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Hallmark Channel has announced a new Christmas movie, “A Holiday Spectacular” featuring the Radio City Rockettes, as part of the 2022 Countdown to Christmas programming. The movie stars Ginna Claire Mason who played Glinda in Broadway’s award-winning Wicked; Tony Award-nominated Derek Klena Academy Award-nominated entertainer Ann-Margret and Eve Plumb.The film was shot on location both in upstate New York and at Radio City Music Hall. The Rockettes were choreographed by their director and choreographer Julie Branam (Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes) and will be featured throughout the film in various performance numbers and speaking roles.
“The Radio City Rockettes embody Christmas in New York City and we are thrilled to bring together two quintessential holiday brands – Hallmark Channel and the Radio City Rockettes – for a one-of-a-kind holiday movie,” said Lisa Hamilton Daly, EVP Programming, Hallmark Channel. “’A Holiday Spectacular’ will be a beautiful reminder of the joy of the season and is sure to become a family tradition, much like attending a performance of the Rockettes’ annual Christmas Spectacular.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Hallmark Channel to bring together our two iconic holiday brands, which both create holiday magic for millions of people every year,” said Jessica Tuttle, Senior Vice President, Productions, Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp., the parent company of the Radio City Rockettes and Radio City Music Hall. “This heartwarming storyline gives audiences a peek into the passion and dedication that the Rockettes have for this beloved dance company and the incredible sisterhood that is at the core of this legendary line.”
The story is set in 1958 when a Philadelphia heiress named Maggie (Mason) puts her high-society wedding plans, to a man she doesn’t love, on hold in order to sneak up to New York City and make her secret dream come true: dancing live on stage in the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. While her family thinks she’s staying in New York City with an “approved” friend from boarding school, Maggie is living a completely different life than she’s ever known. She falls in love with New York and dancing with the Rockettes. Maggie soon feels caught between two worlds, made even more complicated by her chance encounter with young U.S. Navy photographer John (Klena). Will Maggie find the courage to tell her family what she wants for her future instead of accepting the future that was decided for her?
Will Kemp (“Christmas Waltz”) and Reshma Shetty (“Blind Spot”) star in “Jolly Good Christmas,” a new, original movie premiering this year during Hallmark Channel’s beloved, annual “Countdown to Christmas” programing event. The movie shot entirely on location in London and features iconic landmarks throughout the city.
“We can’t wait to transport our viewers ‘across the pond’ for this special, holiday adventure,” said Samantha DiPippo, Senior Vice President, Development, Programming, Crown Media Family Networks. “We’re thrilled to have been able to feature famous sites and set our story against the unique backdrop of London at Christmastime.”
David (Kemp) is an American architect who recently moved to London for a prime opportunity in a prestigious firm. With just three days before Christmas, he has yet to purchase a gift for his girlfriend, who also happens to be the boss’ daughter. While out shopping, David crosses paths with Anji (Shetty), a professional shopper, who raises an eyebrow over his choice of a gift card. When David and Anji end up crossing paths again, he decides to hire her in the hopes of finding just the right gift. Thanks to a series of unexpected events, David finds himself on a wild adventure across Jolly Old London as Anji helps him search for the perfect present.
Hallmark Media is excited to share that Alison Sweeney (The Wedding Veil trilogy) has agreed to a multi-picture overall deal with the networks.
For the 2022 Countdown to Christmas programming event, Sweeney stars in A Magical Christmas Village, which she also executive produces with Luke Macfarlane (Moriah’s Lighthouse) and guest star Marlo Thomas. In the movie, Sweeney stars as Summer, an architect living in a small town where she’s raising her young daughter Chloe (Maesa Nicholson, Dying for Chocolate: A Curious Caterer Mystery). When her mother Vivian (Thomas) finds herself in need of a place to live, her orderly life becomes a little less so after inviting Vivian to move in with them during this transition. Upon arrival, Vivian sets up an heirloom, miniature Christmas village resembling their town and tells Chloe it grants Christmas wishes. As Chloe begins setting up the figurines, real-life events seem to mimic the scenes she creates, including Summer’s chance meeting with Ryan (Macfarlane), a newcomer to their community.
Stay tuned for more news about this year’s Countdown to Christmas event on Hallmark Channel!
Hallmark Media announces the first original holiday movie for 2023 with “A Biltmore Christmas,” starring Bethany Joy Lenz (“Good Sam,” “An Unexpected Christmas”) and Kristoffer Polaha (“We Wish You a Married Christmas,” Jurassic World: Dominion). Production is set to begin this January in Asheville, North Carolina at the historic Biltmore Estate, renowned for its classic holiday traditions since 1895. Although this National Historic Landmark has been home to many productions over the years, this movie marks the first time Biltmore Estate itself serves as the setting.
Lucy Collins (Lenz) is a screenwriter who lands the job of a lifetime when she’s hired to write the script for a remake of the beloved holiday movie His Merry Bride! First filmed in 1947 at beautiful Biltmore House, it has long been considered a Christmas classic. As Christmas approaches, Lucy travels to Biltmore Estate for research. She joins a guided tour of the grounds where she gets insights into the history of the location and the filming of His Merry Bride!, and once inside the house, she’s drawn to a beautiful hourglass. When Lucy accidentally knocks it over, she finds herself transported back in time to 1946 – the Golden Age of Hollywood – as cast and crew prepare to film His Merry Bride! at Biltmore. Lucy does her best to navigate an unfamiliar place as a woman out of time, charming some and raising suspicions of others. It’s not long before Lucy catches the eye of the film’s dashing lead Jack Huston (Polaha) and although she initially rebuffs his advances, their connection soon becomes undeniable. Lucy’s sudden appearance sets off a chain of events that put the production in jeopardy. Before she can return to the present, she must make things right or threaten to alter the future forever. Lucy has one chance to go home but must say goodbye to the man who might be her soulmate unless some Christmas magic can keep the curtain from closing on their love story.