The fall TV schedule may be lacking a bit of new content, but the holiday season will be filled with new TV movies. Hallmark Channel, Lifetime, Great American Family and more were able to fully complete their slate of holiday movies before the WGA and SAG strikes, Variety confirms.
The Writers Guild of America strike began on May 2, impacting both TV and film productions, while SAG-AFTRA has been on strike since July 14. However, some of the holiday films set for the 2023 season began production in January.
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“Christmas is a year-round business at Hallmark, so we were able to mitigate early in the year understanding that the strikes were unfortunately imminent,” says Lisa Hamilton Daly, EVP of programming at Hallmark Media. “We’re grateful to meet all our goals for a full, all-new holiday slate and to bring our viewers the content they love most to celebrate the season.”
Not all networks have not yet rolled out full lineups, but Hallmark has announced a few movies: “A Merry Scottish Christmas,” uniting “Party of Five” stars Lacey Chabert and Scott Wolf; “A Biltmore Christmas,” led by Bethany Joy Lenz and Kristoffer Polaha, filmed entirely on the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina; and “Haul Out the Holly: Lit Up,” the sequel to 2022’s movie, starring Lacey Chabert and Wes Brown. Lineups are usually announced between mid-September and mid-October.
UpTV, meanwhile, announced that this year they will have eight new movies and one music special, kicking off on Nov. 3.
In 2022, there were nearly 150 new original holiday TV movies airing across Hallmark, Lifetime, Great American Family, UpTV, BET+, Discovery+, CBS, Netflix, OWN, Hulu and ION, among others. Hallmark Channel led the group with 40 films; beginning in October, they began airing festive movies on the channel 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Lifetime aired 26 new movies while Great American Family rolled out 18 new movies while UpTV had 17.
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