The Times West Virginian

Headline News

July 2, 2014

Christmas in July: Hallmark TV channels offer week of holiday programming

NEW YORK — The Hallmark TV channels are beginning a week’s worth of holiday programming on the Fourth of July — but think ornaments and eggnog instead of fireworks and hot dogs.

The stunt on the Hallmark and Hallmark Movie channels begins Friday afternoon and continues into the early morning hours of July 15. Mostly, it will be repeats of the holiday movies that Hallmark traditionally airs during the last two months of the year.

“This is a little bit of escapism,” said Bill Abbott, president and CEO of the Crown Media Family Networks, “and that’s what television is for.”

Hallmark’s “Christmas in July” began two years ago as a single weekend intended as corporate synergy. The programming aired to draw attention to the annual debut of new holiday ornaments by Hallmark Cards, yet unexpectedly struck a chord with viewers. The weekend averaged 747,000 viewers, or 55 percent above more season-appropriate fare that aired the same weekend the year before, the Nielsen company said.

Viewership ticked up slightly in 2013 when Hallmark expanded its offerings, and this year the network went all-in. In addition to the movies, Hallmark’s daytime show “Home & Family” will offer holiday tips oriented to the time of year, like saving up for shopping or storage of decorations.

“You’re always concerned with how viewers will react to this kind of stunt,” Abbott said. “The passion that they reacted with was a surprise, on social media particularly. We would receive a lot of feedback. People would buy ornaments and go home and watch a holiday movie.”

Besides the rerun movies, Hallmark will air for the first time “Angels Sing,” a former theatrical release starring Harry Connick Jr. and Connie Britton.

“Often you can enjoy these movies more when it’s not the holidays because the holidays are such a time of stress and hustle and bustle for people,” he said. “Sometimes anticipating the season is better than actually being in the season.”

Movies that play best in the summer tend to be family stories where the holidays are more of a backdrop, Abbott said. The Debbie Macomber series will be emphasized, for example. A holiday music special wouldn’t particularly work.

Hallmark has toyed with the idea of a holiday-oriented network full-time, although it would feature other seasons besides Christmas.

That would involve risk, though. November and December are big business months for Hallmark, and the company would not want to cut into those ratings.

“We have to be very careful of overexposure,” Abbott said.

1
Text Only
Headline News
  • Senate changes House bill for highway funds

    The Senate on Tuesday voted to change the funding and timing of a House bill to keep federal highway funds flowing to states in an effort to force Congress to come to grips with chronic funding problems that have plagued transportation programs in recent years.

    July 29, 2014

  • State close to national average in credit card debt

    Credit card debt may have reached its lowest level in a decade, but according to a recent study on personal debt vs. income, just as more people are paying off their credit card debt monthly, nearly the same number of people are being reported for unpaid bills.

    July 29, 2014

  • New VA secretary confirmed by Senate

    The Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald as the new Veterans Affairs secretary, with a mission to overhaul an agency beleaguered by long veterans’ waits for health care and VA workers falsifying records to cover up delays.

    July 29, 2014

  • W.Va. man arrested after child found in hot car

    A Wheeling man faces charges that he left his 18-month-old daughter in a hot car while he was asleep on a couch.

    July 29, 2014

  • Board to meet on dangerous animals list

    CHARLESTON (AP) — A board tasked with compiling a list of animals that are illegal to keep as pets in West Virginia will consider one that’s shorter than a list suggested earlier.

    July 28, 2014

  • Clinton impeachment shadows GOP lawsuit against Obama

    The last time Republicans unleashed impeachment proceedings against a Democratic president, they lost five House seats in an election they seemed primed to win handily.

    July 28, 2014

  • Study: Fist bumps less germy than handshakes

    When it comes to preventing the spread of germs, maybe the president is on to something with his fondness for fist bumps.

    July 28, 2014

  • Obama Exporting Pollu_time.jpg ‘Not in my backyard’: U.S. sending dirty coal abroad

    As  the Obama administration weans the U.S. off dirty fuels blamed for global warming, energy companies have been sending more of America’s unwanted energy leftovers to other parts of the world where they could create even more pollution.
    This fossil fuel trade threatens to undermine President Barack Obama’s strategy for reducing the gases blamed for climate change and reveals a little-discussed side effect of countries acting alone on a global problem. The contribution of this exported pollution to global warming is not something the administration wants to measure, or even talk about.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • U.S.: Russia fired rockets into Ukraine

    Stepping up pressure on Moscow, the U.S. on Sunday released satellite images it says show that rockets have been fired from Russia into neighboring eastern Ukraine and that heavy artillery for separatists has crossed the border.
    The images, which came from the U.S. Director of National Intelligence and could not be independently verified by The Associated Press, show blast marks where rockets were launched and craters where they landed. Officials said the images show heavy weapons fired between July 21 and July 26 — after the July 17 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

    July 28, 2014

  • Plan to simplify health renewals may backfire

    If you have health insurance on your job, you probably don’t give much thought to each year’s renewal. But make the same assumption in one of the new health law plans, and it could lead to costly surprises.
    Insurance exchange customers who opt for convenience by automatically renewing their coverage for 2015 are likely to receive dated and inaccurate financial aid amounts from the government, say industry officials, advocates and other experts.
    If those amounts are too low, consumers could get sticker shock over their new premiums. Too high, and they’ll owe the tax man later.

    July 28, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads