Hallmark Reveals Christmas Movie Details — Including Returning Stars & Storyline About Gay Couple
Christmas is coming soon for Hallmark Channel fans! The network's beloved Countdown to Christmas programming kicks off on Oct. 23 with 40 all-new, holiday-themed TV movies.
On Wednesday the network announced full details — including premiere dates and plot lines — for their upcoming holiday-themed fare.
And making good on a promise earlier this year that "diversity and inclusion is a top priority" for the network's programming moving forward, the 2020 lineup of Christmas movies on Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries are its most inclusive yet.
"Our holiday table is bigger and more welcoming than ever. This year’s movies reflect our most diverse representation of talent, narratives, and families, including The Christmas House, featuring a storyline about a gay couple looking to adopt their first child, and starring Jonathan Bennett in an ensemble cast," said Michelle Vicary, EVP, Programming. "Our movies are rooted in warmth and positivity, meaningful connections, family gatherings, and seasonal traditions—a winning formula we hope will bring our millions of viewers much-needed levity and holiday cheer at the end of a tough year."
Bennett's The Christmas House premieres on the Hallmark Channel Nov. 22. For full details and premiere dates of the rest of the Channel's Countdown to Christmas slate on, read on below:
Jingle Bell Bride (Oct. 24)
Stars: Julie Gonzalo (Supergirl) and Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Star Trek: Discovery)
Synopsis: Wedding planner Jessica Perez (Gonzalo) travels to a remote town in Alaska to find a rare flower for a celebrity client and is charmed by the small town during Christmas, as well as the handsome local (Rowe Jr.) helping her.
Chateau Christmas (Oct. 25)
Stars: Merritt Patterson (Picture a Perfect Christmas) and Luke Macfarlane (Just Add Romance)
Synopsis: Margot (Patterson), a world-renowned pianist, returns to Chateau Newhaus to spend the holidays with her family and is reunited with an ex (Macfarlane) who helps her rediscover her passion for music.
Christmas with the Darlings (Oct. 31)
Stars: Katrina Law (Arrow) and Carlo Marks (Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday)
Synopsis: Just before the holidays Jessica Lew (Law) is ending her tenure as the assistant to her wealthy boss to use her recently earned law degree within his company, but offers to help his charming, younger brother (Marks) as he looks after his orphaned nieces and nephew over Christmas.
One Royal Holiday (Nov. 1)
Stars: Laura Osnes (In the Key of Love), Aaron Tveit (Les Miserables), Krystal Joy Brown (Sydney to the Max), Victoria Clark (Homeland) and Tom McGowan (Everybody Loves Raymond)
Synopsis: When Anna (Osnes) offers a stranded mother (Clark) and son (Tveit) shelter in a blizzard, she learns that they are the Royal Family of Galwick. Anna shows the Prince how they do Christmas in her hometown, encouraging him to open his heart and be true to himself.
Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Sweater (Nov. 7)
Stars: Ashley Williams (The Jim Gaffigan Show) and Niall Matter (Christmas at Dollywood)
Synopsis: Single mom Maggie (Williams) is facing Christmas alone until Lucas (Matter) crashes into her life and becomes an unexpected houseguest. Together they overcome Christmas while finding comfort in their growing bond.
On the 12th Date of Christmas (Nov. 8)
Stars: Mallory Jansen (Shooter) and Tyler Hynes (The Mistletoe Secret)
Synopsis: Two seemingly incompatible game designers team up to create a romantic, city-wide scavenger hunt themed for the “12 Days of Christmas.”
Christmas in Vienna (Nov. 14)
Stars: Sarah Drew (Grey’s Anatomy) and Brennan Elliott (Crossword Mysteries)
Synopsis: Jess (Drew), a concert violinist whose heart just isn’t in it anymore, goes to Vienna for a performance. While there, she finds the inspiration she has been missing, and a new love.
A Timeless Christmas (Nov. 15)
Stars: Ryan Paevey (Christmas at the Plaza) and Erin Cahill (Love, Fall & Order)
Synopsis: Charles Whitley (Paevey) travels from 1903 to 2020 where he meets Megan Turner (Cahill), a tour guide at his historic mansion, and experiences a 21st Century Christmas.
A Nashville Christmas Carol (Nov. 21)
Stars: Jessy Schram (Country at Heart), Wes Brown (Christmas at Graceland), Wynonna Judd (The Judds), Sara Evans (Nashville), RaeLynn (The Voice), Kix Brooks (Home by Spring), Kimberly Williams-Paisley (Darrow Mysteries)
Synopsis: Vivienne Wake (Schram), a workaholic television producer in charge of a country music Christmas special showcasing newcomer Alexis (Raelynn), never lets personal feelings get in the way of business. On the verge of accepting a job in LA, and with the return of Gavin Chase (Brown), her childhood sweetheart and manager to the special’s headliner, Belinda (Evans), she receives a visit from the ghost of her recently deceased mentor, Marilyn (Judd). Her mentor warns her current path leads to a dark future and has recruited both the Spirit of Christmas Past (Brooks) and the Spirit of Christmas Present (Williams-Paisley) to help her get back on track. The Spirits’ time-jumping adventures force Vivienne to take hold of her life.
