

BREAKING NEWS: Hallmark Channel's "Countdown to Christmas" 2016


Some of the movies in the information below have been changed, updated, or even removed from the schedule. For updated information, please visit this Link:


During Hallmark's recent TCA event, they released some exciting details about the upcoming Hallmark Channel Christmas Season. First of all, "Countdown to Christmas" 2016 will begin October 28th, giving us 64 days of Christmas Movies round-the-clock this year!!!

You will find lots of wonderful information below in Hallmark's recent press release, including exciting details on the upcoming new holiday When Calls the Heart Special premiering on Christmas Day!!! (A very special *Thank You* to Sherry in California for discovering this exciting press release below!!!)


Hallmark Channel's Top-Rated Holiday Programming Extravaganza "Countdown to Christmas" Returns with Most Ambitious Round-the-Clock Schedule Ever, Beginning October 28

This year's non-stop holiday programming schedule includes a two-hour "When Calls the Heart" holiday special event based on the network's popular series premiering Christmas Day.

[via press release from The Hallmark Channel - via futon critic]


Unprecedented 19 New, Original World Premiere Movies Including: Five Consecutive Nights of Original World Premiere Movies Thanksgiving Week; New Original Hallmark Hall of Fame Special "Christmas Angel in Training"; Christmas Day Premiere of "When Calls the Heart" Holiday Special Event

BEVERLY HILLS, CA, July 27 -An unprecedented 19 new, original world premiere movies will highlight Hallmark Channel's "Countdown to Christmas," the network's top-rated, beloved, annual extravaganza of 64 days (this year) of round-the-clock holiday programming. The annual American holiday TV tradition begins Friday, October 28 (10 p.m. ET/PT) and concludes Sunday, January 1, 2017. The announcement was made today to a semi-annual gathering of the Television Critics Association in Beverly Hills.

Cementing its status as the leading yuletide TV viewing destination (attracting more than 80 million viewers in 2015) this year's non-stop holiday programming schedule includes a two-hour "When Calls the Heart" holiday special event based on the network's popular series premiering Christmas Day (9 p.m. ET/PT) and schedule includes a new, original Hallmark Hall of Fame movie presentation (the franchise's 255th), which is currently in development.

Thanksgiving holiday week on Hallmark Channel will again feature a feast of five consecutive nights of new, original world premiere movies (Wednesday, November 23 - Sunday, November 27), culminating with "The Nutcracker" and the all-new original, Hallmark Hall of Fame movie presentation.

In 2015, Hallmark Channel's Thanksgiving multi-movie event was the network's highest-ever rated week among HH and in all key demos and made Hallmark Channel the #1 rated cable network of the entire week among HH, W25-54 and W25-54.*

Stars include Danica McKellar ("The Wonder Years"), Lacey Chabert ("All of My Heart," Mean Girls), Lori Loughlin ("Fuller House," "90210"), Jill Wagner ("Wipeout"), Jaime King ("Hart of Dixie," Pearl Harbor) and Jessica Lowndes ("90210").

As the holiday season draws to a close Hallmark Channel is proud to televise the "128th Tournament of Roses Parade" on Monday, January 2, 2017. Live coverage begins with "Countdown to the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade" (10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT) followed by the ever-popular "128th Tournament of Roses Parade 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT). The festivities will be co-hosted by Mark Steines from the network's popular weekday lifestyle series, "Home & Family," and Emmy Award winning talk show host Leeza Gibbons.

The following is a chronological listing
of original movies and specials currently scheduled during
Hallmark Channel's 2016
"Countdown to Christmas."


'A WISH FOR CHRISTMAS' - Saturday, November 5 (9 p.m. ET/PT)

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. As the clock ticks, Sara will discover how to channel the Christmas magic and speak her mind all on her own.

'MISTLETOE PROMISE' - Sunday, November 6 (9 p.m. ET/PT)

Stars: Jaime King ("Hart of Dixie," Pearl Harbor), Luke Macfarlane ("The Night Shift," "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 Adams.

'CHRISTMAS MAKEOVER' - Saturday, November 12 (9 p.m. ET/PT)

Stars: Lori Loughlin ("When Calls the Heart," "Fuller House"), Colin Ferguson ("Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove," "Eureka"), Willie Aames ("Charles in Charge")

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.

'CHRISTMAS COOKIES' - Sunday, November 13 (9 p.m. ET/PT)

Stars: Jill Wagner ("Wipeout"), Wes Brown ("True Blood," "Hart of Dixie")

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 with Jake.

'MY CHRISTMAS DREAM' (Previously titled: 'SUDDENLY SANTA') - Saturday, November 19 (9 p.m. ET/PT)

Stars: Danica McKellar ("Wonder Years"), 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 window 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?

