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TWITTER: @HallmarkChannel, #CountdowntoChristmas


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                       
October 22, 2013

Contacts:   Pam Slay, 818.755.2480
pamslay@hallmarkchannel.com

HALLMARK CHANNEL DECKS THE HALLS THIS SEASON WITH THE MOST ANTICIPATED
HOLIDAY MOVIES AND SPECIALS OF THE YEAR!

‘COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS’
BRINGS THE BIGGEST AND MOST SPECTACULAR HOLIDAY PROGRAMMING
YULE WON’T WANT TO MISS! 

The #1 Most Treasured Holiday Destination In Television Brings More
Original Holiday World Premieres And More Award-Winning Social Media Executions
This Season Than Ever Before!

It’s finally the time of year you’ve been waiting for! Hallmark Channel treats its viewers this season to the magic of the holidays with the hugely popular and highly successful “Countdown to Christmas” beginning Saturday, November 2 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C). The industry’s leader in original movies and specials for the holiday season, Hallmark Channel’s “Countdown to Christmas” features 12 new movies of Christmas, a Walden Family Theater Original Movie and over 1200 hours of holiday programming including The 125th Tournament of Roses Parade. In addition, “Countdown to Christmas” will also feature Hallmark Channel Christmas Fan Favorites such as “Meet the Santas,” The Christmas Card,” “Debbie Macomber’s Mrs. Miracle,” “Debbie Macomber’s Call Me Mrs. Miracle,” “Debbie Macomber’s Trading Christmas” and “Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus,” that are sure to delight the entire family.

Also starting November 2, Hallmark Channel will engage viewers with its award-winning social media executions by showcasing “The Meaning of Christmas” campaign. These applications will offer fun, interactive and shareable experiences on multiple social platforms throughout the holiday season, including six customizable, sharable and personal cover photos of holiday-themed art, enabling fans to transform their Facebook cover photos into personal expressions of the season. Also, part of Hallmark Channel’s philanthropic initiative to give to those who need it most, the network is creating a unique, geo-targeted wish map app enabling users to share their personal “The Meaning of Christmas” traditions with friends and family across the country and will donate one dollar to the Salvation Army on behalf of the first 10,000 user submissions. Additional executions include shareable “If Life Was Like A Hallmark Channel Christmas Movie” meme posters and a “Countdown to Christmas” tab on the Hallmark Channel Facebook page that includes weekly programming schedules, links to Hallmark Channel holiday themed games and a video player showing exclusive sneak-peeks of upcoming Hallmark Channel Original Movie Premieres.

You’ll want to keep Hallmark Channel close by as a magical and inspiring touchstone for all your family’s yuletide festivities, adding a heartwarming touch of merriment to the season.


The Programming Slate For “Countdown to Christmas” 2013 Includes:


‘THE THANKSGIVING HOUSE’
Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere 
Saturday , November 2 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C)
Starring: Lindsay Wagner, Bruce Boxleitner, Justin Bruening, Emily Rose, Cerina Vincent and Adam Kaufman
“The Thanksgiving House,” a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere, Saturday, November 2 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C), stars Emily Rose (“Haven”) as Mary Ross, a lawyer who inherits a house in Plymouth, MA from her late aunt, only to discover from Everett (Justin Bruening) a local historian, that it could be located on the site of the first Thanksgiving!  Emily’s greedy boyfriend (Adam Kaufman) wants her to sell sell sell! But Mary is encouraged by a couple of unlikely helpers, Everett’s parents (Emmy® Award winner Lindsay Wagner and Bruce Boxleitner), to use the home as a catalyst in reaching out to the father who abandoned her as a young girl. The true spirit and meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday sits at the core of a very special film.


‘PETE'S CHRISTMAS'
Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere
“Walmart and P&G Present Walden Family Theater”
Friday, November 8 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C)
Starring: Zachary Gordon, Molly Parker, Bruce Dern, Bailee Madison, Rick Roberts, Wesley Morgan, Peter DaCunha
Having Christmas Day every day would seem to be a kid’s dream come true. But as we learn in “Pete’s Christmas,” a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere and Walden Family Theater presentation, Friday, November 8 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C), even Christmas can get old fast. Zachary Gordon (“Diary of a Wimpy Kid”) stars as Pete, a typically overshadowed middle child with inattentive parents (Molly Parker, Rick Roberts) and a grumpy grandpa (Oscar®, Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominee Bruce Dern). When Pete’s Christmas gets ruined, he’s happy for it to be over. But then he wakes up the next day and finds he’s reliving the day all over again. And again. And again. Initially panicked, Pete realizes he can use this repetitive gift for good with the assistance of a helpful neighbor named Kate (Bailee Madison). Maybe getting stuck in a time warp isn’t so tragic after all.


