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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Announcement: Hallmark Channel's 2016 'Countdown to Christmas'

Paul Greene and Danica McKellar make announcement on
Hallmark Channel's 'Countdown to Christmas'
on Home & Family - Tuesday, September 13, 2016!

In introduction - Paul Greene & Danica McKellar reveal:

*19 All New Original Christmas Movies will premiere for the Hallmark Channel 2016 Season

*Countdown to Christmas begins before Halloween, on October 28, 2016

*Home & Family host Mark Steines will portray himself in 'Rose Parade New Year'

*Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas commercial is shown - 30 seconds featuring 'Christmas Cookies,' 'December Bride,' 'A Wish for Christmas,' 'A Perfect Christmas,' 'The Mistletoe Promise,' and more!!!

Interview Details

*Danica McKellar shares plot details on her Hallmark movie 'My Christmas Dream.' She portrays a store manager hoping to get a promotion in order to be transferred to the Paris store. Her co-stars are Deidre Hall and David Haydn-Jones.

*Poster and Pictures are shown of 'My Christmas Dream'

*Paul Greene shares plot details on his Hallmark movie 'A Wish for Christmas'. His character is a bit of a Grinch who works in an ad agency. His co-star in the movie is Lacey Chabert, who was expecting as they were filming.

*Poster is shown of 'A Wish for Christmas'

*Video clip is shown of Paul Greene & Lacey Chabert decorating Christmas cookies in 'A Wish for Christmas'

So, that's it! I thought we might get a few more hints, but that is all they revealed today!

After sharing their movies, no other Christmas movie was mentioned. Paul Greene makes his cranberry sauce family recipe.

For more details on the 19 Christmas Movies coming this year to the Hallmark Channel, see the list here!

Or, see the Hallmark Channel's official Countdown to Christmas press release, here!

Stay tuned to 'It's a Wonderful Movie' - for more Christmas News!!!

See the interview video - here!



  1. So, Hallmark keeps touting 19 movies, but with their July original, a Perfect Christmas, that makes 20 new Christmas movies for 2016 on Hallmark Channel. Add in another 8 (7 new + The Bridge Part 2 from March) on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries and that's 28 total from Hallmark alone in 2016. A new record?

    1. Yes, counting 'The Bridge' and 'A Perfect Christmas', 28 is definitely the most Christmas movies ever done by Hallmark in one year!

  2. Oops, hit "return" too soon (feel free to combine, as I meant them as one comment) ... I wonder when we will start to see announcements from UP, Ion and Lifetime and if their films, plus the already announced new FreeForm movie with Bailie Madison and at least one new holiday original from INSP will bring the total above last year's 45 debuts?

    On the one hand, that's all really exciting, since I love made-for-TV Christmas films, but on the other, 2015 was one of the weakest-ever holiday movie seasons, in my opinion, lacking a real standout classic I want to watch again and again. Quantity is fine, but I gotta say I'd prefer 20 really good Christmas movies/year, to 50 mediocre to bad ones. We shall see what 2016 brings. I admit that, even with these reservations, I'm still excited.

    1. I've also been wondering about more Christmas Movies from UP, ION, Lifetime, and INSP... and maybe even Disney and local networks, who saw how well "Coat of Many Colors" did last year for NBC.

      I have a few Christmas movies listed for UP, Lifetime, and ION on my Christmas Movie List page, but I'm expecting we will be learning about a lot more in coming weeks!!!

      (btw, sorry I couldn't combine your comment and keep your username intact with the link.)

    2. True, NBC has already announced a sequel to Coat of Many Colors, "Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love" so that's another one. We might actually reach 60 this year.

    3. Yes, I'm super excited about the sequel 'Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love'. I'm hoping it will spark more interest in faith and family films.

      You are right, the number of Christmas movies could be very high this year!

      I do have it listed, as well as the other networks, here!

      I'm sure there will be many more to add!!!

    4. Sherry In CaliforniaTuesday, September 13, 2016

      Oh, it looks like there's more to add. Net, hopefully you saw the email that I sent you today, with the link to the article that Lisa found. My head is spinning, and I am constantly dumfounded by how inconsistent the Hallmark info is across all platforms, press releases, articles, websites, etc. What's in the article I sent you doesn't even totally jibe with what's on the Hallmark website, OR what was announced on H&F.

      I have a headache from all of this.

    5. Oh my goodness! Just saw the link on Twitter, Sherry. There are definitely some changes in the works, as to be expected!

      Additional updates here will be forthcoming.

      Hopefully, Hallmark will release some more information soon.