'A DECEMBER BRIDE' - Sunday, November 20, (9 p.m. ET/PT)

Stars: 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-fiancé. 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.

'CHRISTMAS BUCKET LIST' - Friday, November 25 (9 p.m. ET/PT)

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?

'CHRISTMAS EXPECTATIONS' - Saturday, December 10 (9 p.m. ET/PT)

A hopeless romantic who never seems to give a guy a fair chance starts receiving each gift from the song "The 12 Days of Christmas" compliments of an anonymous benefactor. She tries to solve the mystery with the help of her inner circle, including her sister who's about to have a Christmas wedding, to see if there's a suitor on the other end that will finally live up to her expectations.

'WHEN CALLS THE HEART' - Sunday, December 25 (9 p.m. ET/PT)

Stars: Erin Krakow ("Army Wives"), Daniel Lissing ("Last Resort"), Jack Wagner ("The Bold and the Beautiful") and Lori Loughlin ("Fuller House," "90210")

Although the residents of Hope Valley have been busily preparing for the most festive Christmas the town has ever had, bad weather gets in the way of their plans. Not to be discouraged, the townspeople come together to create a special holiday celebration - complete with a Nativity presentation by the schoolchildren - that will infuse everyone with the true spirit of the season.

'ROSE PARADE NEW YEAR' - Sunday, January 1, 2017 (9 p.m. ET/PT)

A career setback prompts a woman to move back home to Pasadena at Christmas. She finds renewed purpose volunteering to help build a Rose Parade Float, only to discover she has to work side-by-side her ex-fiancé who is heading the float's construction.

The following new, original movies
are currently in development
for Hallmark Channel's 2016
"Countdown to Christmas."


Two rival reporters get caught up in a competition to see who can report the most newsworthy holiday story. The real breaking news they discover is the truth about the meaning of Christmas - it really is better to give than to receive. But unfolding before their very eyes may be the best holiday story of all -two fierce competitors were able to put aside their differences and fall in love.


Maggie Marks (Pressley) faces a tough career decision and 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.


Isabelle's quest to locate the handsome owner of a lost necklace prompts her to launch a search via social media. As she meets the mystery man's friends and learns more about him she discovers what an extraordinary person he is and begins to fall in love.


Upon her untimely death, a workaholic finds herself in training to be a Christmas Angel in Heaven. Despite being the worst recruit in the history of Christmas, she's assigned a hard luck case. As she's forced to help solve his problems, she'll start to discover the meaning of Christmas and maybe even fall in love along the way.


A horrible break-up with the man she thought she was destined to marry sends Fiona Williams on a trip to her parents' inn for Christmas. When Fiona's ex checks in to the inn with a new woman on his arm she tries to save face by making the inn's opinionated and care-free cook her new "boyfriend" in hopes of making her ex jealous.


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.


Lilly James' lifelong devotion lands her the lead role of Clara in the New York City Ballet's production of The Nutcracker. Grief-stricken and distracted after learning about her mother's death, Lily suffers an injury and is removed from the show by Mark, her boyfriend and dance partner. Heartbroken and betrayed, Lily vows never to dance again. Years later, her daughter lands the role of Clara in the prestigious Philadelphia Nutcracker Ballet and finds that the Ballet Director is Mark, who betrayed Lilly years ago. Faced with the truth about her past and Lilly has a chance to dance and to find love again.


Recently divorced, Pauline struggles to get into the holiday spirit while heading up her hometown Christmas parade. With the help of a Christmas sleigh and a handsome woodworker, Pauline is destined to turn her luck around, rekindle her holiday spirit and even find time for love.


During the Christmas season a high school music teacher is hired by a handsome widower to give music lessons to his teenage daughters. Their lives are turned around for the better as the family grows closer and learns the importance of love, friendship and the meaning of Christmas.

*Source: Nielsen Company, 10/31/15 - 1/1/16


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. 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 original movies, the network features an ambitious lineup of other original content, including scripted primetime series, such as "Good Witch" and "When Calls the Heart"; annual specials like "Kitten Bowl" and "Hero Dog Awards"; and a daily, two-hour lifestyle show, "Home & Family." Additionally, in November 2014, Hallmark Channel became 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 such annual holiday programming events as "Countdown to Christmas" and "Countdown to Valentine's Day." Rounding out the network's diverse slate are television's most beloved sitcoms and series, including "The Golden Girls," "The Middle," "Last Man Standing," "Little House on the Prairie" and "Frasier." Hallmark Cards, Inc. owns and operates Crown Media Family Networks. Hallmark Channel on Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube



  1. As usual all of these sound as if they'll be super cute. I'm curious about Hallmark Hall of Fame's new release (especially since it's been a while since we saw one of those!) and of course, all of the Hallmark Channel films sound sweet as ever. Also nice to see are returning favorites and new faces; so cool to see Jaime King on the cast list since I liked her character on Hart of Dixie. :)

    1. I'm pretty curious about the Hallmark Hall of Fame movies, too, and the future of that franchise. It would be nice to have the in-depth stories, again, like we used to come to expect from a Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie. Something in the mold of "A Season for Miracle", "Pictures of Hollis Woods", "Ellen Foster", "The Secret Garden", etc...

