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The Hallmark Channel is an American pay television network that is owned by Crown Media Holdings, Inc., which in turn is owned by Hallmark Cards, Inc. The channel’s programming is primarily targeted at families, and features a mix of television movies and miniseries, original and acquired television series, and lifestyle programs.
As of February 2015, Hallmark Channel is available to approximately 85,439,000 pay television households (73.4% of households with television) in the United States. Despite largely being an apolitical brand, Hallmark Channel has garnered a following among politically conservative viewers in suburban and rural areas who, according to Manhattan Institute for Policy Research’s Steven Malanga in a Los Angeles Times op-ed, feel the network and its original programming feed their desire to “express traditional family values and also to steer away from political themes and stories that denigrate religion.” Their biggest conservative-leaning competition in terms of entertainment programming is INSP, with Fetv as a lesser competitor. Much of the filming for Hallmark Channel’s most popular shows is done in Canada, with Canadian stars and talent.
Hallmark Channel’s programming consists of classic and some recent/original television series, and original made-for-TV movies. It also airs the Hallmark Hall of Fame anthology series.
Original programs broadcast on the network include the daytime talk show Home and Family (which originated on Freeform when it was known as The Family Channel, in April 1996) and When Calls the Heart (which is based on the novels by Janette Oke). The network’s original programming initially consisted mainly of lifestyle programs and made-for-TV movies; Hallmark Channel debuted its first prime time original scripted series in July 2013, with the premiere of Cedar Cove (which is based on the novels by Debbie Macomber).