Upfronts 2012: Hallmark Channel Overhauls Daytime With Marie Osmond Talk Show

Marie Osmond - 38th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards (head shot) - 2011
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The network also announced plans to for its first original scripted series set for 2013.

Hallmark Channel is breaking into the original series genre with two made-for-two movies that will serve as backdoor pilots, while also overhauling its daytime lineup with a talk show hosted by Marie Osmond. The news was announced Wednesday at the network’s upfront presentation for advertisers in New York.

Marie! will join the daytime lineup in fourth quarter along with Home & Family, a two-hour show created by daytime veteran Woody Fraser (Good Morning America, The Dick Cavett Show). The Osmond-fronted talker is a topical hour featuring celebrity and non-celebrity guests. Home & Family will originate from an actual house constructed on the Universal lot in Los Angeles. The show will be part of the daily back-lot tour with guests visiting the lot invited to be part of the Home & Family studio audience. Hosts for Home & Family have yet to be finalized.

The daytime overhaul comes after Hallmark canceled The Martha Stewart Show, which wraps original episodes this spring though it will continue to air in reruns through the summer.

Other Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia-produced shows including Emeril’s Table, Mad Hungry, Martha Bakes and Petkeeping will continue to air into 2013, but Hallmark is not ordering new episodes at this time.

Made-for-TV movies Cedar Cove and When Calls the Heart will premiere later this year. If they’re ordered to series they would bow in spring 2013 at the earliest. Cedar Cove is based on the book series by Debbie Macomber about life in a small Pacific Northwest town. When Calls the Heart is an adaptation of author Janette Oke’s pioneer drama set in the Canadian West at the turn of the century.

If both go to series, they will presumably get a lift from reruns of the ABC comedy The Middle, which will begin airing on the network in 2014. But Hallmark is not getting out of the made-for-TV movie business; the network announced nine new films for the 2012-13 season including Shadow on the Mesa, starring Kevin Sorbo, Meredith Baxter, Gail O’Grady and Greg Evigan and Queen of Hearts, starring Ricky Schroder.