      Overall, it looks like Hallmark's Christmas 2016 holds lots of excitement ahead for us all!!!

      Thank you for commenting, Rissi! :)

  2. Sherry in CaliforniaWednesday, August 03, 2016

    There is at least one Hall of Fame movie each year.

    Last year we had the Eloise Mumford-William Shatner-Christopher Lloyd movie for the holidays, and we had "Away and Back" early in 2015.

    In 2014 we had "One Christmas Eve" with Anne Heche. There was also "In My Dreams."

    Net has a list of all of the Hall of Fame movies on this site. The Hall of Fame movies have never gone away -- it's just that they don't happen every month and there may only be one per year. In 2017 we should have at least 2 HoF movies, between "Love Lock" and whichever one is made for the 2017 holiday season.

    1. Since we didn't have one for Valentine's Day or Mother's Day this year, like they used to always do in years past to promote the Hallmark cards, it does seem to be quite a long time since our last Hallmark Hall of Fame.

      I liked "Just in Time for Christmas" last year with Eloise Mumford, but I wouldn't label it as the traditional type of HHOF movie.

      "One Christmas Eve", which had mixed reviews, is actually one that I love. It is a much more comedic HHOF then we are used to, but I still enjoy it. Would be wonderful to have a new one, with a touch of heart, and yet, humor, too! Like Christmas with Holly, for instance.

      Anyway, it will be interesting to see how this next new HHOF Christmas Movie is received!

    2. Sherry In CaliforniaThursday, August 04, 2016

      There wasn't a Hall of Fame movie for Valentine's Day or Mother's Day in 2015 either. There was "Away & Back," which belonged to no holiday whatsoever, in January 2015.

      They've been changing things with the Hall of Fame presentations for quite a while, gradually, over time. It hasn't been like it used to be for quite some time.

      Michelle Vicary said (at the Variety TV summit a couple of months ago) that their goal was to try to do 2 HoF movies every year, and she specifically mentioned the holiday season and Valentine's Day as the upcoming ones. She also indicated that they want to try to fit them in where they're appropriate, or where they make the most sense (I am paraphrasing). So I don't think we're ever going to get an abundance of Hall of Fame movies -- it will probably continue to be 1 or 2 per year.

      I think you're speaking more to the issue of the "type" of movie a Hall of Fame production used to be vs. what it is now, if I'm understanding correctly. I am speaking only to the comment about how there hasn't been a HoF movie in a while. The Hall of Fame movies have continued every year, and the last one was during the holidays of 2015.

      Whether or not the Hall of Fame movies are viewed as the type of traditional HoF movies people remember from previous years, there have always been Hall of Fame movies. They've never gone away.

  3. They're starting way too early now and are completely ignoring the true meaning of Christmas.

    1. Sadly, the true meaning of Christmas can get lost in some movies, but I was thrilled to read the plot description of When Calls the Heart, which is premiering on Christmas Day! I think you will like it, too!

      Here's the Storyline, direct from Hallmark:

      "Although the residents of Hope Valley have been busily preparing for the most festive Christmas the town has ever had, bad weather gets in the way of their plans. Not to be discouraged, the townspeople come together to create a special holiday celebration - complete with a Nativity presentation by the schoolchildren - that will infuse everyone with the true spirit of the season."

      This sounds like it will be a wonderful story - the true story!!!

      Hope you will be able to watch it or record it on Christmas Day!

    2. Not a fan of WCTH so I won't be watching that one. The family aspect I've been finding often gets losts in many of these movies as well. Too many Christmas movies about a woman who is supposedly too uptight to keep a man and her quest to get a man in time for Christmas. I also don't like how they act like her dedication to her job is a problem. As if the man shouldn't love her for the hardworking woman she is.

  4. Looking forward to these movies! Will there be movies on the Hallmark Movies & Mystery Channel as well?


    1. Yes! HMM is giving us 7 ALL NEW CHRISTMAS MOVIES this YEAR!!!

      So far, we know 3 - Pair of Jacks, Finding Father Christmas, and Operation Christmas!

      Plus, the annual Happy Yule Log will return from Christmas Eve through Christmas morning!!!

