Hallmark, LLC | Photo: Keith Castillo/ Alexx Henry Studios, LLC.

What’s Going On At Hallmark? There’s A Major Shake-Up At The Feel-Good Network

Hallmark Channel, News

In the past six weeks, Hallmark fans have been watching a revolving door at their favorite feel-good network. There is a major shake-up going on. They have canceled Home & Family, Jesse Metcalfe left the show he was starring in, their exclusive podcast, The Bubbly Sesh, has not been renewed, and now Michelle Vicary, the executive vice president of programming for Crown Media Family Networks, is leaving.

In addition, fans have noticed that syndicated broadcast shows like The Golden Girls have taken over the network, as they only play a couple of original movies per day.

What is all the tea?

We will spill what we know.

Michelle Vicary Leaving Hallmark

On Monday, Deadline announced that Michelle Vicary is stepping down as the EVP of programming at Crown Media.  Who is she exactly? As the Deck The Hallmark guys so succinctly explained on Tuesday, she was essentially the “godfather” of Countdown to Christmas. She is the person behind the current programming.

After Vicary leaves in June, Lucas has “tapped” a couple of guys, Randy Pope, SVP Programming & Development, and Darren Melameth, SVP Programming & Content Strategy, to handle things until they find a replacement for Michelle.

Turns out, the new CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, Wonya Lucas, has been doing some major cost-cutting. This has led to layoffs and big changes. However, there has not been a real conversation with fans. Moreover, they are noticing the changes and are not happy.

What else has changed?

Jesse Metcalfe First To Go

At the very end of March, Jesse Metcalfe left his Hallmark show, Chesapeake Shores. This was a total surprise to Chessies, who were excited for Season 5. The Desperate Housewives actor did some filming and a couple of weeks later, it was announced that Robert Buckley would be joining the cast.

There was no inside information on Metcalfe’s departure. However, it seemed rather odd that he would leave a show that was changed to accommodate his musical talent.

Hallmark’s Home & Family Canceled

Perhaps fans should have become more suspicious when Hallmark’s Home & Family was canceled right after Jesse left. After Zooming it in during Covid, the restrictions were lifted and Debbie Matenopoulos and Cameron Mathison were headed back to the iconic house to film Season 9. Viewers were shocked, as this was the perfect vehicle to advertise and deep dive into the network’s original programs.

However, there has been one positive that has come out of this cancellation. Cameron is now reunited with Alison Sweeney to film a new Murder She Baked, called the Cream Puff Murder Mystery.

He is also returning to his soap roots by joining the ABC soap General Hospital.

Say Goodbye To Hallmark’s Bubbly Sesh Podcast

Last weekend, Seshers got the horrible news on Twitter. Unfortunately, they will not be hearing The Bubbly Sesh hosts talk about the latest Hallmark shows. Hallmark did not renew the contract. Their last show will be after they recap the final episode of Good Witch Season 7.

Jacks and Shawl are both actors. The two friends brought a lot of insights into some of the acting choices made in every movie or series episode they discussed. Both women had unbridled passion and enthusiasm for the Hallmark material. Listeners will miss them.

In Comes Syndicated Programming

Viewers have noticed another major change at Hallmark. The network has increased the amount of inexpensive syndicated programming and reduced the amount of original content that they air. That means that instead of an older Lacey Chabert movie, the network is airing another episode of The Golden Girls.

In one Facebook group, a fan wrote, “Please bring the weekday movies we pay good money for Hallmark.” One fan commented, “Yes If they want to play reruns of something then play reruns of Hallmark movies not sitcoms. I’m sure none of us would mind. I’m sure they may be some older ones that may not have been seen by some of us so they would be new to us. Nothing new about same ole 30 yr old sitcoms.”

Why is Hallmark alienating their fans like this? Perhaps this is a cost-cutting measure that will surely save the network millions of dollars. However the question remains, will they lose viewership along with this change?

What changes have you noticed at Hallmark?

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33 Comments

  1. I am very unhappy on what is going on at hallmark which you pay to watch and has good family show . Let start working as a team again. The govement is a mess .

  2. I am very upset about the changes Hallmark has made. I don’t understand the added narrator during the shows. It is very distracting. There are many Christmas shows that have not been aired for many years. One instance is the shows that Peter Falk played in. I enjoy them very much.
    Hope this can resolved soon.

  3. PLEASE DON’T MESS UP THE HALLMARK CHANNELS. Love them and have my tv on the channels all day everyday. Having the same series on now all the time is awful. Why not have movies everyday even reruns would be better. AND THE NARRATOR HAS TO GO. VERY DISTURBING.

  4. when I finally get time to watch hallmark movies you mess up the whole program
    and what is this with overlay of someone talking which you can barely understand. we might be older but not stupid

    you are taking away a lot of enjoyment from a lot of people

    GET THE OVERLAY OF TALKING OUT YOU CAN’T UNDERSTAND HER ANYWAY IT IS VERY ANNOYING

  5. There’s always an idiot at the head of a network that thinks that people will just like what they’re doing after awhile they just have to wait it out . Well guess what who ever you are,not going to happen! You not only pissed off the good people you have and had working for you you have also pissed off all of your views.
    Keep doing what you’re doing and your whole network is going to be gone also! Maybe you should think about that too!!!! What will that do to your bottom line!!!

