Cable channel’s holiday TV-movie season kicks off Oct. 22 with first of 41 films
Working through some difficult decisions, Mitchell family matriarch Phylis (Lawrence) and patriarch Bill (Williams), have summoned their two grown sons – TV star, Mike Mitchell (Buckley) and Brandon Mitchell (Bennett) – home for the holidays. It is their hope that bringing the family together to recreate the Christmas house, will help them find resolution and make a memorable holiday for the entire family and community. As Brandon and his husband Jake (Harder) make the trip home, they are anxiously awaiting a call about the adoption of their first child. Meanwhile, Mike reconnects with Andi (Ayora), his high school sweetheart.Photo:Credit: ©2020 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Luba Popovic
The countdown to Hallmark Channel’s 12th annual “Countdown to Christmas” slate has begun. On Wednesday, Crown Media Family Networks revealed the first half of its holiday-TV movie schedule, which includes sequels to last year’s LGBTQ-inclusive “The Christmas House” and 2014’s “The Nine Lives of Christmas,” as well as films featuring on-screen reunions between “Back to the Future” stars, “Wonder Years” alums and “Fuller House” cast members.
With 41 titles coming in 2021 across the Hallmark Channel, sister network Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and streaming platform Hallmark Movies Now — the largest slate of Christmas movies Crown Media has ever put out — the Hallmark parent company is only unveiling a portion of the premiere dates today. But don’t worry, there will be more to unwrap in the weeks to come.
The Hallmark holiday season begins Friday, Oct. 22 with the first movie up, “You, Me & The Christmas Trees” on Hallmark Channel, a “Countdown to Christmas” film that features a reunion between “The Wonder Years” stars Danica McKellar and Jason Hervey. The following night, Oct. 23, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ lineup begins with “Christmas In My Heart” starring Heather Hemmens (“Love, Take Two,” “Roswell, New Mexico”), Luke Macfarlane (“Killjoys”) and Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Christmas Comes Twice,” “Moesha”). And for the first time this year, Hallmark Movies Now, the company’s stand-alone streaming service, will contribute to the original holiday movie schedule with its own title, “Every Time a Bell Rings.”
Two of the marquee titles on 2021’s Hallmark Christmas movies list are “The Nine Kittens of Christmas,” a follow- up to the beloved 2014 movie “The Nine Lives of Christmas,” with original stars Kimberley Sustad, Brandon Routh and Gregory Harrison returning, and “The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls,” featuring Robert Buckley, Ana Ayora, Treat Williams, Sharon Lawrence, Jonathan Bennett and Brad Harder reprising their roles from last year’s original film.
This year’s movies will also include a title featuring Hallmark darling Candace Cameron Bure and her “Fuller House” co-star John Brotherton, as well as one with “Back to the Future” stars Lea Thompson and Christopher Lloyd teaming up again for an all-new time travel tale. Plus, real-life sisters Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Ashley Williams will play sisters on screen in two different interconnected movies.
See below for the movie premiere schedule and descriptions from Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and Hallmark Movies Now. Reminder: this just covers dates from Oct. 22-Nov. 7, with the rest of the Christmas movie schedule still to come.
HALLMARK CHANNEL’s ‘COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS’ PREMIERES
Premiere times are 8:00pm ET/PT unless otherwise noted below
Friday, October 22: “You, Me & The Christmas Trees”
Stars: Danica McKellar (“The Wonder Years”), Benjamin Ayres (“Suits”), Jason Hervey (“The Wonder Years”)
Olivia is Connecticut’s resident expert on evergreens who, just days before the holiday, agrees to help Jack, a fourth generation Christmas tree farmer in Avon. A mysterious illness has befallen their firs, causing them to die out and threatening his family’s 100-year business. As Olivia tries to get to the root of the problem and extends her stay in town, she and Jack spend more time together and feelings begin to develop.
Saturday, October 23: “Boyfriends of Christmas Past”
Stars: Catherine Haena Kim (“FBI”), Raymond Ablack (“Ginny & Georgia”), Paul Sun- Hyung Lee (“Kim’s Convenience”)
Leading up to Christmas, marketing executive, Lauren, is visited by the ghosts of four ex boyfriends. She must learn to open her heart or risk losing her best friend, Nate.