      I recently shared Hallmark's press release which gives greater detail to each film.

      See it here:

      It's the first press release beneath the pictures!

      So great to hear from you, Misty! It's always fun to look forward to all the new Christmas Movies with you!!! :)

    2. Thank you for the link! So much to keep track of. That's why I love this site!


    3. Oh thank you, Misty! I know just what you mean on there being a lot to keep track of! So many of the Christmas movie titles are similar and of course, many of the same actors and actresses will star again. Thank you for all your support! It's my joy because of people like you! :)

  5. I'm really looking forward to this year's movies, as always, but I have to say the number of recycled plots, some with little more than casting changes, is getting a bit hard to overlook. I believe this may be an unavoidable issue as Hallmark expands the number of Christmas movies it shows every year, but hope they can have some originality as well, or at least get better at disguising similar plots. Don't get me wrong - I love Hallmark movies to death, but I would like to see them continue for years to come and not have the 'market' get oversaturated and burned out. The annual Countdown to Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year, and I would love for my kids and future grandkids to be able to enjoy it each year just as I have.

    1. I know exactly what you mean. As devoted Hallmark Movie watchers - we love the family movies, but we still want to see fresh stories. That makes perfect sense and I feel 100% the same way! I hope these wonderful families can go on forever!!!

  6. Sherry In CaliforniaThursday, August 04, 2016

    Lori M. and I were saying (over in the Facebook fan group) that, just in terms of logistics and scheduling alone, it seems like a lot of the movies on this latest Futon Critic list must have already been filmed. There are too many titles to go into production between now and, say, late October/early November, when Hallmark still has Fall Harvest movies to film, as well as begin some Winterfest and Countdown to Valentine's Day movies. Oh, and both Good Witch AND WCTH continue production on their new seasons after their movies are filmed.

    Well, to be more clear -- the first 6 titles listed above have all been filmed or are getting close to finishing production (some of them were filmed months ago, while others wrapped more recently).

    Both Good Witch and WCTH start filming their movies and then seasons this month, I believe.

    So, there are about 12 other movies on the list above that are unaccounted for in terms of filming schedules. We think that it's unlikely that 10-12 Christmas movies are going into production between now and October.

    So, some of the movies on the list above may be the "mystery" movies on your list of Christmas movies for 2016, Net -- the ones that were not assigned to any specific network (like the Lisa Whelchel movie), or perhaps the movies that started out with different titles and are now being called something else (like "A Snow Capped Christmas" could have changed titles).

    I think that "Love Always, Santa" will go to Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

    I wonder about "Sleigh Bell Sweethearts" and if it might end up on HMM, or if it will be held back until the holiday season of 2017. I don't see anything about a reindeer farm in the plot outlines listed above.

    What happened to "A Family for Christmas," which was mentioned in the Futon Critic's press release from early June, about the reclusive writer who takes in the woman, her daughter and her mom during a storm??? Is it going to HMM? I don't see it mentioned above.

    I think that Candace Cameron Bure, Alicia Witt and Rachel Boston will film their movies in the near future. I actually wonder if Rachel might be doing the Hall of Fame movie, and if it will be announced next month.

    I think that the New Year/Rose Parade-themed movie could film later, like in November, since it's not airing until January 1st.

    There might be a couple more Christmas movie shoots as well -- but not 10-11 of them crammed into 2-1/2 - 3 months. Some of them have already been filmed -- maybe when we were not even aware of them being filmed!

    1. There is, indeed, a lot going on behind-the-scenes and lots of mysteries to still be solved when it comes to Christmas on the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries!

      It's fun working our way through this years Christmas puzzle - while we are still in the midst of "Summer Nights!"

      I am quite curious as to which movies Candace Cameron Bure and Rachel Boston are doing? And, I keep wondering if Candace will host Thanksgiving week, or if that job might go to... say Danica McKellar this year? That's just a hunch.

      Anyway, it's fun to guess and piece it all together with all of you!!!

      Thank you for making it so much fun, Sherry!!! :)

    2. Sherry In CaliforniaThursday, August 04, 2016

      I don't think Candace will host Thanksgiving Week again this year. If there is going to be one host, I agree that it would likely be Danica. But, as it has been suggested here on your site, maybe a different actor will present his or her movie each night -- that's really how it should be. Someone from each movie should present the movie and give a little bit of background info before it begins.

      I keep wondering if Rachel might be doing the Hall of Fame movie.

      I am especially curious as to who will star in "The Sound of Christmas," as it appears that it will be another musically-inclined movie and the lead actress may be a singer or musician, or someone with musical abilities.

  7. OH what great news this is. Bigger and better every year it seems and the great part is that it's all ahead of us now. Not behind us.

