Hallmark star-studded soirée celebrating family friendly success

Kristin Chenoweth, Kellie Pickler, Bo Derek, Susan Lucci (photos courtesy Hallmark)

 During the Summer 2019 Television Critics Association press tour, there were plenty of parties for the TV journalist TCA members to attend. The networks host these parties so the media can mix and mingle with the stars and creative folks and give their shows some attention. These are working events for the writers who do short “grab and gab” interviews in a fun atmosphere. 

 The star-studded celebrations this season ranged from jaw-dropping extravagance to casual cocktail gatherings at the TCA’s summer headquarters, The Beverly Hilton, which always offers superb hospitality for every event.

 The most fabulously extravagant party of the summer was the Hallmark soirée on July 26. It had a “champagne wishes and caviar dreams” atmosphere with its theme “Bring on the Bubbly,” evoking the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Held at a private residence, 9505 Lania Lane in Beverly Hills, the 43,000 sq. ft. mansion with its own vineyard, was built in 2002 and purchased in 2018 for $129,000,000. With a Palace of Versailles influence, it was built to impress.

 Equally impressive was seeing almost a hundred stars and talent from the Hallmark Channels movies and series. At the posh outdoor banquet James Denton, the Desperate Housewives hunk, was spotted getting high-fives and “Attaboys” for the fifth season of his Good Witch series becoming the #2 scripted series on cable.

Bo Derek, Holly Robinson Peete, Kristin Chenoweth, Marilu Henner, Al Roker and Susan Lucci attend Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Summer 2019 TCA Press Tour reception in Beverly Hills on July 26. (Photo by 2019 Crown Media United States, LLC /Alexx Henry Studios, LLC)

 Also seen were Marilu Henner, Lacey Chabert, James Caan, Patrick Duffy, Bo Derek, Susan Lucci, Diane Ladd, Al Roker, Gregory Harrison and Kellie Pickler. There were many others from the popular lifestyle series Home and Family, plus the drama series Chesapeake Shores, When Calls the Heart, and it’s spin-off When Hope Calls. Also new installments of fan-favorite Signed, Sealed, Delivered, created by Touched By An Angel’s Martha Williamson are coming, and more Meet the Peetes, reality show with Holly Robinson Peete and her family.

The highlight of the night was Kristin Chenoweth singing “Over The Rainbow” and other songs. She gushed about joining Hallmark’s family starring with Scott Wolf in the film A Christmas Love Story, directed by Eric Close. The film is part of the 10th anniversary of Hallmark’s “Countdown to Christmas” holiday programming.

Michelle Vicary, Kristin Chenoweth, Bill Abbott and Hallmark’s lucky mascot Happy the Dog.

 Chenoweth’s performance followed the big announcement that musical treats are coming with original movie premieres during the “Countdown to Christmas” and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ “Miracles of Christmas” programming events. Chenoweth, Grammy winner Amy Grant, Broadway’s Drew Seeley (Jersey Boys), actress-singer Chaley Rose (Nashville) and actor-singer Rome Flynn (How to Get Away with Murder), will be singing original songs featured in the heartwarming yuletide tales. Songs from music icons Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton are also part of Christmas at Graceland: Home for the Holidays starring Adrian Grenier and Kaitlin Doubleday, and Christmas at Dollywood starring Danica McKellar with an appearance by Dolly Parton. Both will feature a very merry soundtrack for the movies.

 That news and more about a treasure trove of upcoming programming was announced by Crown Media Family Networks’ Bill Abbott, president and CEO, and Michelle Vicary, executive VP of programming. Staying true to their family friendly approach to entertainment has produced unparalleled success at Hallmark, with its headquarters in Studio City.

 The folks at Hallmark work hard to provide a feel good safe haven in this crazy world.

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.