Christmas, Photo: Robert Buckley, Ana Ayora Credit: ©2020 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Luba Popovic

Could Hallmark, Lifetime Christmas Movies Be Canceled Due To Hollywood Strike?

Hallmark Channel, Lifetime, News

Could Christmas be canceled in 2021? Right now, Hallmark and Lifetime’s planned Christmas movies for 2021 could be in jeopardy due to an impending strike.

What do we know about the strike?

The IATSE Strike Could Affect Christmas Movies

In 2020 Christmas movie fans of Christmas dealt with fears that Christmas movies could be canceled. They certainly did not expect to see this happen in 2021, now that there is a vaccine and studios are back to normal.

However, the International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) has called on a vote to strike. They are not millionaire stars. These are the people who are behind the scenes to make the movies.

Some of the issues that they are fighting for include shorter work hours, time for a meal break, and other similar conditions.

According to Variety, this could be workers from “coast-to-coast” could walk off the job. This would be the biggest Hollywood strike in 14 years.

Hallmark Only Released Partial Christmas Movie List

This week, Hallmark announced about a quarter of their planned 41 Countdown To Christmas and Miracles of Christmas list for 2021. They shared the number of movies they plan to have. That will be 41 movies.

However, they have only released the first three weekend’s worth of movies. In addition, Hallmark still has to finish filming quite a few of these movies and give them an official name. That is a lot of work.

Here lies the problem. Although they film in Canada, they may need to do production in the states. According to the article, it looks as though Canadian productions will not be an issue.

However, if a film production was in the states, and they were shut down, it is very unlikely that the local Canadian IATSE workers would work on those productions.

Christmas Movies, Credit: ©2020 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Bettina Strauss
Christmas Movies: Photo: Candace Cameron Bure, Warren Christie Credit: ©2020 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Bettina Strauss

When Does It’s A Wonderful Lifetime Start?

Another big Christmas movie question is when does Hallmark’s biggest competitor, Lifetime, begin their annual It’s A Wonderful Lifetime Christmas movie extravaganza?

Usually, by now, we have a premiere date. Moreover, in Lifetime’s case, we have the early schedule nailed down, with some news on movies that will air closer to Christmas. However, nothing is happening now. They may be waiting to see how this strike does pan out.

Unlike Hallmark, they generally do film most of their productions in the states. This strike could be more disastrous for this network.

Third-Party Movies Could Potentially Fill In Empty Schedule

Could Christmas be canceled? Most likely they will be saved by acquisitions. What are they? They are movies that are made without being attached to a network. Some of these movies have already aired in other countries. However, they are new to the general audience. Nearly always, the lead talent includes familiar actors.

Often, to fill in the schedule, Networks like Lifetime, Hallmark, UPtv will acquire acquisition movies that are created for their audience. Sometimes they will compete with each other to bid on these movies.

A good example of this is Jen Lilley’s first Christmas movie, The Spirit of Christmas. Lifetime premiered this fan favorite. But, Hallmark got the rights afterward and continued to air this romantic Christmas movie.

Nonetheless, should there be a strike, the big winners could easily be the acquisitions.

Are you getting worried that Christmas 2021 could be canceled?

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