    6. Sherry In CaliforniaTuesday, September 13, 2016

      Net -- I couldn't edit my above post to say that I was dumbfounded instead of dumfounded (I always leave typos or omit letters when trying to rush through typing to get through to something else! Lol)...

      But, were you thinking what I was thinking as I read that article? Where is such and such title? Where is that title? What happened to THAT movie and to THIS movie? Which movie is Candace doing? Where did these other titles come from? Sleigh Bell Sweethearts is still not in the mix?

      And, most importantly, in light of all of the suddenly missing and newly added in titles, why is it that it looks like there are 15 new Countdown to Christmas movies in that article I sent you, and 19 new movies on Hallmark's site? In total, between the 2 channels, are there supposed to be 22 movies or 26 movies?

      Calgon, take me away (that's a dated reference for all of you young whippersnappers out there!).

    7. Absolutely! I was wondering many of the same questions you were asking yourself... Where is this? Where is that?

      Here we thought this weeks H&F Christmas movie announcements would fill in a lot of blanks, and now I think we have even more questions!

      I plan to update when we receive further news from Hallmark, either via press release, or on the web-site.

    8. Just to note, last year (I checked) Lifetime, ION and Up didn't officially announce their Christmas movie slate and schedule until late October or early November, so it will be a while before we have a full, definitive schedule.

      And, again, I expect more changes from Hallmark, a network that seems extremely loosey goosey with scheduling and renaming of their already announced content.

      The 25 Days of Christmas schedule, now on FreeForm, which should this year include at least their one already announced original movie, Different Folks, also usually comes out around Halloween ... After Hallmark has already started airing their Christmas fare.

      And I wouldn't expect to see anything from the broadcast networks about specific scheduling and/or premieres until late October, at the very earliest, once all their fall series premieres have debuted.

  3. Wait a minute. That's it? I shouted at my TV. NO response.

    I watched it, too, and couldn't believe that was it. The big reveal? 19 new Christmas movies and they only really covered two of them. No news here.

    1. Yeah, for those of us who regularly follow all of this, it was pretty lackluster.

      However, it was nice to see both movie posters for 'My Christmas Dream' and 'A Wish for Christmas', plus, the video clip of Paul Greene & Lacey Chabert in 'A Wish for Christmas.'

      Should be interesting to see what is revealed tomorrow, though I don't recall anyone promoting it or mentioning anything about it on today's show.

    2. where can we see the posters? I missed it this morning.

    3. You can now watch the interview, here!

      Hallmark has it up on their site.

  4. Thanks for sharing the highlights, Net, for those of us who couldn't watch it this morning. I'm looking forward to seeing it now when I get home, especially the clip of Paul and Lacey in "A Wish for Christmas".

    1. You're welcome, Lauren. My pleasure! Hope you enjoy watching it later!

  5. Sherry in CaliforniaTuesday, September 13, 2016

    I was pretty sure we would not find out anything much beyond what we already know. I thought we might get a couple of questions answered here or there, but not a lot.

    They (on Home & Family) were targeting the people who are basically not in "in the know" about the movies -- which is the majority of the audience -- and not those of us who have already sleuthed and found out a bunch of info and details months in advance.

    For the average viewer who doesn't check the Hallmark website to see the Countdown to Christmas Sneak Preview section that has already been there for a while, let alone dig up info on movies, today's information was probably very exciting and surprising!

    1. Surprisingly enough, with more Christmas movies to talk about, they actually revealed even less details than last year. I thought there might be a hint to a 'Perfect Match' sequel. Nope. I thought they might reveal some major star names that would be appearing this year in their Christmas movies, like Christopher Lloyd, William Shatner, and Jamie Lynn Sigler last year, but nothing like that was announced. Hope we learn more tomorrow, but as I wrote above, I don't recall anyone mentioning it, at all. So, we'll see.

    2. Sherry In CaliforniaTuesday, September 13, 2016

      I wasn't expecting a "Perfect Match" sequel. That didn't even cross my mind, though it is a very interesting concept, indeed!

      I thought that, at most, we might get the names of a couple of actors in the Hall of Fame movie, and the title of Candace's movie. Otherwise, I was not expecting much at all.

      And again, we have a different perspective on this news (or non-news, as the case may be! Lol) because we already know a LOT. We were expecting to hear tidbits that we don't personally know -- we want them to surprise US! If we were an average viewer with no knowledge of what's coming up this holiday season, then today's info was probably a bounty o' news!

      At this time last year, I knew less of what was coming up for the holidays than what I know now. So, whatever they said on Home & Family in September 2015 seemed like 'more' info than what it was today. But today, because I know more about what's coming up, what they announced on H&F seemed like much less info.

      The Hall of Fame movie was removed from the Sneak Previews section the last time I checked it, even though they are still claiming there are 19 new movies. So I do wonder if more will be said about the Hall of Fame movie on tomorrow's H&F show.

      Remember, Michelle Vicary said a few months ago that there would be 26 movies in total, between the 2 channels, this holiday season (I don't think she was counting The Bridge, Part 2). If that statement was accurate, then there should be 6 or 7 movies on the HMM line-up (it depends on whether or not she was counting the July movie in the "26" total). We know of 4 of them for sure, and then "Each Precious Heartbeat" is probably #5, I would guess, unless something else already planned for the main channel jumps ship to HMM and Each Precious Heartbeat moves to the main channel instead.

      We also know a LOT about UP's new movies (pretty much almost the entire line-up of new movies when I count them all out), and some from Lifetime, ION, Disney/Freeform, etc. Most people don't know all of the movies coming to UPtv, but I can think of 5 of them right off the top of my head.

      I think it's easy to get forget how much we actually know -- and we are fortunate to be able to uncover such wonderful nuggets of info in advance of official announcements -- and we end up thinking that we are somehow not learning enough info! We've been spoiled, Net! Lol.

      In other words... I'm taking a glass half full approach. :-) :-)

      Also, within the last couple of days Ioana A. and I discovered that Aaron O'Connell is in the Meredith Hagner-Megan Park movie, and Ioana also noticed that Gregory Harrison is in it too!

    3. Yes, we definitely do know more about the upcoming Christmas movies than we did last year! That's true. But even still, they revealed even less in this years "Countdown to Christmas" announcement.

      That's fine. It was just fun to see them talk about Christmas and officially kick it off!!!

      As for 'Perfect Match', Paul Greene mentioned on Instagram they would be talking about it, that's why I wondered if there might be news. Guess not.

      Anyway, Christmas is right around the corner and all will be revealed soon enough!!!

  6. Freeform 13 Nights of Halloween Schedule is Coming Soon.
    Toy Story of Terror, Corpse Bride, Hocus Pocus, The Addams Family, Addams Family Values, Sleepy Hollow, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Monsters University, Frankenweenie, ParaNorman, Dark Shadows, Monster House, Practical Magic and More...

  7. UP actually already did sneak peeks for two of the movies in their line up during July

    1. They sure did! I saw that, as well. UP previewed 'The Rooftop Christmas Tree' and 'Merry Christmas, Baby by showing some on-the-set footage. I loved getting that sneak-peek!

  8. From this EW story (see: http://www.ew.com/article/2016/09/13/holiday-christmas-movies-hallmark-channel?xid=entertainment-weekly_socialflow_twitter) some of the movies have already changed names, or they have bad info. (With Hallmark, who knows.)

    Expect more to mutate and assume most all will eventually have the word "Christmas" in the title, because that makes it more likely for searchers to find/watch it and know it's a holiday flick. But "A Christmas Bucket List" is a much better title than "Christmas List" ... Not only because there was already a made-for-TV movie with that title.

    Also not seeing the Hall of Fame movie originally slated for Nov. 28 -- Christmas Angel in Training -- anywhere, and now they're listing another film for Nov. 28. Not giving up hope just yet, but definitely disappointed. Maybe it will move to a network? (Fingers crossed.)

    1. I'm still piecing together all this new info, too, SKP. I'm also not sure where the HHOF movie went, plus there are other missing movies, too, from the original press release.

      I thought the same thing about "A Christmas Bucket List". That title is much better than "Christmas List" because the original working title gave it distinction.

      Hoping to get more confirmation news on all of this from Hallmark soon.

      Thank you for commenting!

    2. According to Alicia Witt's social media posts, Christmas Bucket List is filming now, and they're still calling it that, at least on set. I know the actors don't always know, but
      Hallmark is retweeting her posts with the #ChristmasBucketList hashtag.

      I really do want to know what's going on with the Hall of Fame movie. Would be weird to have them drop it after announcing it at TCA to critics in July.

    3. Sherry In CaliforniaWednesday, September 14, 2016

      I try to go over most of these details with you, Net, behind the scenes -- because I tend to notice that posting a lot of these details publicly ends up adding to confusion, with people seeing titles and dates and assuming those are set in stone. There are just too many changes with Hallmark -- dates, titles, movies on the schedule moving from one channel to another or one year to another, movies disappearing from the line-up entirely, etc. Too many moving parts. (Hence, the reason I discussed all of the findings in the EW article with you via email yesterday rather than getting into them too much here.)

