SALT LAKE CITY — The Hallmark Channel won’t be getting coal for Christmas even after the Lori Loughlin scandal.
On Thursday, Hallmark announced two new Christmas series that will debut this holiday season. The two shows, “Project Christmas Joy: Alabama” and “Christmas Cookie Countdown” are the first projects announced since Loughlin was dropped from the network after the college admissions scandal.
“Project Christmas Joy: Alabama” will focus on giving a small town a dose of Christmas holiday joy. The reality show will specifically focus on rebuilding a town into a festive one.
- “This show aligns perfectly with Hallmark Drama’s exclusive offering of original content,” said Bill Abbott, president and CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, in a statement. “We look forward to bringing Hallmark holiday joy to a special town in Alabama for the 2019 Christmas season.”
“Christmas Cookie Countdown” will be a competition show between amateur home bakers, who will compete in cookie-related challenges. The series will be five episodes and include three pastry chefs and Hallmark celebrities.
Bigger picture: According to People magazine, the two shows will be among the network’s first batch of original content since the network launched in 2017.
- “We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations,” Crown Media, Hallmark’s parent company, said in a statement sent to Variety. “We are no longer working with Lori Loughlin and have stopped development of all productions that air on the Crown Media Family Network channels involving Lori Loughlin including 'Garage Sale Mysteries,' an independent third party production.”
Context: Loughlin previously worked on “Garage Sale Mystery” and “When Calls the Heart.” She also appeared in a number of Christmas movies. According to People magazine, old programming that includes Loughlin will no longer air on the network.
- Loughlin and her husband fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes so that their children, Olivia Jade and Isabella Giannulli, could attend the University of Southern California as team crew recruits despite never competing in crew. Loughlin was named among dozens of parents in the scandal.