'SNOW BRIDE'
Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere
Saturday, November 9 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C)
Starring: Katrina Law, Jordan Belfi, Susie Abromeit, Patricia Richardson, Robert Curtis Brown, Bobby Campo
Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominee Patricia Richardson (“Home Improvement,” “The West Wing”) stars in, “Snow Bride,” a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere, Saturday, November 9 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C), along with Katrina Law (“Spartacus: War of the Damned”) as Greta, an L.A. tabloid reporter assigned to get the scoop on a senator’s son whom they hear is planning a Christmastime marriage proposal. If Greta gets it right, there’s a big promotion in it for her. But when she sets out for the political family’s snowy estate, a series of crazy mix-ups lands her in a wedding dress posing as a run-away-bride to handsome son Ben (Jordan Belfi). After spending time with the family, including Ben’s mom, (Richardson), Greta must decide between her career, the truth – and her attraction to Ben.


‘A VERY MERRY MIX-UP'
Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere
Sunday, November 10 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C)
Starring: Alicia Witt, Mark Wiebe, Scott Gibson, Susan Hogan, Richard Fitzpatrick, Lawrence Dane
Alicia Witt (“Friday Night Lights”) stars as a future bride who winds up meeting the right man by going to the wrong house in “A Very Merry Mix-Up,” a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere, Sunday, November 10 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C). Witt portrays an antique shop owner Alice Chapman, who flies ahead of her fiancé (Scott Gibson) to meet his family before his arrival at Christmastime. But after losing her luggage and breaking her cellphone, she’s lucky to meet her future brother-in-law Matt Mitchum (Mark Wiebe) at baggage claim. She heads home with him and loves the family, but it won’t be long before Alice finds she’s taken up with the wrong Mitchums. And after reconnecting with her fiancé, it’s his family that turns out to be all wrong. It’s instantly clear to Alice that Matt is her real true love, proving that sometimes mix-ups are necessary to open our eyes to the destiny that was there all along.


'THE CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT' 
Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere 
Saturday, November 16 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C)
Starring: Kellie Martin, Cameron Mathison, Jewel Staite, Brendan Meyer, Matthew Kevin Anderson
One of the most wonderful things about the holiday season is its undercurrents of hope and new life directions. “The Christmas Ornament,” a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere, Saturday, November 16 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C), stars the ever-charming Emmy® nominee Kellie Martin (“ER,” “Life Goes On”) as Kathy, a recent widow struggling to deal emotionally with the Christmas season. When Kathy meets handsome Christmas shop owner Tim (Emmy® nominee Cameron Mathison), the guy seems heaven-sent – particularly after he gives her a Christmas ornament that symbolizes hope – and helps Kathy open up to the joys of the season again.  Although Kathy wants to take a chance on both Tim and her baking passion, she still fears getting hurt and struggles to find the balance between preserving the memory of her husband and moving on with her own future. 


‘CATCH A CHRISTMAS STAR'
Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere
Sunday, November 17 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C)
Starring: Shannon Elizabeth, Steve Byers, Julia Lalonde, Kyle Breitkopf
Shannon Elizabeth (“American Pie,” “That ‘70s Show”) plays Nikki Cranston, a pop music superstar, who finds an opportunity to make things right with her high school sweetheart in, “Catch A Christmas Star,” a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere, Sunday, November 17 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C). Nikki, one of the biggest singers in the world, has everything she could ever want – except the right man to love. She isn’t thinking that her first love, Chris (Steve Byers) is the one. Chris, after all, is a widowed New Jersey high school basketball coach. But his 10-year-old daughter Sophie (Julia Lalonde) has other plans, setting out to reunite her dad with the wildly famous songstress. But the glaring spotlight, and Nikki’s wary business handlers, could put the clamps on it before it has a chance.


'WINDOW WONDERLAND'
Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere
Saturday, November 23 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C)
Starring: Chyler Leigh, Paul Campbell, Naomi Judd, Cameron Mathison, Terence Kelly, Matty Finochio
Love happens when you least expect it, it can even bloom between people with absolutely nothing in common, as we learn in “Window Wonderland,” a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere,  Saturday, November 23 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C). Starring Grammy® winner Naomi Judd (“Nearlyweds”), along with Chyler Leigh (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and Paul Campbell (“Play the Game”), the film tells the story of what happens when a driven Type A woman named Sloan (Leigh) and a loose and fun-loving guy named Jake (Campbell) vie for the same window dresser job at a big-time Manhattan department store. Their boss creates a competition to craft the best seasonal storefront displays, pitting them against each other and leaving Sloan’s boyfriend Kenneth (Cameron Mathison) feeling neglected. But helped along by a brassy bathroom attendant (Judd) who also happens to be Sloan’s mother, the romantic spark flickering between Sloan and Jake slowly grows. And fueled by a dash of Christmas magic, what these two are building starts to look like a future together.