    I remember seeing that picture that Net posted around January 2nd of Bailee Madison waving Farewell to Christmas 2015 and how it devastated me knowing that it was all over and the darkness of winter was ahead and the great lights of Christmas were gone.

    The picture is posted at the beginning of the "Christmas Movies for 2016 and Beyond". Now when I see that picture Bailee is waving hello to Christmas 2016. Love it.

    1. Awe, I remember you sharing how that picture touched you, Jim. I felt the very same way when I posted it. But now, the excitement and lights, are all ahead and that is the best part of it - the anticipation! No physical gift could match it.

      Thank you for commenting, Jim, and adding to the joy!!! Blessings to You!!!

    2. Sherry in CaliforniaThursday, August 04, 2016

      Jim, I know exactly what you mean about the picture of Bailee! It really did seem as though she was waving goodbye and that it would be a long, loooooooong time before the next holiday season arrived.

      And now... Fall starts next month, and after that everything speeds up!

      I think that, as Net said, the best part is anticipating the season. When it arrives, it's wonderful to just kind of soak it all in and enjoy it for as long as possible. When it all ends, it's very jarring! A lot of people, I suppose, are relieved to be done with the holidays. But for others, after relishing every moment and every sight, sound, aroma, flavor, every exchange with family, friends and strangers, etc., it is very sad when it all comes to an end.

    3. Love your replies Net and Sherry. You are so right about anticipation and how wonderful it is when it comes to good things and nothing is more exciting or fun then the anticipation of the coming Christmas season. That feeling of warm gleeful light inside that flickers now at the thoughts of the coming Christmas season and grows exponentially as the wonderment of the approaching Christmas season gets closer.

  8. Oh, Net, all this dazzling news is music to my ears. I don't want to wish my time away but I can't wait for the biggest and best holiday programming that Hallmark has presented to date! However will we contain it all?? LOL!!

    Wonderful analogy, Jim, loved your post and truly felt the same....

    1. Thanks Linda. Net does such a wonderful job of combining text with images that draw out very strong emotional responses in me and I am sure in others.

      The still distant yet growing perceptible sound of sleigh bells jingling is exciting. Oh how I love the sound of sleigh bells jingling and the sound of Salvation Army bells ringing.

    2. Oh, thank you, Jim! That means so much to me!!!

      You're not alone... I hear those sleigh bells, too!!! :)

  9. Some thoughts I have about the upcoming Christmas movies on Hallmark Channel:

    • I think it’s a rather bold and risky move on Hallmark’s part to schedule Lacey’s movie and the “When Calls the Heart” movie as the first and last movies in the Christmas movie line-up. In the past, the first and last movies in this line-up have not been nominated for the “It’s a Wonderful Movie” awards. The reason for this is because the first movie is usually overshadowed by the other movies premiering later in the year and the last movie doesn’t have the luxury of having repeat airings like some of the other movies do. I can understand why Lacey’s movie would be the first to premiere in the line-up (because she’s one of the most popular people on the network) and I can also understand why Hallmark would want the “When Calls the Heart” Christmas movie to premiere last (because the show is now the longest running in the network’s history). I’m just worried that this might affect both movies of having a fair chance at nomination for next year’s “It’s a Wonderful Movie” awards.

    • I think it’s really cool that we’re getting a New Year’s movie! I kind of figured this was going to happen since “When Calls the Heart: New Year’s Wish” did really well ratings-wise, but I think it’s a smart move on Hallmark’s part. Anyone who knows anything about the Rose Parade is fully aware that anytime New Year’s Day happens to fall on a Sunday, the parade company doesn’t allow the horses to walk in the parade, causing the parade to be scheduled on the 2nd (this has been going on since the beginning of the parade due to religious reasons). Also, the Hallmark Channel has always aired the Rose Parade on their network, so this allows them to advertise the event in a unique way that’s never been done before.

    • Do you think the reason why the Hallmark Hall of Fame movies are staying on the Hallmark Channel (for now) is because Hallmark doesn’t want to run the risk of cancelling yet another movie if aired on the major networks? I’m guessing that Hallmark lost a good amount of money when they decided to remove “Hear My Song” from the schedule. Maybe Hallmark wants to save as much money as possible so that the Hallmark Hall of Fame could go back to airing movies on the major networks in the future?

