Photo: Lacey Chabert Credit: ©2019 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Kim Nunneley/Alexx Henry Studios, LLC

Why Is Hallmark Signing So Many Stars To Talent Deals?

Hallmark Channel, Movies, News

Hallmark, GAC Family, and Lifetime have been in a sort of competition to sign talent to multi-picture, and even exclusive deals. Why is there a competition?

There is actually a “strategy behind these talent deals” and it has to do with a rather jolly time of the year. Here is why Hallmark is signing so many stars to talent deals, and why some talent who originally said ‘no,’ is now saying ‘yes’!

Why Is Hallmark Signing So Many Talent Deals?

On Wednesday, Deadline announced that Hallmark’s parent company, Crown Media Family Networks, just signed a multi-picture, exclusive deal with Ryan Paevey.

Ryan joins other fan-favorites, Lacey ChabertHolly Robinson PeeteAimeé TeagardenHeather HemmensTamera MowryTaylor Cole, Luke MacfarlaneBrennan ElliottJonathan Bennett, and Andrew Walker who have signed their own deals. 

Some have signed “multi-picture deals,” some “exclusive deals,” and some both.

Why this flurry of signings?

The publication spoke to Lisa Hamilton Daly, the Executive VP at Crown Media, who joined the company in October, just as Countdown To Christmas was getting underway. She oversees the programming on everything from the main network to Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and Hallmark Drama.

Moreover, Daly has had experience working with Hallmark’s biggest competitors, Netflix and Lifetime.

Photo: Jonathan Bennett Credit: ©2021 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Allister Foster
Photo: Jonathan Bennett Credit: ©2021 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Allister Foster

Hallmark Talent Asking About Deals After Refusing One

When Daly and her staff started to figure out how many talent deals they wanted to sign. Daly revealed that originally, some Hallmark talent didn’t want to be signed to a talent deal.

However, as the other deals started to roll out, that changed.

I also have to say that, because we announced a lot of deals, some of our actors who we worked with who didn’t wanna be under deals were all of a sudden calling me and saying, ‘Where’s my deal?’ They’ve seen the drumbeat of deals. I’m like, ‘OK, we’ll do your deal.’

Why Does Crown Media Make These Talent Deals?

Daly explained Hallmark’s reasoning for this. “It’s really to make sure that we have access to that talent during the year.”

She continued to explain their strategy. “We put a lot of thought into who we’re going after and who we’re locking down so that we have a range of people and a range of talent that we can say we pre-negotiated.”

She then equated these talent deals to a perfect online match. “When the time comes and we have the perfect script for them, we just pop them in there. The deals are basically done and we’re ready to roll.”

How Many Hallmark Movies Is ‘Multi-Picture’?

Lisa Hamilton Daly also revealed that  these deals are “usually for either two movies, and some of them are for a Christmas movie.”

The Christmas Movie Competition Is Fierce

In the past few years, those who follow Sleepy Kitty Paw on Twitter can see that there are more Christmas movies than ever.

Daly also revealed a few competitors by name, as she mentioned her old company first. “Netflix continues to have a couple Christmas things at different price points. We have seen CBS get into it and Peacock. All these other places are now getting into the Christmas spirit and trying to grab some eyeballs.”

She revealed what Hallmark fans already know. “It feels like a very elastic business because I think people do love Christmas.”

Credit: ©2021 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Daniel Haber
Credit: ©2021 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Daniel Haber

‘Hallmark Christmas Movies’ Are ‘Essential Brand’

Lisa Hamilton Daly revealed that Hallmark movies are an “essential brand.” Anyone who hears about a movie filming in their town, this is always referred to as a “Hallmark Christmas movie.” This is an identifiable brand.

However, Daly revealed that no matter how many other networks copy them, Hallmark’s Christmas movies are still number one.

But what’s funny is that whether people watched a Christmas movie on Lifetime or a Christmas movie on Netflix, they all called them Hallmark Christmas movies. That was the one thing that I thought was so funny. Hallmark is this essential brand to Christmas. You can look at Lifetime’s ratings and how many eyeballs they got, but we really are the place for Christmas and are still number one.

Hallmark fans, are you getting excited for Christmas movies in October?

  

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