  6. How do we get the PTB to listen to us? I have 3 Hallmark channels. I do not pay for the Hallmark Now. I am more than a little disappointed with the changes. They think they are saving money but by cancelling our favorites like H & F and Good Witch, we will stop watching HM pretty soon. Tell us how does that help to save money? You won’t need them if you have no audience. I enjoy Golden Girls but enough is enough. I don’t care for the other shows you have stuck in there and I know GG word for word. I want to see movies during the day after the Christmas in July. I feel so disappointed in HM right now over the loss of GW. Maybe another channel that knows what they are doing will pick it up. Just a thought.

  7. I am so disappointed in Hallmark cancelling the Good Witch and there are a lot of the stars that use to be on their channels that are now gone. Shame on who ever is doing your programs.

  8. I too detest the sudden addition of the narrator. I know Hallmark sometimes goes on Sirius XM satellite radio so if that’s intended fir a radio audience just do it for radio. This is TELEVISION and the narrator is super annoying. Please stop immediately!

  9. I remember when Hallmark showed programs that were great for the family. They were the alternative to regular TV programs. That all changed recently. I now DVR the shows and fast forward through the objectionable portions. I have watched Hallmark for many years but have now started watching shows on Amazon and reading more. I did watch Good Witch but found the addition of Joy totally unnecessary. Guess I’m not woke enough for your channel anymore.

    1. Stop the cancellation of Good Witch! Please don’t cancel. This is the right show to be watched. In this chaotic times, we need something pleasant and inspiring, all the characters are super! Big mistake canceling this wholesome show.

      1. Please do keep GW off Hallmark Channel!!! It’s far too dark and even anti-Christian for HC. Put it on HDrama if you must keep it. When kids are watching HC, GW isn’t appropriate!

  10. I am so upset by the new direction Hallmark is moving towards. Hallmark was a Christian based, family friendly network, that produced movies which reflected Christian values. This type of values separated you from all the other networks and created a very large and unique audience. It is a shame that you felt pressured to cater to the LGBTQ community, even when they are not a part of your loyal viewers and fans. Companies and businesses should remember who their loyal customers are and take them into consideration, when making changes. I don’t think anything was wrong with their programming before all the changes. I have nothing against the LGBTQ community, but they have other networks to watch. We as Christians only had this network, and you ruined it for us.

  11. Why are you cancelling Home and Family? There are so few feel good shows on. We viewers like that this show is not political or controversial. I always like that about Hallmark because sometimes we need a break from everything that now is happening around us. I wish you would reconsider your decision.

    1. I just found out today that H&F is done. I DVR’d it because I’ve been working a lot and have kids home for summer. I haven’t been able to watch regularly so, when I finally got a chance to watch the shows and catch up I find that it is done! I’m actually really sad. I don’t watch much tv because most of it is terrible. H&F was a safe haven and now that is gone. When will the wokeness stop? I was already getting sad about how much LGBTQ was coming and invading the ONE place where we could just see normal. LGBTQ has everything else, do they need this too? I’m beyond sad. And no, I’m not homophobic at all…just like to see normal every now and then.

      1. Um, LGBTQ is “normal.” And they don’t have “everything else.” Just because something offends you personally or makes you uncomfortable doesn’t make it abnormal. Geesh

        1. Maybe some of us just wanted something besides the LGBTQ to watch. I have seen it on a lot of other channels so christians deserve to have a channel so we don’t have to see it.

  12. You nailed it. Agree with you completely. We only had Hallmark for good old-fashioned wholesome inspirational programming and now they have ruined it. Hallmark, “woke” viewers are not your base audience, maybe just a fraction of them, yet you cater to them and not loyal viewers who want to escape the nonsense of politics and social justice rhetoric. Cancellation of our favorite shows will cost you viewers and subscribers. What a shame.

  13. Don’t like the changes. I will now view other programs. The new CEO must not like the hearing impaired…no closed caption available.
    Big problems appear to be on the horizon for Hallmark…too bad. Will lose viewers, especially catering to LBGTQ audience instead of family value audience.

  14. I’m so disappointed that Home and Family is being cancelled and of all the changes with the Hallmark channel. I am a retired senior and the Hallmark channel is all I watch and I have to pay for it too. You are making a big mistake making all these changes. It is the only channel and program that has wholesome programming. I love the Hallmark movies. I’m really tired of the Golden Girls though. I don’t like the other program that you are putting on either. You are ruining a great Channel. I will have to cancel my subscription if you don’t stop your nonsense programming.

  15. Wonya Lucas CEO needs to go! You are running Hallmark Channel into the ground! Major mistake in cancelling Home & Family! It’s the only good morning show with wholesome variety viewing! It’s probably too late! A lot of people will cancel now that Home & Family is over and other good shows and actors are leaving! So annoying!