    • There’s a lot of Christmas movies premiering this year that I’m looking forward to, but the two movies on this list that really stood out to me are “Nutcracker” and “A Worthwhile Life.” I know that there have been dancers and dancing scenes featured in Hallmark movies, but this is really the first Hallmark movie to be largely centered around the theme of dance. As someone who appreciates the artistic and athletic nature of dance, I applaud Hallmark for their creativity. I just wonder if the title is going to change to something like “A Nutcracker Christmas” as not to make people think that Hallmark is creating their own version of the ballet (even though that would be a really cool thing for Hallmark to do). About “A Worthwhile Life:” this story sounds like something that would premiere on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel. It sounds like such an intriguing and engaging story, the concept seems like something that Hallmark hasn’t really done before. I cannot wait until we get more information about these movies as well as the other movies that have been announced.

    1. Thank you for your comment! I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on Hallmark's Christmas Movies for 2016!

      It is interesting to see when Hallmark schedules certain things. I think it's a bold movie to start "Countdown to Christmas" with Lacey Chabert & Paul Greene. I have a feeling it will be such a good one- we certainly won't forget it about. Please be reassured that every new movie, whether it airs once, twice, or many, many times is considered for the "It's a Wonderful Movie" Awards.

      As for the Hallmark Hall of Fame franchise, I'm not sure why they planned the one back in the spring for a premiere on CBS, then moved it back to the Hallmark Channel before Christmas. I don't know why the local networks didn't grab at the chance to get a piece of the Hallmark Holiday Magic at Christmastime! Surely everyone knows how powerful Hallmark is at Christmas!

      As for those two movie titles you mentioned: “Nutcracker” and “A Worthwhile Life”, I agree with you... they are definite stand outs. The stories, themselves, do seem bigger then the usual Hallmark romantic comedies, so it will be fascinating to see them become Hallmark Movies!

      I, too, am excited to learn more details about all of these Christmas Movies and share it with all of you!!! :)

    2. Sherry In CaliforniaFriday, August 05, 2016

      I don't know all of the specifics and legalities of it, but I think that the CBS-Hear My Song scenario was a fluke. It was a Hallmark acquisition -- not a movie made by or specifically for Hallmark, if I recall correctly -- and I think that CBS already had a hand in it early on (like way before we knew of it). When Hallmark learned of some controversy associated with it, they stopped plans to air it. But the movie is available on DVD for anyone who wants to see it.

      If everyone remembers, you know that just 2 years ago, I think it was, Hallmark specifically made a move to begin premiering their Hall of Fame movies on their own channel. They wanted to do it that way. If they didn't, I'm sure they could have found another network to take the Hall of Fame movies if ABC no longer wanted to broadcast them. But it was a strategic choice made by Hallmark to move the franchise to their own networks. (Again, the CBS-Hear My Song thing was a fluke and probably something that had been in motion long ago, but I think that people assumed that it meant that Hallmark was already moving the Hall of Fame movies back to network TV.)

      So I think that the reason the Hallmark Hall of Fame movies are staying on the Hallmark channel(s) is because that's what Hallmark had already set it motion 2 years ago. That's what they planned. That's what they want. It likely has nothing to do with the CBS-Hear My Song incident.

      I actually think that Hallmark will juggle the movie schedule and move things around. I think that there will be one new movie on the starting weekend of the Countdown to Christmas -- probably on 10/30, but maybe on 10/29. They always have a new movie on the starting weekend. I don't think that the first new movie of the Countdown will air on 11/5. I think that Hallmark just hasn't figured out yet which movie will air on 10/29 or 10/30. They could end up moving Lacey and Paul's movie to that weekend, or putting something else on first.

      I think some of the titles of movies will change too -- for different reasons -- and "Nutcracker" could be one of them. I can definitely picture "A Nutcracker Christmas" being an option for a new title! Lol.

      I think the Hall of Fame movie might get another title change too.

      At some point "A Perfect Christmas" will be shown again, because it was technically only a sneak preview in July, so they could put that one on the first weekend of the Countdown. Otherwise, it will air in December, I suspect.

      I don't know if "A Worthwhile Life" is a romantic comedy or a drama, but if it is a drama I think it will eventually move to HMM in future years. When Hallmark makes all of these new Christmas movies they are making them for both channels. They may premiere certain ones on the main channel, but they already know that some of the movies will eventually move to HMM.

      I think that "Angel of Christmas" from 2015 is one that will eventually go to HMM. It has an HMM feel to it.

      "On the Twelfth Day of Christmas" from 2015 is one that may or may not stay on the main channel. It isn't exactly a romantic comedy, but more a romantic drama/love story with a few comedic moments. It flew under the radar last year and got lost in the shuffle of all of the other movies, and it starred 2 actors that are less familiar to Hallmark viewers than Lacey, Candace, Danica, etc. But it was a sweet story, and, I feel, a gem. It wasn't the typical "meet cute" story of two people bickering and then falling in love. It was about a growing friendship that turns to love. It was about restoring someone's love of Christmas. It was about remembering someone's kindness from years ago and wanting to repay it in some way. I thought it had more substance to it than what might be expected.

