‘The Christmas Set Up: Everything We Know So Far About Lifetime’s First-Ever LGBTQ Holiday Movie

Lifetime is breaking new ground. This year, it will air a holiday film focusing on an LGBTQ romance, a first for the cable network. 

Lifetime airs dozens of movies every year as part of the “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” holiday programming block. But until now, heterosexual couples have always been at the heart of those romantic flicks. That lack of diversity hasn’t gone unnoticed, with many calling on the channel to embrace more diverse stories. 

This new Lifetime movie will focus on a gay couple 

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Lifetime revealed that the upcoming movie The Christmas Set Up will have two male leads. It follows 2019’s Twinkle All the Way, which featured an on-screen kiss between Lex (Brian Sills) and Danny (Mark Ghanimé). 

Casting for The Christmas Set Up is still taking place, with production set to begin later in August. An air date for the film hasn’t been announced, but this year’s “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” event will begin in mid-October and run through December.  

The plot of ‘The Christmas Set Up’ 

While we don’t yet know who will star in The Christmas Set Up, Lifetime has revealed a few details about the story. 

In the movie, Hugo, a corporate lawyer from New York, and his best friend Madelyn travel to Milwaukee to spend the holidays with his mom Kate. Kate, who is in charge of the local Christmas celebrations, decides to play matchmaker for her single son. She arranges for Hugo — just returned to Wisconsin from a successful stint in Silicon Valley — to run into Patrick, a friend from high school on whom he had a secret crush. 

Sparks fly between Hugo and Patrick. But then Hugo gets word he’s just received a big promotion that will require him to move to London. He’ll have to decide whether his career or love is more important to him. 

Lifetime will also air a holiday movie featuring an Asian-American family

Gingerbread man christmas tree ornament
A decorated Christmas tree | Medios y Media/Getty Images

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In addition to a film with an LGBTQ romance, Lifetime also plans to air its first holiday movie focused on an Asian-American family, A Sugar & Spice Holiday.

In that movie, a young architect named Suzie returns home to Maine to spend the holiday with her Chinese-American family, who run the local Lobster Bar. Once she’s back at home, she teams up with an old high school friend named Billy to enter the local gingerbread house competition, continuing the legacy of her late grandmother, a star baker. A Sugar & Spice Holiday will be directed by Jennifer Liao and written by Eirene Donohue.

The Christmas Set Up and A Sugar & Spice Holiday are both part of Lifetime’s effort to tell a wider variety of holiday stories, the network says. 

“We are thrilled to continue our legacy of creating a holiday destination that is welcoming to all at Lifetime,” Amy Winter, executive vice president and head of programming, Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network, said in a statement. “With more new movies than any one cable network for streamer, I couldn’t be prouder of the incredible talent joining us in front of, and behind the camera, on these new holiday movies.”

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