Hallmark Channel Reveals 2020 Christmas Movie Lineup, Promises More Diversity in Stories and Casting

Get ready to deck the halls. Hallmark Channel is gearing up for the Christmas season. On Sept. 23, the network revealed its 2020 Christmas movie lineup, including new films with diverse casts and more inclusive stories than in years past. The “Countdown to Christmas” celebration kicks off Oct. 23 on Hallmark Channel. 

Forty new movies are coming to Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries 

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hasn’t put a stop to Hallmark’s much-anticipated holiday film extravaganza. Twenty-three all-new Christmas movies will air this year on Hallmark Channel. Another 17 premieres are scheduled on sister channel Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

The holiday fun begins Saturday, Oct. 24 with the premiere of Jingle Bell Bride at 8 p.m. ET on Hallmark Channel. The same day, Christmas Tree Lane airs at 9 p.m. ET on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. New movies will continue to air through Dec. 20 on both networks. You can see the complete schedule on the Hallmark Channel website. 

Candace Cameron Bure, Lacey Chabert return in new Christmas movies  

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Many veteran Hallmark Channel actors will be back for this year’s “Countdown to Christmas” and “Miracles of Christmas” programming events. Candace Cameron Bure will star in “If I Only Had Christmas.” She plays a cheerful publicist who teams up with a cynical business owner to help a charity in need. 

Lacey Chabert will appear in two movies. In “Time for Us to Come Home for Christmas” (from executive producer Blake Shelton), she is one of five guests who receives a mysterious invitation to celebrate Christmas at an inn. Once there, she discovers that an event from the past may connect all the guests and change their lives forever. In “Christmas Waltz,” Chabert plays a woman whose dance instructor helps her rebuild her dreams after she has to cancel her Christmas wedding.

Danica McKellar, Holly Robinson Peete, Alison Sweet, and Jonathan Bennett are among the other actors returning to the network this year. New Hallmark Channel leads this year include Nazneen Contractor, Aaron Tveit, Janel Parrish, and Victoria Clark. 

Hallmark promises more diverse stories

Double Holiday
Ceyon Crossfield, Kristoffer Polaha, Carly Pope in the 2019 Hallmark movie Double Holiday | ©2019 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Albert Camicioli

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Hallmark has been criticized for the lack of diversity in its holiday movies in the past, with most films featuring largely white casts and focusing on stories of heterosexual romance. But that’s beginning to change. In 2019, the channel aired two movies with Jewish characters and Hanukkah-focused plots

This year, Hallmark is making an effort to be “more welcoming than ever,” Michelle Vicary, the network’s executive vice president of programming said in a statement. She pointed to The Christmas House, which features a storyline about a gay couple who wants to adopt a child. Also on the schedule this year is Love, Lights, Hanukkah!, about a woman who discovers she is Jewish. 

“We are proud of all the new movies for 2020 and examples [of diversity] are highlighted across our holiday casting, from Christmas In Evergreen: Bells are Ringing to Love, Lights, Hanukkah! and in the new movie The Christmas House, featuring an ensemble cast and a prominent LGBTQ+ storyline,” the network wrote in response to a fan question on Instagram

“This year’s movies reflect our most diverse representation of talent, narratives, and families,” Vicary said.“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.”

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