It was begining to look like a “Mariah” Christmas when the Hallmark networks had a party to make announcements about their annual programming event ‘The Most Wonderful Movies of Christmas.” Mariah Carey will direct and star in a movie based on her hit “Oh Santa,” and she was gushing about the opportunity. This all happened at Hallmark’s Crown Media Family Networks’ bash for the members of the Television Critics Association (TCA).
It was a classy affair with the theme “This is what success looks like,” so it was fitting that it took place at a Beverly Hills mega-mansion that played host to a couple hundred stars, creative network and production folks, plus the media.
For most people Mariah Carey’s arrival was a highlight. The superstar has enough charisma and talent to light up the night. In addition to revealing the next six months of programming for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Crown Media Family Networks’ President and CEO Bill Abbott, and Michelle Vicary, Executive Vice President, Programming and Network Program Publicity, were happy to announce “the Mariah Carey Christmas project,” that will feature Mariah’s hit “Oh Santa.” Carey will direct and star in the movie that will air this December.
Vicary also reported, “With our tremendous growth we are proud to partner with exceptional talent in the industry for our upcoming original series and movies. We have an incredibly diverse slate with new original series starring award-winning talent and more holiday programming than ever before.”
The Hallmark Channel kicks off its signature Countdown to Christmas programming slate early this year on October 31. It will feature an unprecedented lineup of 16 original movies, including five back-to-back nights of world movie premieres over Thanksgiving weekend for viewers to feast on.
Everyone mingled before dinner. The stunning star of the Cedar Cove series, Andie MacDowell was on hand, along with Dylan Neal, Bruce Boxleitner, Barbara Niven, and the new recurring castmate Colin Ferguson (the charming star of SyFy’s Eureka series). And Debbie Macomber, the bestselling author of the Cedar Cove books, revealed how thrilled she was at making a cameo in an episode.
James Denton (of Desperate Housewives fame) and Bailee Madison (the ultra-talented young actress from Northpole) talked about being part of the top-rated Good Witch series. “Our stories express that there’s magic in everyone’s life,” Bailee gushed.
The leads from When Calls the Heart, Lori Loughlin and Jack Wagner were enjoying the event, plus Alison Sweeney from Love on the Air; Julie Benz from Charming Christmas; and Candace Cameron Bure from On Time for Christmas.
Other stars from movies and series included Kellie Martin, Cheryl Ladd, Danica McKellar, Rachel Boston, Brenda Strong, Ashley Williams, Brooke Burns, Gregory Harrison, Willie Ames, Jesse Metcalf, Mark Steines and Cristina Ferrare. The place was packed with so many great people who personified the theme: “This is what success looks like” at Hallmark.