Hallmark’s ‘Countdown to Christmas’ Movie Lineup Is Finally Out, And Some People Aren’t Happy About It

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Few things say “Christmas is coming” like Hallmark announcing its staggering list of holiday content.

Like clockwork, they’ve announced this year’s offerings: 40 brand-new movies, three featured every weekend starting Oct. 21.

In a video promo released in July, Hallmark stated that this year’s lineup is “sweater than ever.”

“‘Tis the season for festive fun!” the Countdown to Christmas Facebook page shared on Thursday.

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“Countdown to Christmas on Hallmark Channel and Miracles of Christmas on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries begin Oct 21 with 40 all new original movies! Download our handy programming guide and join in the holiday cheer.”

It wasn’t too long ago that Hallmark was heralded by all for its family-friendly, cozy, inoffensive content — but as the years have passed, some of their stalwart viewership has started to grow concerned.

Many of its more religious fans who enjoyed cozying up to new characters in comfortingly familiar scenarios have drawn a line when it comes to the couples Hallmark has chosen to focus on.

Three years ago, after some commented that no Hallmark movies had yet given a LGBTQ couple the starring role, executive vice president of programming for Crown Media Family Networks, Michelle Vicary, said that would be changing in the future.

“We are continuing to expand our diversity,” Vicary told TheWrap at the time. “We are looking at pitches for LGBTQ movies … and we are looking to expand and represent the United States as a whole.”

Petitions were circulated. Viewers threatened to take their business elsewhere. It seemed that a large fanbase was poised to jump ship, and this year, Hallmark announced its first-ever gay couple as the stars of one of the holiday’s pictures.

“Sam is a workaholic bachelor who babysits his niece and nephew before the holidays when his sister and her husband have to go out of town,” Hallmark’s blurb on the flick read.

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“Completely out of his element, he recruits help from their handsome neighbor Jason and finds himself in an unexpected romance.”

As a result, some have refused to watch Hallmark movies anymore and have instead migrated to other providers, including Great American Family (formerly known as Great American Country).

Great American Family offers a startlingly similar array of lighthearted rom-com and Christmas films, and even convinced the “queen of Christmas” herself, actress Candace Cameron Bure, to join them.

In September, Bure told Variety that she made the switch to pursue the more “trusted,” “wholesome” and “family-friendly” films being made for Great American Family.

While they’re a bit of the new kid on the block and aren’t as widely available as their competition, they’re promising viewers an alternative that will “celebrate faith, family and country,” according to their Facebook page.

How about you — will you be watching Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas this year, or have you taken your business elsewhere?

Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.

As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.

Location

Austin, Texas

Languages Spoken

English und ein bißchen Deutsch

Topics of Expertise

Faith, Animals, Cooking



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