    3. Sherry, it does make sense for Hallmark to intentionally move the Hallmark Hall of Fame movies to their own networks. The Hallmark Channel was created in 2001 and the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel was created in 2004, so a lot of the Hall of Fame movies were placed on the major networks to probably help Hallmark create and maintain an audience of fans. Now that they have two successful networks, Hallmark can use the Hall of Fame movies as a way to increase ratings and viewership. Also, by putting the Hall of Fame movies on DVD, it might help Hallmark make money for their company.

  10. A big thank you for all the above news. As for Hallmark showing Christmas Movies too early that we miss the meaning of Christmas I do feel that I love seeing Christmas movies all year long. After all the true meaning of Christmas should be celebrated all year long. Peace, Love and Grace

    1. I can't get enough of Christmas all year round, too! I guess it's because I feel it in my heart and I just have to express it!!! God's Blessings to You!!!

  11. Looks like a great line-up. Really looking forward to Mistletoe Promise. I enjoyed the book tremendously, although it was heartbreaking at times.. Hope they stay true to it.

    1. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts, Shane.

      It used to always be - when we watched a Hallmark movie, (mostly older Hallmark Hall of Fames) we would need a box of tissues. Hope there is happiness found through heartbreak in "Mistletoe Promise".

      I read the plot description for the book on Amazon and I thought the storyline sounded deep. I would love to hear your thoughts on the movie and any book to movie comparisons, etc... after it airs this Christmas! Thank you for commenting! I'll be sure to have my Kleenex box handy!

  12. Has anyone heard if there are any of the Christmas movies of the last 4 or 5 years are going to be released on dvd? RG

    1. Yes, many Christmas DVDs are coming... "A Christmas Melody", "The Bridge", "Charming Christmas", "The Christmas Secret, etc...

      I have some listed here, and Christmas movies on DVD, from 2015, listed here.

      Hope that is helpful to you! :)

    2. Joyce in CarolinaFriday, August 05, 2016

      Angel of Christmas too on Oct.4th at

  13. We need the Hallmark Channel in Canada!!

    1. Oh, I am so sorry you don't have the Hallmark Channel in Canada. I cannot imagine why it hasn't expanded there - with it's popularity. I hear there is a channel in Canada that plays the Hallmark movies after we see them here. Is that right? I sure hope you are able to see all the movies, and series, eventually.

      If it makes you feel any better, we used to have the Television Series 'Heartland' in the US, but it is no longer shown here. They left us off with Ty and Amy's wedding. Still hoping another network here will pick it up, even if it's Animal Planet! :)

  14. Susan - Des MoineFriday, August 05, 2016

    Can't wait! I think it's a smart move to start with Lacey's movie. Last summer, her movie was the one they used as the one new movie in their Christmas in July celebration and it did well in the ratings.

    In past years, when Hallmark has started airing their new movies in early November, the first few movies almost felt like throwaways sometimes. It could be because it's so early and many people are not going to watch a Christmas movie a week after Halloween. But by starting their season with a big name like Lacey Chabert, and then following it one week later with Lori Loughlin, and then one week after that you have Danica McKellar, it seems obvious that Hallmark is trying to grab viewers early and keep them watching all season long and not just having people watch between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    1. Well said, Susan! I love it! That's why I think it's bold for Hallmark to star with Lacey, because they know Hallmark viewers are going to tune in - because they love Lacey, and Lori, and Danica, etc...

      Some may say again it's too early in October, but that's okay, we'll be watching!!!

      It's going to be a great Countdown to Christmas!!!

    2. Sherry In CaliforniaSaturday, August 06, 2016

      I don't know that we know for sure that the Countdown is starting with Lacey's movie. All we know is that right now it is scheduled in early November. We don't know what it is going to premiere on the actual first weekend of the Countdown to Christmas, like on 10/29 or 10/30.

      I doubt that Hallmark is going to start the event on one weekend and not show the first new movie until a full week later. They ALWAYS show a new movie on the first weekend of the Countdown. I'm pretty sure they will show a new movie on 10/29 or 10/30 -- so, they may move Lacey to that spot or they may put something else there.

    3. Sherry In CaliforniaSaturday, August 06, 2016

      I think we might be assuming that the press release is telling us that Lacey's movie is starting off the Countdown. I can see how people would infer that from the release, but what it is actually telling us is simply what is "currently scheduled."

      "Currently scheduled" only means that those dates and movies have been lined up so far. But there is lots more to the schedule that has not yet been revealed. There are 9 other movies beyond what is currently scheduled, as well as the "official" premiere of "A Perfect Christmas," to fit into the schedule too.

