Halloween is still over a month away, but that’s not about to stop the Hallmark Channel from announcing its upcoming parade of holiday films that will take fans of seasonal appropriate romances all the way into the New Year. However, this year, Hallmark is branching out by diversifying its Christmas movies and dabbling in a few other holidays.
Starting October 21, the Hallmark Channel will roll out 40 new movies as the station becomes a 24/7 holiday marathon. A few of those titles will be major firsts for Hallmark as it expands beyond the traditional yuletide offerings by debuting its first LGBTQ movie, The Holiday Sitters. There’s also a Hanukah movie in the mix, which feels like it should have happened a lot already. Via Variety:
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.
Is it coincidental that Hallmark’s move to diversify its content happened right after Candace Cameron Bure left the network? Not at all. Bure followed former Hallmark CEO Bill Abbott out the door to help him launch the more conservative Great American Family network. Abbott notably left the company shortly after the network caved and restored an ad featuring a same-sex couple that was initially pulled. He and Bure plan to air more “traditional” Christmas films on Great American Family while the Hallmark Channel is clearly embracing that everyone celebrates the upcoming season differently.