Hallmark Channel alone is airing 22 original movies this holiday season.
NEW YORK — Have you heard the one about the girl who didn’t care about Christmas but found herself in a small town for the holidays surrounded by decorations, cookies and carolers, and found a new boyfriend and her Christmas spirit by Dec. 25? Hallmark Channel has, and they’re airing 22 original movies this year built around plots similar to that. The premise may vary, but the themes are the same and Hallmark is very OK with that.
“Yes, you can pretty much guarantee that when you meet our two leads in the first 10 minutes of a Hallmark movie, it’s guaranteed that they will end up together,” said Michelle Vicary, the executive vice president of programming and network publicity for Crown Media and Family Networks.
While regular network primetime programming tends to take a hiatus during the holiday season, it’s Hallmark Channel’s time to shine. Their holiday movies are so popular, they began airing Christmas movies on Oct. 26 and wrap up on Jan. 1.
“When viewers kept telling us by virtue of the ratings that they wanted more [Christmas], it was a natural to extend the time that we were programming for them,” said Vicary.
Hallmark sells shirts that say, “All I want to do is drink hot cocoa and watch Hallmark Channel.” This year there’s also an app called Countdown to Christmas to keep track of the programming on Hallmark Channel and its sister channel, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries (which offers more spiritual fare.) There’s an option to set alerts on your phone and add the movie start times to your calendar. On launch day, it had 140,000 downloads.
Toni Braxton (center) and Gloria Reuben (right) pictured in a scene from “Every Day is Christmas.”| Bettina Strauss/Lifetime via AP
This year, Hallmark Channel has films starring LeAnn Rimes, Kellie Pickler and Patti LaBelle, but the network also features recurring actresses, dubbed the “Christmas queens” internally by Hallmark, who front a new movie a season on the network: Candace Cameron Bure, Lacey Chabert, Danica McKellar and Lori Loughlin.
Bure reigns supreme. “For the last three years she has had the No.

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