      It could very well be that some of the other 9 movies have been filmed -- they may be movies that we knew of, but were not sure of titles or designated networks -- and have to be worked into the schedule.

      Or it could be that Hallmark is waiting until certain movies are filmed to see if there is one in the bunch that will start off the Countdown on 10/29 or 10/30. For example, Candace Cameron Bure -- whose "Christmas Under Wraps" remains one of the highest-rated movies to ever air on the Hallmark Channel -- is doing a movie. Hallmark may want to start off the Countdown with her movie this time around.

      In other words, there are a lot of moving parts involved, and Hallmark is constantly changing things (titles, air dates, which channel the movie is going to, even cast members). Even if their current plan is to air Lacey's movie on that first weekend in November, they could change it and move it to another time frame, before or after that date. It's really too early to count on any kind of schedule.

      As for strategically putting movies with certain actors in them on certain days, to draw in viewers and keep them tuned in -- they absolutely do that. The Hallmark executives watch the movies, and if there is a gem that jumps out at them, they strategically place it on the schedule to make the biggest impact. And they take the new movies made by their existing popular stars and put those in prime spots.

      Last year there was a reason why Candace's movie and Katrina Law's movie were placed inside of Thanksgiving Week, and it's likely because they had each been in popular movies for the network in the past and were expected to bring in a lot of viewers. In the case of Danica's movie, I think Hallmark viewed it and realized it was a gem, so they put it right there on the Friday after Thanksgiving. That was only her second movie for Hallmark, but she got a prime spot in Thanksgiving Week, when more people were home to see the movie, because it was such a good movie.

  15. I agree, Susan. I think that starting with the Lacey Chabert movie as the first new movie of the Christmas season is an excellent choice! I can't wait to see it!

  16. Sherry In CaliforniaTuesday, August 09, 2016

    I don't think that anyone thinks it would be a bad choice to start of a Countdown with Lacey's movie. We all love Lacey and Paul Greene. How could that be a bad idea?

    What I am wondering is where does it say -- in anything -- that Lacey's movie is starting off the Countdown, or that it is the first new movie of the season? All it says is that her movie is scheduled for early November -- but the actual Countdown to Christmas starts a full week before her movie is set to air. That schedule could change, of course, but I think that we might be assuming something that none of the press releases I have read are actually telling us.

    There could -- and should -- be a movie on the first weekend of the Countdown, if history repeats. Lacey's movie is currently not scheduled for the first weekend, and there are a LOT of other movies that have to be scheduled in somewhere. I would expect a new movie on 10/29 or 10/30 (last year, the first new movie was on a Sunday).

  17. Susan - Des MoineTuesday, August 09, 2016

    It's just semantics really. First week, second week, first movie, second movie, it's not that big of a difference to me. The press release said it would air on November 5th which is only 7 days into the 64-day Hallmark Christmas season. That's early enough for me! Can't wait!

    1. Sherry In CaliforniaWednesday, August 10, 2016

      I think that a full week is a big difference when we're talking about what is actually starting (the first new movie) the Countdown, in a schedule with new movies each weekend, and that it's more than just semantics -- but I'm big on details and specifics.

      I just don't want anyone to get the wrong idea and assume that one scenario is happening, when it could actually end up being a different scenario. There is lots of time for the schedule to change, or for things to be added in, taken out, moved around, etc. (And one thing that Hallmark does a lot is change things after they have been posted, announced, publicized, and so on.) Maybe Lacey's movie will even move to 10/29 or 10/30!

      I'm watching all of the movies, whenever they air, and in whichever order they air, but I am curious to see what ends up where on the line-up (specifically the full, final Thanksgiving Week schedule -- right now, only 3 movies are assigned to specific days of Thanksgiving Week, and I am curious about the other 2)!

      We shall see what happens!

  18. For me, it doesn't matter when they air them because I plan to watch them all!

    1. Sherry In CaliforniaWednesday, August 10, 2016

      I'm watching all of them too, of course -- but the actual first new movie of the Countdown *may not* be the movie on 11/5. It may be a movie on 10/29 or 10/30, which would follow the tradition of the Countdown to Christmas.

    2. I really don't care which Christmas they start off with just keep them coming!!!!!

    3. Sherry In CaliforniaSaturday, August 13, 2016

      I don't care either -- I watch them all, no matter who is in them or when they air.

      But I'm keeping my eyes on 10/29 or 10/30, as I think the actual first new movie to kick off the Countdown (whichever one it ends up being) will probably end up on one of those dates.

  19. Less than two months away from the start of Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas! Can't wait until Friday the 28th of October when it kicks off! Christmas before Halloween! Who would've thought?

  20. Just checked Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas website and they have more movies/dates listed.


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