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Upfronts 2018: Hallmark heralds snowy presentation via Facebook Live

Neither snow nor rain nor other elements will keep postmen from making their rounds, nor Crown Media Family Networks executives and talent from staging their upfront presentation to advertisers.

The operator of the Hallmark Channel (US) and other Hallmark-branded networks canceled a glitzy nighttime event slated for the Rainbow Room at Manhattan's Rockefeller Center on March 21 in deference to forecasts calling for upward of 12 inches of snow to blanket the New York area. But while the weather outside was frightful, Crown Media opted to turn north to Central Park and Facebook Live to deliver its message on new programming. The network group's two-minute presentation was set against a snowy backdrop that would have been perfect for the holiday-themed original telefilms that made Hallmark Channel the top general-entertainment network among viewers and the leader with women 25 to 54 during the fourth quarter and holiday 2017.

SNL Image

From left: Actress Danica McKellar; Crown Media Family Networks'
ad executive Ed Georger as Rudolph;
Crown Media CEO Bill Abbott
as Santa; and actress Candace Cameron Bure.

Source: Crown Media Family Networks

Crown Media CEO and President Bill Abbott was joined in the winter wonderland by actresses Danica McKellar and Candace Cameron Bure, and Crown Media Executive Vice President of Ad Sales Ed Georger, who doffed the head of his Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer costume to extol audience stats.

The snowy quartet proceeded to inform that Hallmark Channel’s first reality series entry, "Meet The Peetes," which debuted in February, will return for a sophomore season in 2019, and gave so-called "Hearties" fans a reason to smile with the news that "When Calls The Heart" has been renewed for a sixth season.

McKellar noted that Hallmark Movies & Mysteries (US) will build on its base of telefilm franchises, with the addition of "The Chronicle Mysteries" about a novelist, played by Alison Sweeney, who revives a cold case, and "Picture Perfect," starring real-life married couple Alexa and Carlos PenaVega. Working with a local police detective, played by her husband, Alexa portrays a photographer who helps solve mysteries.

Premiering in June, "Crossword Mysteries" stars Crown Media staple Lacey Chabert as a brilliant puzzle editor whose clues wind up linking to crimes.

Cameron Bure, whom Abbott dubbed the "Queen of Christmas," announced that Hallmark Channel's weekday lifestyle series "Home & Family" will present its first "Dream Holiday Home Decorating Contest" in conjunction with the "Countdown to Christmas" seasonal programming event, offering the winner a chance to redecorate their home for the holidays.

Abbott said Hallmark Channel is expanding its commitment to the pet "Adoption Ever After" initiative, adding "Cat Bowl," featuring older felines frolicking, on Feb. 2, 2019, the day before the network kicks off its sixth annual "Kitten Bowl."

Canines were not left in the cold, as Hallmark Channel will make "American Rescue Dog Show" an annual event, with the second installment slated for next February.