Hallmark Media isn’t worried about losing talent from their roster. During Wednesday’s Television Critics Association press conference, President and CEO Wonya Lucas and EVP of programming Lisa Hamilton Daly discussed the changes happening at the network with talent heading to competitors, including Great American Family (previously titled GAC).
“We’ve kept a lot of our talent under options, save for Christmas movies. We’re looking for new talent all the time. I think there’s a lot of talent out there that we’ve worked with in the past that GAC is now working with, but I think that we also are constantly trying to evolve the talent pool that we’re working with,” said Lucas. “We have, I think, retained almost everybody that we’re really excited to have. So
that’s where we are.”
Daly noted that it also goes beyond Great American Family.
“Talent works with Netflix, talent works with Lifetime and that’s kind of the way the industry works. I think one of the things that makes us unique versus a lot of other places is that, when I first got here, people would say, ‘We’re a family.’ I didn’t quite get that but our talent, they know each other. They have a great relationship and that’s the secret sauce we have as Hallmark,” she added. “That continues today. We have existing talent that’s been with us a long time, and we have a new talent that we’re bringing in as well. And they all feel part of this Hallmark Channel love and so that that will be consistent; that is consistent in the past; that’s consistent today.”
In April, longtime Hallmark staple Candace Cameron Bure announced that she was leaving Hallmark to move over to Great American Family, following former Crown Media CEO Bill Abbott. There, she will be in a prominent executive role and will develop and produce original content. Recently, Trevor Donovan, Danica Patrick and Jen Lilly have also signed overall deals with Great American Family.
During the presentation, the executives shared an update about the TV shows that live on the channel. While “Chesapeake Shores” is currently airing its final season, “When Calls the Heart” will return with a Season 10, which is filming now. Although a premiere date is not locked in, they confirmed new episodes will begin to rollout in mid-2023.
“As far as ‘Good Witch,’ which I think we’re always interested in thinking about what we can do with our most popular IP. I can’t announce anything specific about that,” Lucas shared. “That also holds for ‘Signed, Sealed and Delivered.’ don’t think we’re finished with that.”
Daly added that “Signed, Sealed and Delivered” fans are consistently sending letters that everyone at the network reads. “The fandom and the passion for that franchise is usual,” she stated. “And so we listen. We hear. I’d say, Stand by!”
Additionally, the pair shared that Crown Media Family Networks is making a change, officially transitioning its corporate name to Hallmark Media in an effort to align with the brand of parent company Hallmark Cards.