Christmas is coming, and Lifetime and Hallmark are celebrating 24/7 with holiday programming.
Hallmark’s 2020 new holiday movie schedule includes 23 premieres on Hallmark Channel’s “Countdown to Christmas” and 17 premieres on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries’ “Miracles of Christmas,” according to a Crown Media press release.
Here are some highlights of each station’s holiday lineup this year:
Lifetime’s 2020 Christmas schedule includes a variety of stars, including Marie Osmond in “The Christmas Edition,” which premiered Nov. 15.
“Holiday movie lovers will see many returning famous faces, such as Kelly Rowland, Melissa Joan Hart, Jana Kramer, Vanessa Lachey and Marie Osmond,” Vyas said in an email. “And some familiar first timers as well, including Fran Drescher, Ali Stroker and more.”
Among the highlights of this year’s “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” programming is “Dear Christmas,” premiering Friday, which features Hart opposite Jason Priestly in his first Lifetime holiday movie, Vyas said.
Lifetime will also air its first holiday sequel, “Merry Liddle Christmas Wedding,” premiering Saturday. The film stars Rowland as Jacquie, who tries to plan a perfect destination wedding, according to Vyas.
The channel aims to show its commitment to inclusivity and diversity this year with firsts including:
- Military veteran movie “A Welcome Home Christmas,” which premiered Nov. 7 ahead of Veterans Day.
- “Christmas Ever After,” starring a lead actor with a disability, premiering Dec. 6.
- LGBTQ holiday romance “The Christmas Setup,” premiering Dec. 12.
- “A Sugar and Spice Holiday,” featuring an Asian American family, premiering Dec. 13.
“A Welcome Home Christmas” stars Kramer, a country singer, and “Christmas Ever After” features Stroker, a Tony-winning actress, in the film “about a writer who finds a unique cure for writers block,” according to Vyas.
“We recognize that the holidays, holiday celebrations and even holiday romances are not limited to a select group of people, but are for everyone from all walks of life,” Vyas said. “We seek to portray the real world in our holiday movies and our hope is that everyone will see themselves in the stories we tell.”
Vyas said amid many challenges this year including the coronavirus pandemic, Lifetime’s main hope is that “viewers find comfort and joy in all of our movies and an escape of sorts.”
“The holidays are about coming together and being reminded of what is most important during the season — holiday traditions, family (in all of its different forms), friends and love,” Vyas said. “I think you’ll be happy to know that every Lifetime Christmas movie has a very happy ending, which always helps to spark some joy.”
A full “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” schedule is available online at mylifetime.com/schedule.
Hallmark Channel’s “Countdown to Christmas” lineup will likewise feature various talent, including ’90s TV sitcom stars Candace Cameron Bure of “Full House,” Ben Savage of “Boy Meets World” and Tamera Mowry-Housley of “Sister, Sister.”
Bure plays publicist Darcy Gale in “If I Only Had Christmas,” premiering Sunday. Gale works with vice president Glen Goodman, played by Warren Christie, to help a charity in need for Christmas in the film, according to the Crown Media press release.
“Darcy and Glen begin to realize they have everything in common,” the release says. “However, Glen’s surprise revelation at the big Christmas gala just may put an end to their promising romance before it has even started.”
Savage stars alongside Mia Kirshner and Marilu Henner in “Love, Lights, Hanukkah!” premiering Dec. 12. Kirshner plays Christina, a restaurant worker who receives a DNA test result revealing she is Jewish, according to the release.
“The discovery leads her to a new family and an unlikely romance over eight nights,” the release says.
Mowry-Housley plays a newscaster with regrets about a past love interest in “Christmas Comes Twice,” premiering Dec. 13, which also stars Michael Xavier and Sheryl Lee Ralph, according to the release.
“When the Christmas carnival comes to town, a ride around the carousel takes her magically back in time to the carnival five years before ... giving her a second chance at love before she must return to Christmas present,” the release says.
A full “Countdown to Christmas” schedule is available online at hallmarkchannel.com/schedule.
Hallmark Movies and Mysteries’ “Miracle of Christmas” series will include a premiere from executive producer and country music star Blake Shelton, according to the release. “Time for Us to Come Home for Christmas,” premiering Dec. 6, features Lacey Chabert and Stephen Huszar.
“Five guests are mysteriously invited to an inn to celebrate Christmas,” the release says of the film. “With the help of the owner Ben (Huszar), Sarah (Chabert) discovers that an event from the past may connect them and change their lives forever.”
A full “Miracle of Christmas” schedule is available online at hallmarkmoviesandmysteries.com/schedule.