Sunday, October 24: “The Santa Stakeout”
Stars: Tamera Mowry-Housely (“The Real,” “Sister, Sister”), Paul Campbell (“Battlestar Galactica”), Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix)
Tanya is a police detective who is reluctantly partnered with fellow detective Ryan to solve a recent string of heists taking place during high-profile holiday parties around town. They go undercover as newlyweds Tasha and Rupert, moving into the vacant house next to Mr. Miller, the jovial chair of the community’s Christmas committee…and the prime suspect in the case. As Tanya and Ryan partake in the neighborhood’s holiday happenings to keep up appearances and crack the case, they get swept up in Christmas. Before they know it, their cover story as a couple in love starts to become reality.
Friday, October 29: “Christmas in Harmony”
Stars: Ashleigh Murray (“Riverdale”), Luke James (Little, Star), Loretta Devine (Queen Bees, Family Reunion), Michelle Williams (Destiny’s Child, “The Masked Singer”), Basil Wallace (Blood Diamond)
Harmony is tricked into auditioning for the Holiday Chorus — directed by an ex-boyfriend. By Christmas Eve, they could be harmonizing in the key of love.
Saturday, October 30: “Coyote Creek Christmas”
Stars: Janel Parrish (“Right in Front of Me”), Ryan Paevey (“A Little Daytime Drama”)
A “Christmas Around the World” party helps two people find love at home.
Sunday, October 31: “Christmas Sail”
Stars: Katee Sackhoff (“The Mandalorian”), Patrick Sabongui (“Firefly Lane”), Terry O’Quinn (“Lost”)
When Liz returns home to take care of her estranged father she is determined to give her daughter a perfect Christmas and reconnects with her best friend.
Friday, November 5: “Open by Christmas”
Stars: Alison Sweeney (“Days of our Lives”), Erica Durance (“Smallville”), Brennan Elliott (“Christmas in Vienna”)
When Nicky finds an unopened Christmas card from a high school secret admirer, she and her best friend Simone search to find and thank the anonymous author.
Saturday, November 6: “Next Stop, Christmas”
Stars: Lyndsy Fonseca (“How I Met Your Mother”), Chandler Massey (“Days of our Lives”), Lea Thompson (Back to the Future), Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future)
Angie wonders what her life would be like if she had married a former boyfriend who became a famous sportscaster. She takes the train home to spend Christmas with her family and inexplicably finds herself 10 years in the past. With the advice of the train’s enigmatic conductor, Angie has the chance to revisit that Christmas and learn what – and who – is truly important to her.
Sunday, November 7: “A Christmas Treasure”
Stars: Jordin Sparks (Sparkle, “American Idol”), Michael Xavier (“Christmas Comes Twice,” “Beware of the Midwife”)
After opening a 100-year-old time capsule and meeting a charming chef, Lou questions whether or not she should move to New York after Christmas and further her writing career.
“Christmas at Castle Hart” – premiere date to be announced
Stars: Lacey Chabert (“Sweet Carolina”), Stuart Townsend (“Salem”)
Brooke Bennett goes to Ireland for Christmas to search for her Irish roots. While there, she meets Aiden Hart, Earl of Glaslough. Mistaken for an elite event planner, she’s hired to host his castle’s epic Christmas party.
“The Christmas Contest” (wt) – premiere date to be announced
Stars: Candace Cameron Bure (“Fuller House”), John Brotherton (“Fuller House”), Barbara Niven (“Chesapeake Shores”)
Exes Lara and Ben compete in a Christmas contest to win money for the charity of their choosing. The city watches them battle and choose what is more important, victory or love.
“The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls” (wt) – premiere date to be announced Stars: Robert Buckley (“Chesapeake Shores”), Ana Ayora (“In the Dark”), Jonathan Bennett (Mean Girls), with Sharon Lawrence (“NYPD Blue”), Treat Williams (“Chesapeake Shores”) and Brad Harder (“Aurora Teagarden Mysteries”)
The Mitchell brothers compete to see who can create the best Christmas House.
