This image released by Crown Media shows a scene from the Christmas TV movie “Let it Snow,” one of the films to air on Hallmark TV channels for a week, beginning on Independence Day. The stunt on the Hallmark and Hallmark Movie channels 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. (AP Photo/Crown Media)
Some people around the country have been putting their Christmas lights back up in order to foster a little cheer and hope in these bizarre times.
Now comes news of an even greater gift, one that could spur the entire country to heal itself by blasting our nervous systems with extremely high doses of saccharin and warmth.
The Hallmark Channel has announced they will be running a Christmas movie marathon during America’s self-quarantine.
ET Online reports the marathon will begin on Friday, March 20.
Starting Friday, March 20 at 12 p.m. ET/PT, Hallmark will air 27 original “Countdown to Christmas” holiday films from recent years, starting with Candace Cameron Bure‘s A Christmas Detour.
The weekend marathon, a response to fans’ desires for a dedicated lineup of feel-good movies to help pass the time amid the coronavirus outbreak, culminates Sunday, March 22 at 6 p.m. ET/PT with Christmas in Rome starring Lacey Chabert.
Other stars featured in the Hallmark weekend marathon include Danica McKellar, Kristin Chenoweth, Torrey DeVitto, Holly Robinson Peete, Chad Michael Murray, Ryan Paevey, Brandon Routh, Adrian Grenier and Jesse Metcalfe.
ET Online has very generously printed the schedule. I’m sad…and proud…to say I’ve seen most of these and this truly is the “greatest hits” treatment. Here’s my breakdown of the movies I’ve seen…
FRIDAY, MARCH 20
12:00 p.m. ET/PT: A Christmas Detour
Stars: Candace Cameron Bure (“Fuller House”) and Paul Greene (“Bitten”) – Ok, haven’t seen this one but CCB is Hallmark royalty and she always has a fun energy in these kinds of movies.
2:00 p.m. ET/PT: Holiday Date
Stars: Brittany Bristow (“Rising Suns”), Matt Cohen (“General Hospital”), Teryl Rothery (“Cedar Cove”) and Bruce Boxleitner (“Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove”) – This is one of the rare Hallmark holiday movies that includes Hanukkah, plus my favorite Hallmark storyline – fake boyfriend/girlfriend fall in real love.
4:00 p.m. ET/PT: A Christmas Love Story
Stars: Kristin Chenoweth (“Glee”) and Scott Wolf (“The Night Shift”) – Actually a genuinely good movie and a bit more serious than the typical Hallmark fare. Production value was very good. I may have even shed a tear in this lovely story about love, sacrifice and choosing life.
6:00 p.m. ET/PT: Mingle All the Way
Stars: Jen Lilley (“Days of Our Lives,”), Brant Daugherty (“Pretty Little Liars”) and Lindsay Wagner (“The Bionic Woman”)- Once again, my favorite Hallmark plotline – fake relationship to impress parents/boss that turns into a real relationship over hot cocoa and snowball fights. This one isn’t my favorite, though. Lack of chemistry in the leads and not enough Lindsay Wagner.
8:00 p.m. ET/PT: Christmas Under Wraps
Stars: Candace Cameron Bure (“Let it Snow”), David O’Donnell (“12 Wishes of Christmas”), Brian Doyle-Murray (“The Middle”) and Robert Pine (“Frozen”) – Another fun CCB movie that includes another Hallmark favorite plotline – big city gal/guy moves to small town and finds out what Christmas and love are really all about.
10:00 p.m. ET/PT: Crown for Christmas
Stars: Danica McKellar (“The Wonder Years”) and Rupert Penry-Jones (“Black Sails”) – Danica McKellar has such a perfect sweetness in these movies. I always enjoy a good, “simple girl learns about the royal life” story.
SATURDAY, MARCH 21
12:00 a.m. ET/PT: Picture a Perfect Christmas
Stars: Merritt Patterson (“The Royals”) and Jon Cor (“Shadowhunters”) – Haven’t seen it. Yay!
2:00 a.m. ET/PT: The Sweetest Christmas
Stars: Lacey Chabert (“Mean Girls”) and Lea Coco (“Queen Sugar”) – Lacey is great at baking plot lines. This film is sweet, like Lacey. And also the big gingerbread baking contest is hilariously terrible. So…don’t miss it.
4:00 a.m. ET/PT: Coming Home for Christmas
Stars: Danica McKellar (“The Wonder Years”), Neal Bledsoe (“The Mysteries of Laura”) and Andrew Francis (“Chesapeake Shores”) – A spin on the “simple girl/royal family” plot only this time Danica McKellar is a simple girl dealing with a rich family. There’s a cantankerous grandma and a hysterically unsexy playboy brother. Worth the watch.
6:00 a.m. ET/PT: Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses
Stars: Jill Wagner (“Teen Wolf”), Matthew Davis (“Legacies”) and Donna Mills (“Knots Landing”) –Jill Wagner isn’t my favorite Hallmark queen but she has a following (yes, the Hallmark ladies have followings). This movie I like because Donna Mills is still so lovely to look at.
8:00 a.m. ET/PT: Pride, Prejudice & Mistletoe
Stars: Lacey Chabert (“Mean Girls”) and Brendan Penny (“Chesapeake Shores”) – Exactly what it sounds like. Not my favorite because I think Chabert should leave the “busy businesswoman too busy for love” roles to CCB.
10:00 a.m. ET/PT: Christmas in Evergreen: Tidings of Joy
Stars: Paul Greene (“Bitten”), Maggie Lawson (“Psych”), Barbara Niven (“Chesapeake Shores”), Holly Robinson Peete (“21 Jump Street”), Rukiya Bernard (“Van Helsing”), Colin Lawrence (“The Good Doctor”), Ashley Williams (“How I Met Your Mother”) and Jill Wagner (“Teen Wolf”) – Evergreen is a popular Hallmark town and lots of love happens there.
12:00 p.m. ET/PT: A Shoe Addict’s Christmas
Stars: Candace Cameron Bure (“Fuller House”), Luke Macfarlane (“Brothers & Sisters”) and Jean Smart (“Designing Women”) – One of my favorite CCB movies. Clever plot that actually manages to be a bit edgier than typical Hallmark stuff but still maintain its sweet cheesiness.
2:00 p.m. ET/PT: Christmas Under the Stars
Stars: Jesse Metcalfe (“Desperate Housewives”), Autumn Reeser (“The Arrangement”) and Clarke Peters (“The Wire”) – meh
4:00 p.m. ET/PT: Write Before Christmas
Stars: Torrey DeVitto (“Chicago Med”), Chad Michael Murray (“Riverdale”), Grant Show (“Dynasty”), Lolita Davidovich (“How to Get Away With Murder”) and Drew Seeley (“Glory Daze”) – I like this one because it included a middle-aged love story, which you don’t get to see much of on this channel. In the Hallmark universe, everyone is either young, cute and looking for commitment or old and has been married forever. There’s no in-between.
6:00 p.m. ET/PT: Christmas in Rome
Stars: Lacey Chabert (“Mean Girls”) and Sam Page (“The Bold Type”) – I love Chabert. But don’t watch this for the plot. Watch it for all the terrible advice on touring Italy and for the terrible set pieces.