Hallmark is well-known for its family-friendly films. Especially around Christmas, viewers flock to the channel and its derivatives for some sweet-as-cocoa romance, always served with a happy-ever-after. Behind the scenes, however, the drama might be a bit more real, as the competitor network builds up its own niche in the market. However, Hallmark's higher-ups appear to be unfazed.
Lisa Hamilton Daly, Hallmarks' executive vice president of programming, appeared to poke fun at those who left at the Television Critics Association press conference on August 10: "Hollmark is always looking for new actors to join the family," she said (via Yahoo!)
Except for Christmas movies, were looking for new talent all the time. I think there's a lot of talent out there that we've worked with in the past that GAC is now working with, but I think that we're also constantly looking to expand the talent pool that we've worked with. We have, I think, retained most of the people who were really excited to have.
Lisa Hamilton Daly acknowledged that there was some talent that was already working with the GAC Family, but she said the company has retained the actors it is interested in collaborating with in the future. However, she and other execs said the message is clear: continue to improve and thank you for the memories.
Candace Cameron Bure signed an exclusive deal with the GAC Family in April, following Jen Lilley and Danica Patrick's departure from Hallmark. Patrick was the first person to join the competition back in October 2021, and while it was assumed Patrick's move to the rival network would enliven others (and it did for some like Trevor Donovan and Jessica Lowndes).
Lacey Chabert, who plays the lead in Mean Girls, signed an exclusive deal with Hallmark in February, to star in and executive produce TV series and other content over the next two years. Jonathan Bennett was cast as the star of Hallmarks first Christmas film with a major LGBTQ+ storyline, The Christmas House, in 2020, and theyre joined by other familiar faces, including Aimee Teegarden of Friday Night Lights fame, and Brennan Elliott, who signed his deal in March.
Although it can't be ruled how much bad blood there is between Hallmark and the actors who left for its competitor, it can't be argued that both channels are carrying some heavy-hitters, and in that case, maybe it's all the movie-lovers who are the real winners? If youre like me and can't wait till Christmas, check out these upcoming Hallmark movies.