Feel-good films for all! After decades of being the ruler of holiday movies, Hallmark Channel found itself competing for Christmas viewership at the hands of GAC Media.
When former CEO of Crown Media Family Networks (Hallmark Channel’s parent company) Bill Abbott acquired GAC, originally Great American Country, in June 2021, the landscape of cheerful seasonal films changed.
In fact, Hallmark has now found itself battling to see which of its stars will push the brand forward and which ones will jump ship for GAC Media — which has two channels, GAC Family and GAC Living.
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One month after GAC Media launched its two channels, the first hit to the Hallmark roster came in the form of Danica McKellar signing a multi-picture deal with the competition.
“Danica is a world-class talent who is among TV’s most beloved and enduring stars,” Abbott said in an October 2021 press release. “Her combination of creativity and passion is second to none, and I am thrilled to have her join GAC’s close-knit family.”
While some other Hallmark stars joined McKellar in GAC Media’s holiday lineup during the fall and winter of 2021, it wasn’t until early 2022 that Crown Media began making moves of its own.
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Hallmark’s parent company announced in February 2022 that it cemented a deal with Lacey Chabert, who is the star of one of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries franchises, signaling that they weren’t backing down from GAC’s fight over talent.
“Lacey’s warmth, talent, relatability, and creative sensibilities have endeared her to millions of Hallmark viewers for more than ten years, making her one of our most in-demand stars,” EVP of programming at Crown Media Family Networks, Lisa Hamilton Daly, said in a press release. “In addition to shining on-screen, Lacey is a prolific behind-the-scenes creative partner, developing and executive producing many of our highest-quality, most-beloved projects of all time.”
Hallmark Channel fans, however, didn’t see it coming when two months later, Candace Cameron Bure announced that she was switching to GAC Media. The Aurora Teagarden Mysteries star had been in 18 of the mysteries movies for the network and was dubbed the “Queen of Christmas” for her holiday work ahead of her departure.
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“I make them because I love them,” Cameron Bure exclusively told Us Weekly in November 2021 ahead of the release of her final holiday film for Hallmark. “And I know that the viewers that watch them really love them, and they mean something to them.”
Scroll down to see which of your favorite Hallmark Channel and GAC Media stars stand with their respective networks: