Hallmark Channel

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Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Channel Logo
Launched1984 (as ACTS)
1988 (as VISN)
1992 (merger of VISN/ACTS)
1993 (as Faith & Values Channel)
1996 (as Odyssey Network)
August 5, 2001 (as Hallmark Channel)
Owned byCrown Media Holdings (Hallmark Cards)
Picture format480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
HeadquartersStudio City, California, U.S.
Sister channel(s)Hallmark Movie Channel
Websitehttp://www.hallmarkchannel.com
Availability
Terrestrial
Selective TV Inc.
(Alexandria, MN)
K51JY (Channel 51)
Satellite
DirecTVChannel 312 (SD/HD)
Dish NetworkChannel 185 (SD/HD)
Cable
Available on most cable systemsCheck local listings for channels
 
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Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Channel Logo
Launched1984 (as ACTS)
1988 (as VISN)
1992 (merger of VISN/ACTS)
1993 (as Faith & Values Channel)
1996 (as Odyssey Network)
August 5, 2001 (as Hallmark Channel)
Owned byCrown Media Holdings (Hallmark Cards)
Picture format480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
HeadquartersStudio City, California, U.S.
Sister channel(s)Hallmark Movie Channel
Websitehttp://www.hallmarkchannel.com
Availability
Terrestrial
Selective TV Inc.
(Alexandria, MN)
K51JY (Channel 51)
Satellite
DirecTVChannel 312 (SD/HD)
Dish NetworkChannel 185 (SD/HD)
Cable
Available on most cable systemsCheck local listings for channels

The Hallmark Channel is a cable television network that broadcasts across the United States. Their programming includes a mix of television movies/miniseries, syndicated series, and lifestyle shows that are appropriate for the whole family. It is owned by Crown Media Holdings, which in turn majority-owned by Hallmark Cards.

Contents

History

The Odyssey Network logo

In the United States, the network began as two separate religious cable channels, the American Christian Television System (ACTS) and the Vision Interfaith Satellite Network (VISN). These two networks shared time on the same channel beginning in 1992.[1] Under the original timeshare agreement, the network was believed to be called VISN/ACTS. Each station was provided time for its programming blocks, and would use its own logo.

VISN began broadcast in 1988 aired about 16 hours a day and had religious programs from mainline Protestant denominations like the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, United Church of Christ, and others. Roman Catholic, LDS Church, Jewish and Islamic faiths also provided programming.[2] VISN aired in mornings and evenings. ACTS commenced operations in 1984 and aired programming from evangelical and fundamentalist non- charismatic Christian groups like Southern Baptist Convention, Christian Reformed Church, Association of Regular Baptist Churches, as well as well known evangelists like Jerry Falwell, Charles Stanley, D James Kennedy, among others. Both channels had several hours a week of religious children's programs, some of which overlapped. These shows included Sunshine Factory, Joy Junction, Davey and Goliath, Jot, and others.

In 1993, the network was renamed "The Faith and Values Channel". It began to phase out religious programming in 1994, when a few secular shows were added, such as exercise shows, health and cooking shows, and family-friendly dramas and movies. More secular programming was added in 1996. At that time religious programming went down to about 10 hours a day. Faith And Values was then renamed "The Odyssey Channel", using the domain name Odysseyfamily.com for posting TV listings.

Crown Media Holdings and The Jim Henson Company bought stakes in Odyssey in November 1998. The Hallmark/Henson version of Odyssey launched on April 4, 1999, and the airing of religious programs went down to four hours a day. Some classic sitcoms, children's programming, and more family movies were added. Henson sold its interest in the channel to Crown Media Holdings in 2000. Odyssey then dropped much of the children's programming and cut back the religious shows to a few hours on Sundays.

History as Hallmark Channel

The channel was renamed The Hallmark Channel on August 5, 2001.[3] The channel completely dropped religious programing altogether, but continued to focus on family and drama shows, drama movies, classic sitcoms, and other general entertainment. A remnant of the VISN network continues to own about 5% of the channel, and still produces some content for them.[4] The change meant that The Kermit Channel in Asia was also changed to The Hallmark Channel, reducing the former to a three-hour block on Hallmark.[5]

Hallmark Channel aired an original weekday morning show entitled "New Morning" in 2002 and added a Sunday morning version, hosted by Naomi Judd, entitled "Naomi's New Morning" in 2005. The show was pulled from the schedule in early 2007.

David Evans was CEO of the newly-developing network, until he resigned in May 2006.[6] The network was without a formal CEO until October 2006, when Henry Schleiff was appointed as the new CEO, overseeing all of the networks’ divisions.[7] Prior to this position, Schleiff was Chairman and CEO of Court TV.[8]

In January 2007, Hallmark Channel dropped the Hallmark crown from its channel logo, but still uses it in certain places on-air, Hallmark promos, and in other countries.

On May 27, 2007, Hallmark Channel launched "Watch With Me", a new national public affairs initiative aimed to promote programming for families to watch together, and "to spend more time together."[3]

In 2008, Hallmark Channel unveiled a new branding campaign with predominantly gold coloring, a stylized logo, and a new slogan, "Make Yourself At Home".

In February 2008, the Hillary Clinton campaign purchased an hour of Hallmark Channel's primetime under a paid programming arrangement on February 4, 2008, the day before the multi-state "Super Tuesday (2008)" primaries.[9]

On May 6, 2009, Henry Schlieff stepped down as CEO. William J. Abbott, Executive Vice President of Advertising Sales stepped in to the position the same day. Both parties said Schleiff's departure was amicable.[10] Later that month it was announced that Crown Media Holdings had put the channel up for sale, which was burdened with over $1 billion in debt for the network. After over a month with no prospects for buying the network, it was taken off the block; the board blamed the large debt for the lack of interest. CEO William J. Abbott decided that Crown Media Holdings would take the network in a younger, "lighter" direction, while continuing to cater to baby boomers.[11]

In January 2010, their on-air branding was revamped for HD broadcasting. A predominantly lavender color scheme, 3D renderings of the Hallmark script logo, and relatively simple elements make up the new look, including a new slogan, "Celebrate Life's Moments." The channel also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Hallmark brand in January 2010.

Hallmark Channel HD, a 1080i high definition simulcast of Hallmark Channel, launched on February 1, 2010.[12] DirecTV added the HD channel to their lineup on June 23, 2010.[13]

Programming

Hallmark Channel Headquarters, Studio City, CA

Hallmark Channel airs syndicated series, original movies, and past segments from their parent company's Hallmark Hall of Fame anthology series, which features made-for-television movies and miniseries, most of them from the series' CBS run. Television series on Hallmark Channel include The Waltons, The Golden Girls, Cheers, I Love Lucy, Frasier, and Little House on the Prairie.

In September 2010, Hallmark Channel launched "Hallmark Channel Home", now known as "Hallmark Channel Daytime", which currently airs from 10:00am to 3:00pm EDT weekdays. Programs on the block include programming produced by Martha Stewart Omnimedia. Hallmark Channel Daytime, As of September 17 2012, currently airs Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn, Martha Bakes, and Emeril's Table hosted by Emeril Lagasse.[14]

In 2013, Hallmark Channel will begin airing the original series Cedar Cove, based on the novels by Debbie Macomber.[15]

Original movies

The network's made-for-TV movies are characterized as family-friendly and inspirational, ranging from holiday-themed films to westerns. In the early stages of the channel's development, the channel had a steady one-movie-a-month, or 12-a-year, production schedule and were mainly produced by RHI Entertainment. However, in 2008 the company had ramped up their production schedule to approximately 30 movies a year and opened up to other production companies, though RHI still produces some movies for Hallmark Channel.[16] The network released 35 original movies in 2009-2010.[3][17] Hallmark Channel released 25 new movies for the 2011 year.

Holiday Countdowns

Representing the Hallmark brand, the network counts down to certain holidays with movies and specials retaining to the holiday. Along with that are special episodes from Hallmark Channel Daytime programing. Special on-screen graphics are shown counting down the days to a certain upcoming holiday. The Hallmark Channel website also features a page informing viewers of special countdown programming and fun things at the time of that certain holiday. Holiday countdowns include:

Hallmark Channel also reminds viewers about non-countdown holidays with special on screen graphics on St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Memorial Day, and Independence Day.

Consumer website

On November 19, 2007, the network refreshed its consumer website, www.hallmarkchannel.com, offering users microsites dedicated to original programming and marketing initiatives,[3] such as sweepstakes and special 'events' like "Crime Time Sunday".[18] Some of the microsites have games centered around the movie's theme.[19]

They also began to stream their award-winning original series, Adoption,[20] marking the first time the network has scheduled a full-length program online.[3]

On Location

On July 21, 2008, the website launched its original online series called "On Location" that features an on-camera host who introduces interviews and behind-the-scenes footage from the filming of Hallmark Channel's original movies. The segments are featured on each movies' individual microsite.[3] The series had a soft launch in July 2007 with the title "Inside Story" and a different host for Avenging Angel,[21] Charlie & Me,[22] The Good Witch,[23] Daniel's Daughter,[24] and The Note.[25]

In 2009, the online show was revamped again, removing the on-camera host altogether. Love Takes Wing is the last title featured in an "On Location" with an on-camera host. All titles following do not have an on-camera host.[26]

Online movie shop

On January 29, 2009, the company announced the development of an online movie shop at both www.hallmarkchannel.com and www.hallmarkmoviechannel.com featuring DVD movies and movie-related products from its library.[27] The shop is powered by the Amazon Associates program. Since its soft launch in mid-2008, Hallmark Channel has already generated sales of over 10,000 items. The network earns a commission on each sale.[28]

Advertising

In mid-June 2009, the network announced it would sell individual ad breaks featuring a single advertiser. The so-called "Fast Breaks" will come with short bumpers announcing that the show will return in 30 seconds. The cost of such standalone spots is about double that of a regular 30-second commercial on the channel. Hallmark Channel signed insurance company Mutual of Omaha as the first buyer.[11]

Hallmark Channel around the world

The name Hallmark is also used for various cable channels worldwide. Hallmark Channel across the world is owned by NBC Universal and is run by different entities that have access to the Hallmark name and brand. They also have different programming and standards than Hallmark Channel USA.

AT&T U-verse carriage dispute

Hallmark Channel and sister channel Hallmark Movie Channel were removed from the AT&T U-verse lineup on September 1, 2010 due to a carriage dispute.[29] It is assumed that Hallmark wants to substantially increase fees, and that AT&T does not wish to pay these greatly-increased fees.

Censorship accusations

Blogger Donna Cavanagh has raised a concern with the network regarding its allowable on-air language policies, describing them as "censorship at its worst". Words such as "ass", "hooker", and possibly "butt" are dubbed out. In response to Cavanagh's inquiry, a representative of the network said:[30]

Crown Media Networks is committed to family friendly programming. Our Standards & Practices ("S&P" — the things that are or are not acceptable for a particular network) are very conservative. There are words and phrases commonly used on other cable channels and broadcast networks that Hallmark Channel's S&P guidelines deem unacceptable.

Cavanagh accused the network of hypocrisy in blocking such material as being objectionable according to the network's standards while continuing to broadcast sitcoms such as Frasier and The Golden Girls, which often feature themes of sexuality and promiscuity.

See also

References

  1. ^ "VISN, ACTS Sign Agreement To Share Single Cable Signal". Religious Broadcasting (National Religious Broadcasters) 24 (9): 32. October 1992. ISSN 0034-4079. 
  2. ^ Calian, Carnegie Samuel (1995-10-02). "Redeeming the wasteland? Christian TV increasingly uses entertainment to spread its message.". Christianity Today 39 (11): 92–103. ISSN 0009-5753. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Hallmark Channel Press site: Company Milestones
  4. ^ Downey, Kevin (2008-02-11). "Spiritual Syndicator's Gamble". Broadcasting & Cable: 20. 
  5. ^ Muppet Central News - Kermit Channel goes off the air
  6. ^ "Hallmark Exec folding cards". Encyclopedia.com: Daily Variety. http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-154815540.html. 
  7. ^ Hallmark Channel Press site: Bio Page
  8. ^ Unicef contributor's profile
  9. ^ Clinton Buys Block on Hallmark Mediaweek 2008-01-31
  10. ^ "Crown Media Holdings President and CEO Henry Schleiff To Leave Hallmark Channel". Hallmark Channel Press Site. 5-6-09. http://www.hallmarkchannelpress.com/publish/pr/home/corporate/press_releases_1/press_release_050609.html. 
  11. ^ a b "Hallmark: Change is in the Cards". Broadcasting Cable.com. http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/295389-Hallmark_Change_Is_in_the_Cards.php. 
  12. ^ Hallmark Channel goes HD just in the nick of time Entertainment Weekly December 16, 2009
  13. ^ Upcoming HD channels DirecTV.com
  14. ^ TCA: Hallmark Rustles Up Lagasse Cooking Show Multichannel News January 7, 2011
  15. ^ Elavsky, Cindy (2012-06-22). "Celebrity Extra". Downriver Sunday Times. King Features. http://downriversundaytimes.com/2012/06/22/celebrity-extra-153/. Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  16. ^ Hallmark Channel Press Release: 7/12/2007
  17. ^ "Hallmark Channel Increases Programming to 35 Original Movies for '09-'10 Upfront Season". Futon Critic. http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?date=03/24/09&id=20090324hallmark03. 
  18. ^ Crime Time Sunday Microsite
  19. ^ Hallmark Channel Press Release 1/28/09
  20. ^ Adoption Microsite
  21. ^ Avenging Angel Microsite
  22. ^ Charlie & Me Microsite
  23. ^ The Good Witch Microsite
  24. ^ Daniel's Daughter Microsite
  25. ^ The Note Microsite
  26. ^ Love Takes Wing Microsite
  27. ^ Hallmark Channel Online Shop
  28. ^ "Hallmark Channel Press Release 1/29/09". Hallmark Channel press site. http://www.hallmarkchannelpress.com/publish/pr/home/corporate/press_releases_1/press_release_012909.html. 
  29. ^ Hallmark Channels Go Dark On AT&T U-verse, Multichannel News, September 1, 2010
  30. ^ Cavanagh, Donna (July 10, 2011). "Bleepin' Censorship on the Bleepin' Hallmark Channel". The Student Operated Press.

External links