When Does Hallmark’s ‘Countdown to Christmas’ 2019 Begin?

Christmas is still five months away, but over at the Hallmark Channel, preparations for the most magical time of the year are in full swing. Not only is the feel-good network wrapping up its Christmas in July programming extravaganza, but it’s also preparing a record number of new movies to air this holiday season. 

‘Countdown to Christmas’ starts October 25 

Candace Cameron Bure
Candace Cameron Bure in 2014’s Christmas Under Wraps | Copyright 2014 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Fred Hayes

This year, Hallmark’s annual “Countdown to Christmas” starts a week before Halloween. While many people will still be planning costumes and carving jack-o’-lanterns, on October 25, Hallmark will debut the first of dozens of all-new original Christmas films that it will air this holiday season. 

The celebration lasts for more than two months, with the final new movies scheduled to air on New Year’s Day.  

Hallmark has 40 new movies planned for this year 

Hallmark’s “Countdown to Christmas” is one of the most popular television events of the year, pulling in 85 million viewers annually. Over the past decade, the network has aired 232 original Christmas films. And they’re showing no signs of slowing down. 

In 2019, 40 all-new holiday films will air on the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. While we don’t know every new movie the network has planned, we can expect to see Hallmark regulars Candace Cameron Bure, Lacey Chabert, and Danica McKellar show up for more heartwarming stories of family-friendly romance. 

Cameron Bure will appear in Christmas Town, her eighth holiday movie for Hallmark, and Chabert will star in Christmas in Rome, about an American tour guide in Italy who loses her job just before the holidays. McKellar will star alongside country music icon Dolly Parton in Christmas at Dollywood.

Hallmark has some Christmas movie competition

Hallmark is the undisputed champion of made-for-TV holiday movies. But that doesn’t mean the network isn’t facing some competition for holiday viewers. Lifetime is also a big player in the Christmas movie game, and it has an impressive 28 new films planned for 2019. 

This year’s “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” celebration is designed to appeal to nostalgic TV watchers and will feature movies starring former cast members from Sabrina the Teenage Witch, One Tree Hill, Sister, Sister, and The Cosby Show. Movies on the schedule include A Very Vintage Christmas with Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Christmas Reservations with Melissa Joan Hart, and A Christmas Wish, with One Tree Hill alums Hilarie Burton and Tyler Hilton.  

“It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” kicks off the same day as Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas — October 25. It runs through December 25. 

Netflix muscled its way onto the holiday movie field with A Christmas Prince in 2017. Then, it followed up that surprise hit with A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding in 2018. Now, a third movie in the series is in the works. A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby should arrive sometime this holiday season. 

Vanessa Hudgens will also star in a new Netflix holiday movie called The Knight Before Christmas, about a medieval knight who is transported to the present day, where he falls for a science teacher. Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville will appear in Jingle Jangle, about a toymaker and his magical invention.