Make room on the DVR. Hallmark's “Countdown to Christmas” is here and even the biggest holiday movie fan will have trouble keeping up with the bounty of festive programming.
The record 37 new original holiday movies from Hallmark and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries are packed into a 10-week span, often with the sister stations premiering movies on the same night.
The new films are surrounded by nearly nonstop holiday programming thanks to Hallmark’s vast Christmas library.
Familiar faces will make the new movies feel like old friends with the return of Candace Cameron Bure, Lori Loughlin, Erin Krakow, Brennan Elliott, Luke MacFarlane and Danica McKeller.
Buffalo's Wendie Malick is back in the third film in the "Father Christmas" series, "Marrying Father Christmas," and this time it looks like she may find holiday romance, too. It debuts Nov. 4 on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
A special treat for Buffalo viewers: Hometown guy Chad Michael Murray makes his Hallmark holiday debut in “Road to Christmas,” premiering Nov. 4.
The big theme this year is going home and reconnecting with loved ones: childhood best friends, high school sweethearts, teen crush and family members. The schedule is filled with the popular evergreen stories of big-city executives being won over by small-town charm, single parents learning to trust again, and the true meaning of Christmas being discovered while baking cookies, decorating trees, caroling and ice skating.
Return to Hope Valley for the now-annual Christmas Day movie based on Hallmark’s popular series, “When Calls the Heart.” This time, there may be a Christmas baby. And Hearties still mourning the death of Mountie Jack will be consoled by actor Daniel Lissing spending “Christmas in Love," premiering Nov. 11.
Eloise Mumford and Sean Faris, the charming stars of the Hallmark Hall of Fame's "Christmas with Holly," reunite in "A Veterans' Christmas" on Nov. 11 on HM&M.
Noteworthy this year is a clear move toward more diversity in lead roles with the casting of such stars as Tia Mowry-Hardrict ("A Gingerbread Romance"), Jerrika Hinton ("A Majestic Christmas") and Tatyana Ali and Dondre T. Whitfield ("Christmas Everlasting").
Hallmark's fascination with Jane Austen's “Pride and Prejudice” continues with “Christmas at Pemberley Manor” and the unfortunately named “Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe,” although all similarity may end in the titles.
Here’s a quick look at films by premiere date; all movies will air repeatedly.
8 p.m. Oct. 27, Hallmark: “Christmas at Pemberley Manor.” Starring Jessica Lowndes, Michael Rady. A big-city event planner sent to a small town to plan a festival, matches wits with a Scrooge-like billionaire.
8 p.m. Nov. 3, Hallmark: “Christmas Joy.” Danielle Panabaker, Matt Long. When Joy returns home to help her aunt recover from surgery, she has to ask her high school crush for help with the holiday tour of homes.
8 p.m. Nov. 4, Hallmark: “Road to Christmas.” Chad Michael Murray, Jessy Schram, Teryl Rothery. Needing higher ratings for a holiday special, a TV producer schemes to reunite the program’s host with her three sons.
9 p.m. Nov. 4, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries: “Marrying Father Christmas.” Erin Krakow, Niall Matter, Wendie Malick. It’s all in the title of the third “Father Christmas” movie.
8 p.m. Nov. 10, Hallmark: “It’s Christmas, Eve.” LeAnn Rimes, Tyler Hynes. A commitment-shy woman who troubleshoots school budgets, ends up in her hometown where she trims the music program of a handsome teacher.
8 p.m. Nov. 11, Hallmark: “Christmas in Love.” Brooke D’Orsay, Daniel Lissing. When a big-city CEO wants to modernize a cookie factory, a worker shows him the importance of the personal touch.
9 p.m. Nov. 11, HM&M: “A Veterans’ Christmas.” Eloise Mumford, Sean Faris. A U.S. veteran stranded in a small town rediscovers the joys of the season with the help of a local judge.
8 p.m. Nov. 17, Hallmark: “Christmas at Graceland.” Kellie Pickler, Wes Brown. A Chicago executive travels to Memphis and reunites with an old flame.
9 p.m. Nov. 17, HM&M: “Return to Christmas Creek.” Tori Anderson, Stephen Huszar, Steven Weber. An app developer reunites with her best friend, Mike, and an estranged uncle who holds the key to a longstanding family rift.
8 p.m. Nov. 18, Hallmark: “Mingle All the Way.” Jen Lilley, Brant Daugherty, Lindsay Wagner. A dating app developer decides to try it out before Christmas in hopes of gaining investors.
9 p.m. Nov. 18, HM&M: “A Godwink Christmas.” Kimberley Sustad, Paul Campbell, Kathie Lee Gifford. A newly engaged woman visiting her aunt is torn by her feelings for an innkeeper and her career-focused fiancée.
9 p.m. Nov. 19, HM&M: “Last Vermont Christmas.” Erin Cahill, Justin Bruening. Sisters return home for what could be their last Christmas in their family house.
9 p.m. Nov. 20, HM&M: “Hope at Christmas.” Scottie Thompson, Ryan Paevey. Looking for a fresh start, a recently divorced woman looks for hope at the holidays.