“The Nine Kittens of Christmas” – premiere date to be announced
Stars: Brandon Routh (“The Rookie”), Kimberley Sustad (“Christmas by Starlight”), Gregory Harrison (“Chesapeake Shores”)
Cat lovers Zachary and Marilee are thrown back together at Christmas when they’re tasked with finding homes for a litter of adorable kittens.
Sister Swap Movies– premiere dates to be announced:
“Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday” & “Sister Swap: Christmas in the City”
Kimberly Williams-Paisley (“Darrow Mysteries,” Father of the Bride), Ashley Williams (“Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Sweater,” “The Jim Gaffigan Show”), Mark Deklin (“Grace and Frankie,” “Designated Survivor”), Keith Robinson (“Saints & Sinners,” “A Christmas Love Story”), Susan Yeagley (“Mike Tyson Mysteries, “ “Parks and Recreation”) and Kevin Nealon (“Man with a Plan,” “Weeds”)
In these interconnected movies, Jennifer and Meg Swift are sisters who couldn’t be closer despite living hours apart. Jennifer is in Salt Lake City, running a successful restaurant she started with her late husband and raising her teenaged son Simon. Meg stayed in their hometown of Hazelwood, helping their parents run the local bakery. This Christmas is the family’s first since the passing of Uncle Dave who owned the town’s beloved theater, The Madison, where many memories were made over the years. When Jennifer and Simon return home for the holiday, they become wistful for one more Christmas at The Madison, despite that it’s for sale and in need of repairs. Meanwhile, Meg is helping Jennifer’s restaurant staff in Salt Lake prepare for a Christmas competition among local restaurants with the winner earning money for the charity of its choice. With the sisters switching cities leading up to the holiday, they find a new sense of purpose and discover what they both truly need in life and in love.
HALLMARK MOVIES & MYSTERIES’ ‘MIRACLES OF CHRISTMAS’ PREMIERES
Premiere times are 10:00pm ET/PT
Saturday, October 23: “Christmas In My Heart”
Stars: Heather Hemmens (“Love, Take Two,” “Roswell, New Mexico”), Luke Macfarlane (“Killjoys”), Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Christmas Comes Twice,” “Moesha”)
Concert violinist Beth tutors the daughter of reclusive Country music star Sean to prep her for the holiday concert. They are joined through the connective power of music.
Saturday, October 30: “The Christmas Promise”
Stars: Torrey DeVitto (“Chicago Med”), Dylan Bruce (“Orphan Black”), Patrick Duffy (“Dallas”), Greyston Holt (“Chesapeake Shores”)
Nicole learns to deal with grief, with the help of her grandfather and a carpenter she hires to renovate the home that was once meant for her and her fiancé.
Saturday, November 6: “Debbie Macomber’s A Mrs. Miracle Christmas”
Stars: Kaitlin Doubleday (“Love on Iceland”), Steve Lund (“Baby, It’s Cold Inside”), Caroline Rhea (“Sabrina the Teenage Witch”)
When a family faces loneliness and loss of faith, Mrs. Miracle swoops in to renew their Christmas Spirit, and they experience a holiday of heavenly proportions.
“The Christmas Bond” (wt) – premiere date to be announced
Stars: Holly Robinson Peete (“The Christmas Doctor”), Lyriq Bent (Acrimony), Nik Sanchez (“The Rookie”)
As a single mom and her teenaged son with autism come to a crossroad during Christmas, she must learn to let go so he can flourish as she finds her own heart healing in unexpected ways.
HALLMARK MOVIES NOW
“Every Time a Bell Rings” – premiere date to be announced
Stars: Erin Cahill (“A Timeless Christmas”), Brittany Ishibashi (“Grace and Frankie”), Ali Leibert (“Van Helsing”), Wes Brown (“Sweet Pecan Summer”)
Three sisters reunite in their hometown of Natchez, MS at Christmas after a long time apart. They’re surprised to discover their late father had planned one last scavenger hunt for them to find the family’s wooden wishing bell, a beloved, annual holiday tradition when they were young. As they search for clues in the days leading up to Christmas, the trio visits local childhood haunts around Natchez that hold special meaning for them. In the process, their sisterly bond is rekindled and each learns an important lesson about what they want in life and in love. Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and Hallmark Movies Now 2021 New Holiday Movies
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