‘FIR CRAZY'
Halllmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere
Sunday, November 24 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C)
Starring: Sarah Lancaster, Eric Johnson, Colin Mochrie
Sarah Lancaster (“Chuck”) stars as Elise MacReynolds, a high-powered marketing exec who finds herself suddenly unemployed with Christmas approaching in “Fir Crazy,” a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere,  Sunday, November 24 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C). Elise is also newly single and forced to operate her family’s tree lot, leaving her feeling pretty miserable. Things greatly improve when she sparks a romance with one of her customers, Darren (Erin Johnson). But when her landlord Gary (Colin Mochrie) suddenly decides that he needs the tree lot gone just before Christmas, a holiday miracle is needed to rescue Elise and fire up her Christmas spirit before it’s too late.


‘HOME & FAMILY HOLIDAY SPECIAL’
Hallmark Channel Original Series Primetime Special
Monday, November 25 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C)
Hosts: Mark Steines and Cristina Ferrare
“Home & Family” invites you into their beautifully decorated holiday home this Christmas! Mark Steines has illuminated the house with gorgeous lights and festive holiday decorations while Cristina Ferrare is busy in the kitchen baking delicious treats and sharing her favorite holiday specialties. One notorious recipe Cristina will be sharing is how to prepare her famous savory turkey, a dish that Oprah Winfrey loves. You won’t want to miss the extra special tinsel-covered holiday primetime premiere of “Home & Family,” Hallmark Channel’s daily two-hour lifestyle program where they will open up their home this holiday to a lineup of celebrity guests, chefs, designers and even audience members.


‘LET IT SNOW’
Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere 
Saturday, November 30 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C)
Starring: Candace Cameron Bure, Jesse Hutch, Alan Thicke, Gabrielle Rose, Dan Willmott
Can a driven Arizona executive summon the Christmas spirit after traveling to frosty Maine? “Let It Snow,” a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere, Saturday, November 30 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C), stars the beautiful and talented Candace Cameron Bure (“Puppy Love”) as Stephanie, an exec with a company owned by her distant father Ted (Emmy® nominee Alan Thicke). It’s after the firm acquires an old fashioned lodge in Maine that Stephanie’s life and attitude begin to change – complete with newfound yuletide affection and a budding romance.


‘THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT’ 
Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere 
Sunday, December 1 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C)
Starring: Nicollette Sheridan, Olympia Dukakis, Bart Johnson 
Golden Globe® nominee Nicollette Sheridan (“Desperate Housewives”) is trying to save her small town before Christmas in “The Christmas Spirit, ” a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere, Sunday, December 1, (8 p.m. ET/PT and 7C).  Charlotte Hart (Sheridan) is a journalist spending some holiday family time in her home town of Laurel Springs and crosses paths with a greedy land developer (Bart Johnson) who approaches the town with quite an offer.  But before confronting him, she’s in a car accident that lands her in a coma, but her spirit is very much awake.  It’s up to her to save the town she’s always known as home while she’s invisible.  Oscar® and Golden Globe® winner Olympia Dukakis lends spirited support in this heartwarming holiday tale.


‘SANTA SWITCH’
Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere 
Saturday, December 7 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C)
Starring: Sean Astin, Ethan Erickson, Anne Dudek, Annie Thurman and Griffin Cleveland
Even the real Santa Claus needs a break every so often. And in “Santa Switch,” a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere, Saturday, December 7 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C), we learn that this is the year Kris Kringle requires a helping hand. Ethan Erickson (“Fashion House”) stars as Dan, a divorcing dad facing unemployment at holiday time and can’t even land a mall Santa job. Then the real Kris (Donavan Scott) visits from the North Pole leaving Dan in charge and is guided by his elf assistant Eddie (Oscar® nominee Sean Astin). Now the fate of Christmas rests in Dan’s hands!


‘HATS OFF TO CHRISTMAS!’
Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere 
Saturday, December 14 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C)
Starring:  Haylie Duff, Antonio Cupo, Sean Michael Kyer
“Hats Off To Christmas!,” a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere, Saturday, December 14 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C), stars Haylie Duff (“7th Heaven”) as Mia, a young widowed mother managing the Christmas hat shop in her small town. When her boss asks her to train his hotshot New York City business consultant son Nick (Antonio Cupo) for an upper-management post she had wanted herself, Mia finds training him frustrating - until Nick takes an interest in Mia’s son Scotty (Sean Michael Kyer). However, Mia’s faith in Nick quickly diminishes and to protect her son from disappointment, Mia tries to keep Nick out of her and Scotty’s fragile life. As Nick decides if staying in the small town of Wilsonville is worth giving up the big-city perks he once had in New York, Mia starts to realize that Nick may be the Christmas miracle she has been waiting for.