The Christmas House (Nov. 22)
Stars: Robert Buckley (One Tree Hill), Jonathan Bennett (Mean Girls), Ana Ayora (In the Dark), Treat Williams (Chesapeake Shores), Sharon Lawrence (NYPD Blue) and Brad Harder (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries)
Synopsis: Working through some difficult decisions, Mitchell family matriarch Phylis (Lawrence) and patriarch Bill (Williams), have summoned their two grown sons – TV star, Mike Mitchell (Buckley) and Brandon Mitchell (Bennett) – home for the holidays. It is their hope that bringing the family together to recreate the Christmas house, will help them find resolution and make a memorable holiday for the entire family and community. As Brandon and his husband Jake (Harder) make the trip home, they are anxiously awaiting a call about the adoption of their first child. Meanwhile, Mike reconnects with Andi (Ayora), his high school sweetheart.
A Christmas Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Nov. 24)
Stars: Rochelle Aytes (Mistresses) and Mark Taylor (Memories of Christmas)
Synopsis: Erin (Aytes) is planning the town’s Christmas celebration and must win over firefighter Kevin (Taylor) in order to obtain the beautiful spruce tree from his property for the celebration.
A Bright and Merry Christmas (Nov. 25)
Stars: Alison Sweeney (Days of Our Lives) and Marc Blucas (The Fix)
Synopsis: Two competing TV hosts (Sweeney and Blucas) are sent to a festive small town over Christmas. While pretending to get along for the sake of appearances, they discover that there’s more to each other than they thought.
Five Star Christmas (Nov. 26)
Stars: Bethany Joy Lenz (Bottled with Love) and Victor Webster (MatchMaker Mysteries)
Synopsis: After moving back to her hometown, Lisa (Lenz) plots with her siblings and grandparents to help her father’s new bed and breakfast get a five-star review from an incognito travel critic (Webster), but ends up falling for him, not knowing he is the real critic.
Christmas by Starlight (Nov. 27)
Stars: Kimberley Sustad (Travelers) and Paul Campbell (Battlestar Galactica)
Synopsis: Annie (Sustad), a lawyer, must help her loved ones this holiday season. Her family’s restaurant, The Starlight Café, is slated for demolition. The heir to the development firm responsible, William (Campbell), makes her an unlikely proposition: he’ll spare the café if Annie spends the week “appearing” as the legal counsel his father is demanding he hire in the wake of some costly mistakes.
Christmas Waltz (Nov 28)
Stars: Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls), Will Kemp (Royal Matchmaker) and JT Church (Dancing with the Stars: Juniors)
Synopsis: After Avery’s (Chabert) storybook Christmas wedding is canceled unexpectedly, dance instructor Roman (Kemp) helps her rebuild her dreams.
If I Only Had Christmas (Nov. 29)
Stars: Candace Cameron Bure (Fuller House) and Warren Christie (The Color of Rain)
Synopsis: At Christmas, a cheerful publicist (Bure) teams up with a cynical business owner (Christie) and his team to help a charity in need.
Christmas in Evergreen: Bells Are Ringing (Dec. 5)
Stars: Holly Robinson Peete (A Family Christmas Gift), Colin Lawrence (Riverdale), Rukiya Bernard (One Winter Weekend), Antonio Cayonne (Fashionably Yours) and Barbara Niven (Chesapeake Shores).
Synopsis: As Michelle’s (Peete) wedding approaches, Hannah (Bernard) steps up to help finish the launch of the new Evergreen museum while questioning her relationship and future with Elliot (Cayonne).
Christmas She Wrote (Dec. 6)
Stars: Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years) and Dylan Neal (Gourmet Detective: Roux the Day)
Synopsis: When Kayleigh (McKellar), a romance writer, has her column cancelled right before Christmas, she heads home to reconnect with her family. Kayleigh gets an unexpected visit from the man (Neal) who cancelled her column who fights not only to bring her back to the publisher but also for her heart.
Cross Country Christmas (Dec. 12)
Stars: Rachael Leigh Cook (She’s All That) and Greyston Holt (Chesapeake Shores)
Synopsis: Former classmates Lina (Cook) and Max (Holt) are traveling home for the holidays, until a storm hits and they have to work together to make it home in time, no matter the mode of transportation.
Christmas Comes Twice (Dec. 13)
Stars: Tamera Mowry-Housley (A Christmas Miracle) and Michael Xavier (Paris, Wine and Romance)
Synopsis: Emily (Mowry-Housley) is a top newscaster who has achieved her career dreams but still has regrets about the guy (Xavier) who got away five years earlier. When the Christmas carnival comes to town, a ride around the carousel takes her magically back in time to the carnival five years before...giving her a second chance at love before she must return to Christmas present.
Christmas Carousel (Dec. 19)
Stars: Rachel Boston (Check Inn to Christmas) and Neal Bledsoe (Shameless)
Synopsis: When Lila (Boston) is hired by the Royal Family of Marcadia to repair a carousel, she must work with the Prince (Bledsoe) to complete it by Christmas.
Love, Lights, Hanukkah! (Dec. 20)
Stars: Mia Kirshner (Star Trek: Discovery), Ben Savage (Boy Meets World) and Marilu Henner (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries)
Synopsis: As Christina (Kirshner) prepares her restaurant for its busiest time of year, she gets back a DNA test revealing that she’s Jewish. The discovery leads her to a new family and an unlikely romance over eight nights.