Hallmark Channel is going out to advertisers with more kittens, more originals and more holiday events, parent company Crown Media told reporters at an upfront presentation to press on Thursday.
- Following the success of "Kitten Bowl," Hallmark Channel's attempt at counter-programming both the Super Bowl and Animal Planet's "Puppy Bowl," the network now plans a "Kitten Paw-Star Game" timed to Major League Baseball's All-Star Game. The event is slated for July 2015. February's "Kitten Bowl," attracted a total of 6.1 million viewers during its 12-hour run, but it remains to be seen how baseball's All-Star Game compares to the Super Bowl as a springboard.
- Having devoted more than a thousand hours of airtime to Christmas programming last year, Hallmark now wants to turn Valentine's Day into an event too. "Countdown to Valentine's" will air in February 2015, with 15 days of wall-to-wall Valentine's-themed programming, including four original movie premieres. Crown Media president and CEO Bill Abbott also alluded to a similar event coming around Mother's Day. "Countdown to Christmas" franchise accounts for 30% of annual ad revenue at Hallmark.
- Hallmark Channel has also picked up two new original scripted series: "The Good Witch," based on the TV movie franchise, and "Sign, Sealed, Delivered," from the Martha Williamson, the creator of "Touched by an Angel."
- Hallmark Movie Channel will be renamed Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, refining its mission to focus largely on light-hearted mysteries.