      But I wanted to clarify - November 28th was never the actual intended date for the Hall of Fame movie. That was obviously one of Hallmark's typos or mistakes (just as they occasionally have the wrong day of the week paired up with a date on their website, i.e., something like Thursday, September 14th instead of Wednesday, September 14th.

      November 27th was supposed to be the actual premiere date for the Hall of Fame movie, because it was supposed to close out Thanksgiving Week.

      "Nutcracker" was also originally supposed to be one of the movies closing out Thanksgiving Week, so presumably it was intended to air on November 26th at first -- or at least on some day during Thanksgiving Week -- but has now been rescheduled for another date.

      There are 3 spots open in the Thanksgiving Week schedule -- and since that week is very important to the network, as it drew in big ratings last year, they want to be very smart in their programming for those dates. They want to make sure to put very specific movies into those 5 consecutive nights from 11/23-11/27. This means that they might either put some of their best movies of the season into that week, or movies with their fan-favorite stars -- or both.

      The Hall of Fame movie is noteworthy, I think, because it usually has a bigger budget and probably an actor or two who is more well-known (like William Shatner and Christopher Lloyd last year). Last year Hallmark put the HoF movie on a random weekend not connected to Thanksgiving Week. I don't think they will do that again. I think they will keep it on 11/27, where it was originally supposed to go, because they will have more viewers in that single week than probably during any other single week of the Countdown.

      Likewise, I would bet that they are also carefully choosing the movies to fill the other 2 open spots during Thanksgiving Week -- one of which will surely go to Candace Cameron Bure, as she is hosting the event.

      Anyway, I expect that the Hall of Fame movie will have a separate announcement, and it will likely air on 11/27 or maybe even on Thanksgiving -- sometime during Thanksgiving Week, in other words, when more people will be home to view it.

      There is also another open slot -- December 3rd, I think it is. I think that one is just a matter of waiting to see what can get done filming in time to fit into that spot. A lot of things have not been filmed (as you know, Net) so anything could go wrong or delay the productions.

    4. just checked the website today and Christmas Angel in Training (Hall of Fame) is shown to premiere on Sat. 11/26.

    5. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries has link to sneak peek of their 7 movies with premiere dates. Wonder why they only gave details on 3 of the 7 movies on Home & Family. http://www.hallmarkmoviesandmysteries.com/the-most-wonderful-movies-of-christmas/holiday-movies-sneak-peek

    6. Thank you, Betsy. I saw them, too, and just had the time to add them this late afternoon!

      You can see both of my new postings, here:

      Hallmark Channel's 'Countdown to Christmas' 2016!


      Hallmark Movies & Mysteries 'Most Wonderful Movies of Christmas' 2016!

      Blessings to you! Net

    7. It would make sense that Christmas Angel in Training was premiering on the Saturday of Thanksgiving week; a popular family movie time, and when most people really begin the Christmas season, but I still don't see it anywhere on the site. Betsy, where are you finding it? The 11/28 date came from multiple reports out of TCA, Television Critics Association, summer press tour in July during Hallmark's presentation.

      And, yes, I agree with Sherry that I expect whatever Candace Cameron Bure is in, as well as this year's Prince/Princess film, to be part of the Thanksgiving week hoopla. Both usually represent Hallmark's highest-rated holiday fare.

    8. I don't know now where I found it. Thought for certain it was on Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas 2016 sneak preview but now can't find it. Fingers crossed it will be on the 28th as nothing scheduled for that day.

  9. EW had a nice release today with the movies and more details about cast news and stuff, I'm not even through reading the entire thing yet because I sort of passed out when I saw Sascha Radetsky was in the ballet themed movie (with Amy Acker who I also adore).

    1. I saw that, too, Shae! There's some additions to the Hallmark Christmas schedule and a few movies have disappeared. Still taking it all in! Looks like we will have lots of awesome Hallmark Christmas movies ahead!!!

  10. Candace Cameron Bure just announced that she will be gone from the View for two weeks to film her Christmas movie.

    1. Thank you so much for the info, Lindsay! That is fun news! I'm sure we will all be on the look out to see which one it will be! :D)

      Thanks so much for sharing!!!

    2. could it be runaway sleigh

    3. It's not Runaway Sleigh.

  11. She also posted on Twitter that filming starts tomorrow (Saturday), so I'm guessing we might see more social media updates in the coming days/weeks ... https://twitter.com/candacecbure/status/779516094922883072

    1. Well, that didn't take long! Candace posted this Instagram pic this morning with the caption, "we are head back to Christmas 1945"


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