CROWN MEDIA PRESS TOUR WINTER 2021! How Hallmark Channel Produced Its Holiday Films During A Pandemic (Here’s Their Secret!) Plus: More Diversity In 2021!By Delaina Dixon | February 11, 2021 | Entertainment
When it comes Christmas, Crown Media, which helms the Hallmark Channel, is at the top of the game. Even during a pandemic, the network premiered 40 new movies for its “Countdown To Christmas,” including The Christmas House, which features the first gay couple in a Hallmark holiday film. How did the network pull it off?
According to Michelle Vicary, EVP of Programming and Network Publicity, the movies, which were shot in places like Connecticut, North Carolina and Vancouver, followed the “strictest protocol. There were minimal interruptions … our teams and stars quarantined for 14 days to produce those 40 films for 2020 and the 26 we’ve started for 2021.”
Wonya Lucas took over Crown Media in July 2020, and as president and CEO, she’s dedicated to bringing even more diversity to the Hallmark Channel from the stories and talent to the music.
“More variety, more humor and you’ll more get emotional depth and breadth,” Lucas shared. Sounds like a new thing? Nope, it’s always been a part of the Hallmark brand, she stressed.
“Hallmark was in the Christmas business before there was a network, for 100 years,” she exclaimed. “We lean into Christmas and we own Christmas. It’s not a programming stunt, it’s who we are. It’s our brand.”
With Lucas in charge, the network will continue with more diversity, which includes multigenerational stories, biracial and LGBTQ characters, interracial storylines and casting that reflects the American landscape. “We are seeking to make sure everyone can see themselves in our movies,” Lucas concluded.
We can’t wait.
photo credit: Crown Media