It may be the first day of fall, but for Hallmark Channel, that means it’s only one month away from their annual “Countdown to Christmas” and “Miracles of Christmas” events. Variety can exclusively reveal the 40 new movies coming this holiday season — 31 on Hallmark and 9 on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
Beginning Friday, Oct. 21, the networks will both be airing around-the-clock holiday movies; additionally, the Hallmark Movies Now streaming service kicks off “Movies & Mistletoe,” providing subscribers with more than 150 Christmas movies with new content available each week.
This year’s “Countdown to Christmas” and “Miracles of Christmas” lineups include many new faces in the Hallmark world, as well as some returning favorites. In fact, leading men Tyler Hynes, Andrew Walker and Paul Campbell will come together for the first time in “Three Wise Men and a Baby,” playing three brothers forced to work together to take care of a baby throughout the holidays. The face of Hallmark, Lacey Chabert, also returns for a record-breaking twelfth Christmas movie for the network, “Haul Out the Holly,” alongside Wes Brown.
Hallmark Media will celebrate the culture of Chinese Americans in two films, “A Big Fat Family Christmas” and “Christmas at the Golden Dragon.” Meanwhile, the Festival of Lights will be celebrated in “Hanukkah on Rye,” while “Holiday Heritage” is the network’s first-ever movie celebrating Kwanzaa.
For the first time, a Hallmark holiday movie features an LGBTQ couple as the focus in “The Holiday Sitter,” featuring Jonathan Bennett and George Krissa.
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries will air the first Christmas movie under the Mahogany banner, “The Holiday Stocking,” starring Nadine Ellis, Tamala Jones, BJ Britt, Karon Riley and Mykelti Williamson. The network will also feature the first film under DaySpring, “The Gift of Peace,” starring Nikki DeLoach and Brennan Elliott.
This year’s slate will also continue Hallmark’s tradition of working with top artists. “When I Think of Christmas” features the song of the same name co-written by Amy Grant, Matt Maher and Jason Ingram; Ledisi, star of “All Saints Christmas,” performs her original song “Home on Christmas” as well as “Be There for Christmas” in the movie; Singer-songwriter Tenille Townes stars in “Time for Him to Come Home for Christmas” and performs a cover version of executive producer Blake Shelton’s song “Time for Me to Come Home;” Lisa Loeb makes a cameo in “Hanukkah on Rye,” which features her hit song “Light”; and Lindsay Stirling appears in “A Fabled Holiday” and performs “Joy to the World” off her upcoming Christmas album.
The network is also extending the celebration beyond the movies on TV, teaming up with multiple new brands, including Bissinger’s, to create an over-all experience. Plus, the Republic of Tea Countdown to Christmas flavors are back this season. Their other products — perfect for a viewing party — include Hallmark Channel Wines’ holiday offerings Jingle, Joy, Holly and Jolly; a holiday themed Monopoly game; a new edition of their coffee table book, “Hallmark Channel Countdown to Christmas: Celebrate the Movie Magic” and all-new Hallmark Publishing holiday titles.
This year, they’ve partnered with Chex, which will debut “Countdown to Chexmas;” Hershey’s, which will bring its holiday baking contest and offer one lucky fan a walk-on movie role; and Conagra, which will launch the “Snack, Watch and Win” sweepstakes, where viewers have the chance to win a Home Entertainment Center.
The streaming service has also leveled up! When fans spend $5 on select M&M’s products, they will provide two free weeks of Hallmark Movies Now. In-person activations, including the world’s largest Christmas light maze and village, Enchant, and other opportunities will be available throughout the season.
HallmarkChannel.com will once again host multiple sweepstakes this year, including the “Countdown to Christmas Movie Game” with a grand prize of $20,000, the “Holiday Home Decoration Sweepstakes” and the fan-favorite game, “Matching Moments.” New experiences include “Joy to the World,” a holiday word puzzle game and “Gifts We Love to Give,” a guide of curated products from the editorial team for viewers and their loved ones.
The full lineup by month is listed below. Unless otherwise noted, all Hallmark Channel films will air on 8 pm ET, while the films on Movies & Mysteries will debut at 10 pm