‘FINDING CHRISTMAS'
Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere
Sunday, December 15 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C)
Starring: Tricia Helfer, JT Hodges, Mark Lutz, Cristina Rosato
“Battlestar Galactica” star Tricia Helfer centers, “Finding Christmas,” a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere, Sunday, December 15 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C), about the Christmas magic that greets four people unlucky in love. Ryan (Helfer), is a single mom who has pretty much given up on men after her divorce. It all changes when her brother Owen (Country music star J.T. Hodges) swaps his home in their small North Carolina town with Sean (Mark Lutz), a New York City ad exec. Sparks fly for Owen in his new digs with Sean’s assistant Mia (Cristina Rosato) and Ryan feels an instant spark with her new neighbor. But now the clock is ticking down on both romances as the temporary holiday home swap nears the end. If this is the real thing, it may be time for everyone to make a commitment to a more enduring love arrangement.


‘THE CHRISTMAS BLESSING’
Hallmark Channel Premiere 
Saturday, December 21 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C)
Starring: Neil Patrick Harris, Rebecca Gayheart, Angus T. Jones and Rob Lowe
Nathan Andrews (Neil Patrick Harris) has grown up and is now a medical resident. When the young doctor loses a patient, he begins to rethink his career and moves back home with his father. Just as Nathan is settling in, his world begins to crumble when the lives of the woman (Rebecca Gayheart) he loves and an innocent young boy (Angus T. Jones) are in crisis. Nathan finds himself questioning fate and the fragility of life, all the while hoping for a Christmas Miracle. 


‘THE TWELVE GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS’ 24-Hour Marathon
Hallmark Channel Original Movie Special Event
Wednesday, December 25 – Thursday, December 26 (6a.m. – 6a.m. ET/PT)
As a special Christmas Day gift, Hallmark Channel presents “The Twelve Gifts of Christmas,” this seasons 12 Original Holiday Movies, in a 24-hour marathon, presented with limited commercial interruption all running back-to-back on Wednesday, December 25th beginning at 6 a.m. and running until 6 a.m. the following morning, Thursday, December 26th. It’s just another reason why, when it comes to the “Heart of Christmas,” Hallmark Channel is the place to be.

Wednesday, December 25:

The Thanksgiving House       6am – 7:30am
Finding Christmas                   7:30am – 9am
Hats Off to Christmas!            9am – 10:30am
Santa Switch                            10:30am – 12pm
A Very Merry Mix-Up              12pm – 1:30pm
Catch a Christmas Star         1:30pm – 3pm
Snow Bride                                3pm – 4:30pm
Fir Crazy                                     4:30pm – 6pm
Window Wonderland              6pm – 7:30pm
The Christmas Spirit               7:30pm – 9pm
The Christmas Ornament       9pm – 10:30pm
Let it Snow                                 10:30pm – 12am

Thursday, December 26:

Snow Bride                                 12am – 2am
Catch a Christmas Star           2am – 4am
The Christmas Spirit                4am – 6am



‘COUNTDOWN TO THE 125TH TOURNAMENT OF ROSES PARADE’
Hallmark Channel Premiere
Wednesday, January 1 (7a.m. PST, 10a.m EST)
Hallmark Channel’s coverage of the festivities begins bright and early with a peek behind the scenes of the preparations for the parade from the Pasadena, CA parade site. This one-hour special captures the excitement of last-minute activity where 935 volunteers will have labored for a combined 80,000 hours to bring the amazing, gorgeous New Year’s Day spectacle to life.


‘THE 125TH TOURNAMENT OF ROSES PARADE’
Hallmark Channel Premiere
Wednesday, January 1 (8a.m. PST, 11a.m EST)
When you talk about history and tradition, there is not an American event more traditional and historic than the Tournament of Roses Parade. It originally began on Jan. 1, 1890 and it’s been an eye-popping New Year’s Day celebration ever since.  This year’s theme of the 125th Rose Parade will be “Dreams Come True” and Vin Scully, the Hall of Fame voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers, will be the grand marshal. Capturing the excitement will be 45 breathtaking flower-covered floats, marching bands and equestrians as they entertain millions of spectators around the world from Pasadena, CA.

 

About Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Channel, owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc., is a 24-hour basic cable network that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming available in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to a national audience of 88 million subscribers. Hallmark Channel is the nation’s leading destination for quality family programming with an ambitious slate of original TV movies and specials, as well as some of television’s most beloved sitcoms and series, including The Golden Girls, The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, and Frasier. The channel is also home to a range of lifestyle programming, anchored by Home & Family, a daily two-hour live show shot in a fully functional house located on the Universal Studios lot. Hallmark Channel's sibling network, Hallmark Movie Channel, available in HD and SD, focuses on family-friendly movies with a mix of original films, classic theatrical releases, and presentations from the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame library.

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