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Creator / Hallmark Channel

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The Hallmark Channel is a basic cable network owned by Hallmark Cards (via its Crown Media subsidiary), well known for its original made-for-TV movies.

The network had its origins in the 1992 merger of two religious networks: VISN (Vision Interfaith Satellite Network), and Jerry Falwell's ACTS (American Christian Television Service). After being known as VISN/ACTS after the merger, it was renamed The Faith and Values Channel in 1993 and Odyssey in 1996. By that point the channel started airing more secular, family-friendly programming.

In 1998, The Jim Henson Company and Hallmark Entertainment took control of the network, and Odyssey was relaunched on April 4, 1999, with a lineup consisting of Muppet shows, Hallmark Hall of Fame productions, original TV movies and miniseries from Hallmark such as Gulliver's Travels (1996) and Merlin (1998), along with a still-sizable amount of religious programming. Low ratings led to Henson pulling out of the venture in 2001, and on August 5 of that year Odyssey was rebranded the Hallmark Channel. By 2010, the religious programming had vanished.

In 2009, Hallmark found its niche with its annual "Countdown to Christmas" lineup of holiday-themed programming, which starts in late October and ends after the holidays. This includes the channel's annual lineup of made-for-TV Christmas movies (of which they pump out a lot; 41 were produced for 2021), shared with its sister channels, Hallmark Family and Hallmark Mystery. A lot of these rehash the same basic plots (a romance between a big-city person and a small-town person set in a cozy New England-esque town seems to be popular), and you can expect Candace Cameron Bure and Lacey Chabert to star in at least one of them annually, but they get pretty good ratings and have inspired other cable—and now, streaming—networks to produce their own Hallmark-like Christmas movies. Hallmark also produces TV-movies for every other season (Winter, Summer, Fall Harvest), often similar in story and tone but without the Christmas elements.

See also A Hallmark Presentation, for works featuring the type of Lighter and Softer content stereotypically associated with Hallmark Channel productions.

Original Hallmark Channel productions (including Hallmark Family films):


Tropes found in many of Hallmark Channel's movies as a whole:

  • The Big Damn Kiss: Their movies typically end with the main couple getting one last chance to give each other a big kiss.
  • Third-Act Misunderstanding: Their movies' third acts will usually have some distraction separate the main couple, be it misunderstanding something the other person said, a coincidence that makes the other person look bad, or something else.