The network’s annual “Countdown to Christmas” ― near round-the-clock programming of schmaltzy holiday romance flicks ― starts Friday with a Christmas-themed episode of its “Home and Family” show followed by 2014′s “A Royal Christmas,” starring Lacey Chabert, Jane Seymour and Stephen Hagan.
In addition to recycling the movies of previous years, the network plans to broadcast 24 original films this season, along with another 16 on sister channel Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. The first new flick, “Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses,” starring Jill Wagner and Matthew Davis, airs Saturday.
This year’s lineup also includes: “Christmas at Dollywood,” starring Danica McKellar, Niall Matter and Dolly Parton; “A Christmas Duet,” starring Chaley Rose and Rome Flynn; and “A Christmas Love Story,” with Kristin Chenoweth and Scott Wolf.
See the full schedule on the network’s “Countdown to Christmas website.
While much of the programming ― even the new films ― will look and feel familiar, this year’s schedule will have at least one noticeable difference: The network won’t be rerunning any films starring Lori Loughlin, such as “Every Christmas Has A Story” and “Northpole: Open For Christmas.” Hallmark Channel cut ties with Loughlin after she and husband Mossimo Giannulli were charged earlier this year in the college admissions scandal. The two have pleaded not guilty and are currently awaiting trial.