8 p.m. Nov. 21, Hallmark: “Christmas at the Palace.” Merritt Patterson, Andrew Cooper. A former professional ice skater is hired by a king to teach his daughter to skate.
8 p.m. Nov. 22, Hallmark: “Christmas at Grand Valley.” Danica McKellar, Brennan Elliot. A big-city artist in a rut goes home and meets a single dad vacationing with his kids.
8 p.m. Nov. 23, Hallmark: “Pride, Prejudice and Mistletoe.” Lacey Chabert, Brendan Penny. A woman is forced to put on a charity event with an old rival.
8 p.m. Nov. 24, Hallmark: “Christmas Everlasting.” Tatyana Ali, Dondre T. Whitfield, Dennis Haysbert, Patti LaBelle. A lawyer home after her sister’s death, learns she has to live in her family house for five weeks to inherit the house.
9 p.m. Nov. 24, HM&M: “Christmas on Honeysuckle Lane.” Alicia Witt, Colin Ferguson. A woman finds a hidden surprise in her late mother’s desk that teaches her the meaning of Christmas.
8 p.m. Nov. 25, Hallmark: “A Shoe Addict’s Christmas.” Candace Cameron Bure, Luke Macfarlane. Locked in a store on Christmas Eve, Noelle sees the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future – all in the shoe department.
8 p.m. Dec. 1, Hallmark: “Christmas in Evergreen: Letters to Santa.” Jill Wagner, Mark Deklin, Holly Robinson Peete, Andrew Francis. Restoring a historic store, a group of people decide to grant the wishes of an old letter to Santa.
9 p.m. Dec. 1, HM&M: “Welcome to Christmas.” Eric Mabius, Jennifer Finnigan. A handsome widowed sheriff and the residents of struggling Christmas, Colo., try to convince a beautiful developer to build a resort nearby.
8 p.m. Dec. 2, Hallmark: “A Majestic Christmas.” Jerrika Hinton, Christian Vincent. An architect tasked with turning a historic playhouse into a multiplex, tries to change the mind of the building’s owner.
9 p.m. Dec. 2, HM&M: “Northern Lights of Christmas.” Ashley Williams, Corey Sevier. An aspiring pilot inherits a reindeer farm run by a handsome ranch hand.
8 p.m. Dec. 8, Hallmark: “Homegrown Christmas.” Lori Loughlin, Victor Webster. After leaving her dream job, a woman goes home where she has to work on a holiday dance with her high school sweetheart.
9 p.m. Dec. 8, HM&M: “Memories of Christmas.” Christina Milian, Mark Taylor. A woman learns her late mother, known as the queen of Christmas, had hired a man to do her decorating.
8 p.m. Dec. 9, Hallmark: “Christmas Wonderland.” Emily Osment, Ryan Rottman. Home to help with her niece and nephew, an artist finds inspiration while reconnecting with her high school love.
9 p.m. Dec. 9, HM&M: “Once Upon a Christmas Miracle.” Aimee Teegarden, Brett Dalton. A kind stranger helps a woman who needs a liver transplant.
8 p.m. Dec. 15, Hallmark: “A Gingerbread Romance.” Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Duane Henry. A baker and single dad helps a woman forced into a contest to build a life-sized gingerbread house.
9 p.m. Dec. 15, HM&M: “Time for Me To Come Home for Christmas.” Josh Henderson, Megan Park. Based on a Blake Shelton song. A stranded businesswoman and singer get to know each other as they try to get home for Christmas.
8 p.m. Dec. 16, Hallmark: “Entertaining Christmas.” Jodie Sweetin, Brendan Fehr. Lacking her famous mother’s entertaining talents, a woman tries to prove herself by helping a girl welcome her deployed father home.
9 p.m. Dec. 16, HM&M: “Reunited at Christmas.” Nikki DeLoach, Mike Faiola. A struggling novelist and her boyfriend go to her late grandmother’s home where she encouragement and the meaning of Christmas.
8 p.m. 22, Hallmark: “Jingle Around the Clock.” Brooke Nevin, Michael Cassidy. A woman learns her competition for both her promotion and her longtime crush is a former junior high school nemesis.
9 p.m. Dec. 22, HM&M: “Small Town Christmas.” Kristoffer Polaha, Ashley Newbrough. A novelist’s book tour takes her to the hometown of a former co-worker who inspired her book.
8 p.m. Dec. 23, Hallmark: “Christmas Made to Order.” Alexa PenaVega, Jonathan Bennett. An architect enlists a holiday coordinator for help in hosting a family Christmas.
9 p.m. Dec. 23, HM&M: “Christmas Bells are Ringing.” Emilie Ullerup, Josh Kelly. Home for her dad’s Christmas Eve wedding, a photographer asks her handsome childhood friend for help with an assignment.
8 p.m. Dec. 25, Hallmark: “When Calls the Heart Christmas.” Erin Krakow, Lori Loughlin. As the widowed Elizabeth prepares for the birth of her baby, the residents of Hope Valley help orphans who are stranded at Christmas.
8 p.m. Dec. 29, Hallmark: “A Midnight Kiss.” Carlos PenaVega, Adelaide Kane. A party planner asks her brother's college friend for help putting together a big bash.