2:15pm PT by Jean Bentley
Kristin Chenoweth to Headline Hallmark Channel's 2019 Countdown to Christmas (Exclusive)
Hallmark Channel’s annual "Countdown to Christmas" will include a record 40 original movies this year, and The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusive details about a dozen of 2019’s installments.
Kristin Chenoweth headlines the marquee film of 2019, Hallmark Hall of Fame’s A Christmas Love Story, alongside Scott Wolf, Kevin Quinn and Keith Robinson. Directed by Eric Close, the film stars Chenoweth as a New York City youth choir director, Katherine, who must write the title song for the Christmas Eve show but finds herself distracted when a gifted boy (Quinn) joins her choir — unbeknownst to his widowed father, Greg (Wolf).
“Each year our holiday movie slates get bigger, the movies get better, and the ratings grow stronger, and I have no doubt that this will prove to be the most successful season yet,” said Michelle Vicary, executive vp programming and publicity at Hallmark. “We are so fortunate to work with such incredible talent — from the actors, to the writers, to the directors and producers — who bring our signature holiday movies to life and have been instrumental in establishing Crown Media as the leader in compelling, top-quality holiday entertainment.”
Original movies will premiere every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights — Thursday and Friday for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ "Miracles of Christmas," and the other two nights for the mothership channel’s "Countdown to Christmas."
New Hallmark Channel films include When Calls the Heart Christmas, featuring stars of the long-running series including Erin Krakow, Pascale Hutton, Jack Wagner, Kavan Smith, Kevin McGarry, Paul Greene, Chris McNally, Martin Cummins and Andrea Brooks; Check Inn to Christmas, starring Rachel Boston and Wes Brown; Double Holiday, starring Kristoffer Polaha and Carly Pope; The Mistletoe Secret, starring Kellie Pickler, Tyler Hynes and Patrick Duffy; A Gift to Cherish, starring Ali Liebert and Peter Porte; and Holiday Date, starring Brittany Bristow and Matt Cohen.
At Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, five films join the "Miracles of Christmas" lineup in addition to the previously announced Holiday for Heroes with Marc Blucas, Melissa Claire Egan and Patti Murin; and a follow-up to 2018's Blake Shelton-produced Time for Me to Come Home for Christmas.
Newly announced originals include When I Think of Christmas, from Grammy-winning executive producer Amy Grant; a sequel to 2018’s A Godwink Christmas from executive producers Kathie Lee Gifford, Squire Rushnell and Louise DuArt; Christmas in Montana, starring Kellie Martin and Colin Ferguson; Second Hand Santa, starring Alicia Witt; and The Christmas Bride, starring Rachael Leigh Cook.
Previously announced 2019 Hallmark Channel films include Christmas in Rome, starring Lacey Chabert and Sam Page; Christmas at Dollywood, starring Danica McKellar; Christmas Town, starring Candace Cameron Bure, Tim Rozon and Beth Broderick; Merry & Bright, starring Jodie Sweetin, Andrew Walker and Sharon Lawrence; Picture a Perfect Christmas, starring Merritt Patterson and Jon Cor; Christmas at Graceland: Home for the Holidays, starring Adrian Grenier and Kaitlin Doubleday; Write Before Christmas, starring Torrey DeVitto, Chad Michael Murray, Grant Show, Lolita Davidovich and Drew Seeley; A Christmas Duet, starring Chaley Rose and Rome Flynn; Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses, starring Jill Wagner, Matthew Davis and Donna Mills; Christmas Camp, starring Lily Anne Harrison and Bobby Campo; A Merry Christmas Match, starring Ashley Newbrough and Kyle Dean Massey; Nostalgic Christmas, starring Brooke D’Orsay and Trevor Donovan; Sense, Sensibility & Snowmen, starring Erin Krakow, Luke Macfarlane and Kimberley Sustad; A Christmas Scavenger Hunt, starring Kevin McGarry and Kim Shaw; and The Christmas Club, starring Cameron Mathison and Elizabeth Mitchell.