  16. I noticed the captioning too Janice viewer! Your new woke diversity must not include seniors or the hearing impaired! So disappointed! Fire the CEO and bring back the wholesome Hallmark Channel!

  17. Asking XFINITY to drop all Hallmark channels and replace HBO as premium election in other subscriber options, removing Hallmark completely. Tired of paying for a network that has withered away to out of date, monotonous reruns! With stay indoors due to the virus, there’s a need to have programming positive, Christian, moral and family oriented to view, not where Hallmark has morphed to in recent weeks!

  18. Golden girls and Monk are taking over hallmark. I can’t turn on your channel much anymore because of these 2
    programs. Please get back on track with all the people that used to enjoy Halmark.

  19. Really disturbing — the many sponsors have now left Home and Family…. the subscribers / VIEWERS have no other option left for viewing current authors, DIYers, food presentations, Crafting delights and all around good healthy up-to-date info not available on the media any where else with the many charming personalities that displayed good American ethics, values and common sense!!!
    HALLMARK – looks like all Your LOVE is still Bottom Line $$$$$$. Remember your millions of consumers that made you a great empire!!! This too has passed for us into another fading memory!!!!!!!!!!…..

  20. Hallmark is not Hallmark anymore! I don’t (didn’t) watch Hallmark for old reruns of Golden Girls or Monk. I saw them decades ago. I watched Hallmark for Hallmark content. I would watch old Hallmark movies anytime as there are many that I have not previously viewed and many that I would not mind seeing again. But having 75% of your programing being old sitcoms (yawn) is just lazy and cheap programing. This is NOT what a “Hallmark viewer” wants to see when they tune into Hallmark!!! Count me out, I’ll find a new source of entertainment, one that cares about retaining it’s viewers.

  21. I’m so disappointed that Hallmark cancelled Home and Family. It makes no sense to me at all. It was a GREAT program that I always enjoyed watching. Everyone was authentic, sincere, informative and entertaining. It was a wonderful morning show. An, because of Home and Family, I would also tune in to some of the Hallmark movies, but now you want me to watch re-runs of Golden Girls, The Middle and other pathetic sitcoms? Really? No thank you! It’s unbelievable that anyone in Hallmark Management would think this way. And it feels SO rude to me that you would take such a great program as Home and Family, and cancel it. And then apparently you don’t feel that it was important at all to let people know why. You give no plausible reason. This is a disgrace. The whole thing is a disgrace. The management of Hallmark is pathetic and ridiculous. I think it’s the CEO that needs to be fired and cancelled immediately!

  22. You got rid of the WOMAN who made the channel a respite for WOMEN in today’s messed up world. Countdown to Christmas is now part of culture. As marketers you have to strike the balance between consumer demand and your pocketbook. Please don’t ruin this last bastion of escape.

  23. I added Hallmark to my tv repertoire almost 3 years ago. Then, with the all the stress of the election and the turmoil in our country, then COVID, I really emotionally retreated and watched ONLY Hallmark channels. Now, I’m wondering what to do! I’ve never seen such a fast, dramatic and negative change in a network. To drop Home & Family, which not only was a versatile, feel-good program, but it acted as the biggest promoter of the Hallmark channels’ programming and their stars, made no sense, especially without trying other less drastic options. The show could have been adapted to become whatever made sense financially. Then to fill the day, hour after hour, with endless reruns of the sitcoms we said goodbye to decades ago! Also, as a hearing impaired viewer, it’s impossible not to notice the lack of importance the closed captioning has become. It now captions about 1/4 of the words spoken…it’s more than ridiculous! Finally, as the mother of a gay son, I am sensitive to the changes taking place in the country in regards to respecting the rights of all people. However, it’s obvious the new CEO and other network executives have no clue who their viewer market is. To suddenly add love stories involving same sex couples was sure to upset the apple cart with many viewers. The network has over the years, obviously put together programming that is “fairy-tale” like…traditional, happily-ever-after love stories that are more cheesy than real life. To throw all this to the wind, as if there is a social agenda, is heartbreaking! To the powers that be, it’s not too late to save what Hallmark has been, but time is counting down. Many of us have already started looking elsewhere!

  24. Fire Wonya Lucas!
    Is she purposely destroying the wholesome nuclear family content ??
    Seems to fit with the Marxism being spewed from every direction. Hallmark was always a threat to this agenda because it reinforced Christian values and American traditions. This is on purpose! Fire Wonya!

  25. What is going on Hallmark? Why did you cancel Home & Family and Good Witch? Also where are the movies? I don’t know what’s going on with your programming, Hallmark is pretty much the only channel I watched but now with only 3 movies on and all of these old sitcoms, I’m so upset and disappointed in the networks programming. You even took off the Christmas movie on Thursday,, what is the purpose of that I’m? Now, I’m wondering what is going to happen to Countdown to Christmas. Bring back the movies at least during the day.

  26. I noticed that in the new Aurora Teagarden Movie two of the main characters were missing, Arthur and Sally. Hopefully they are coming back as they do complete a cast that is really good together. John should be written back in also, these cast members made the series what it is.

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