In “Cooking with Love,” a TV producer falls in love having a cocky celebrity chef.
In “My Secret Valentine,” a woman bonds having a secret admirer at her family’s winery.
In “Very, Very Valentine,” a flower shop girl will be romanced by a mysterious man at a masquerade ball.
These movies, in all their schmaltzy glory, premiered This kind of month on the Hallmark Channel, which has distilled your warm along with fuzzy feelings down to a science.
The network best known for its G-rated romantic comedies posted its highest ratings ever last year. along with of which’s eyeing an even bigger 2018.
“We have grown by leaps along with bounds,” said Michelle Vicary, the executive vice president for programming at Hallmark parent company Crown Media. She said the company has amassed hundreds of original titles for the flagship Hallmark Channel along with its spinoff, Movies along with Mysteries.
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The Valentine’s Day specials are only a taste of what’s from the pipeline.
Vicary said the company will produce 0 original movies This kind of year for Hallmark Channel, Movies along with Mysteries along with the recently launched Hallmark Drama. of which’s the most Crown Media has ever made in one particular year.
If there will be a season, there will be a Hallmark movie — or several — for of which. In an interview This kind of week with sy88pgw, Vicary rattled off a slew of productions already planned for its upcoming “Spring Fever” season. Titles for Mother’s Day, summer along with fall are also from the mix.
Christmas, though, will be the company’s crown jewel. The Hallmark Channel debuted 21 movies for the holiday last year, along with several others for Movies along with Mysteries.
of which Christmas overload last year apparently worked. Hallmark Channel’s “Countdown to Christmas” programming reached more than 72 million viewers, according to data provided by the network. of which ranked as the top-rated cable channel for women aged 25 to 54 during the holidays.
All of which viewership brings in ad dollars. S&P Global Market Intelligence’s Kagan research group projects of which the Hallmark Channel brought in $370 million in advertising revenue for 2017. of which expects of which number to improve to more than $390 million This kind of year.
Vicary called the brand’s squeaky-clean image one of its biggest selling points for advertisers.
“Their brands are elevated because of what we put out in terms of a positive message,” she said. “There’s no downside.”
Another piece of the formula: giving the people what they want. Hallmark frequently casts the same actresses in its movies.
Many people know Lacey Chabert coming from “Mean Girls” along with “Party of several.” yet Hallmark Channel superfans know her coming from roughly a dozen romances, including “All of My Heart: Inn Love” (the one about the inn in Pennsylvania), “Moonlight in Vermont” (the one about the inn in Vermont), along with This kind of year’s “My Secret Valentine” (the one about the winery).
“Full House” alum Candace Cameron Bure will be also a veteran. Hallmark most recently cast her as a pair of twins in last season’s “Switched for Christmas.”
“We strike a balance between what the viewers ask us for, which will be, ‘I want to see a movie with Candace Cameron Bure or Lacey Chabert starting in of which,’ in addition to completely new people,” Vicary said.
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Hallmark specials are relatively cheap compared with the $6 million or more of which Variety reports Netflix spends on one particular episode of television.
Vicary estimated of which the movies cost about $2 million to produce, having a few running higher. For example, the CGI used to create a Cameron Bure twin last Christmas pushed the movie’s budget into the $3 million range.
Hallmark draws inspiration coming from a variety of sources, including books along with heartwarming stories found in newspaper articles.
Although hammering out scripts can take a few months to more than a year, Vicary said the shooting schedule moves fast. The films, which are mostly filmed in Vancouver, are shot in about 15 days.
Hallmark’s flood-the-zone approach to film producing has also made the network more protective of its content.
Vicary said the company used to license some of its films to different platforms. yet of which has changed as ratings have risen. The company has its own Netflix-like standalone streaming service, Hallmark Movies currently, which sells access to the network’s maudlin romances for as little as $4.99 per month.
“We’re always looking at what our competition will be doing, yet what we have of which they don’t have will be a 100-year legacy of a brand of which will be about emotional connectivity along with relationships,” Vicary said. “If you see content on Hallmark Channel, you’re not going to see of which anywhere else.”
sy88pgw (completely new York) First published February 14, 2018: 12:32 PM ET