Newly rebranded network, Great American Family, has been making waves among fans of the family rom-com and specifically those associated with Hallmark Channel. Previously known as Great American Country, the network was bought by a group of investors that includes former Hallmark Media CEO Bill Abbott.The network was rebranded and relaunched as Great American Family along with a sister network, Great American Living, which will showcase their lifestyle brand.As soon as the network relaunched, the first order of business seemed to be to cajole some fan favorite Hallmark stars over to Great American Media with multi-picture deals (guaranteed work!) In the last year, Great American Media has announced they’ve signed several actors to deals, including Danica McKellar, Jen Lilley, Jessica Lowndes, and Trevor Donovan. And now they’ve plucked one of the shiniest gems from from Hallmark’s crown: Candace Cameron Bure!
“I’m very excited to develop heartwarming family and faith-filled programming and make the kind of stories my family and I love to watch,” Bure said in a statement.
Great American Media is likely making the moves worth it for the actors and hoping the stars’ followers tune in to the fledgling network too.
While the deals are non-exclusive, it’s unlikely you’ll be seeing these stars on Hallmark Channel anytime soon due to time and filming commitments.
Not only have they scooped up talent, they’ve also revived properties that Hallmark canceled or wavered on picking up additional seasons. Great American Media picked up season 2 of When Hope Calls and greenlit a Christmas movie for the When Calls the Heart spinoff. When Hope Calls: A Country Christmas premiered on the network this past holiday season. The film featured Lori Loughlin, who was ousted from Hallmark Media after her involvement in the Varsity Blue college admissions scandal.
Great American Media recently announced Loughlin’s return to the small screen in her first movie since her release from prison last year. After Hallmark Channel canceled Home & Family, their daily weekday family lifestyle show, Great American Media quickly hired Cameron Mathison, Debbie Matenopoulos and other Home & Family on-camera talent to host their Christmas preview special, Welcome to Great American Christmas.
Hallmark Channel also recently announced they would no longer produce Kitten Bowl, the network’s counter-programming to the Super Bowl and Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl. The show didn’t linger in the ether for long as Great American Media picked up the rights to the yearly special that promotes pet adoption and features shelter animals. The special debuts next year and will be rechristened Great American Rescue Bowl and will feature not only kittens but also puppies and adult cats and dogs.