Hallmark Channel’s COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS Programming

Christmas Returns to Canaan
Beginning November 12, Hallmark Channel’s COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS kicks off with more than 1300 hours of holiday-themed programs over seven weeks. Each Saturday and Sunday will feature a World Premiere Hallmark Channel Original Movie, 14 in all! Also new this season, Hallmark Channel Original Animated Specials, half-hour animated program “Jingle All the Way,” starring Hallmark’s Jingle, the Husky Pup™.

In addition, this season, Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas institutes a new tradition of its own – a fun, whimsical Christmas movie ratings system in customized feature presentation opens.

For example, “‘Jingle All the Way’ is rated “S” for Santa, “J” for Joy and “T” for Tree-trimming. The Christmas TV rating lets families know in an instant which holiday traditions are represented in each original program. The other ratings include “G” for Gathering, “F” for Family Meal, and “C” for Caring.

From November 19-December 18, each of five Saturday night Hallmark Channel Original Movies will have an on-air alert for viewers to turn on laptops, tablets and mobile devices. In each of the five movies, a specific holiday tradition will be identified in the program and those viewers who have a second screen open to hallmarkchannel.com/countdown will receive a digital gift related to the traditions being celebrated on-air. Holiday traditions will be socialized around the evergreen hashtag #HallmarkChannelCountdown on-air, online, Facebook, Twitter, MISO and GetGlue.

Most importantly, there is a philanthropic side as Hallmark Channel is the official cable television partner with Marine Toys for Tots and will sponsor the Hollywood Christmas Parade and other premiere movie screenings with all proceeds going to Marine Toys for Tots.

The program slate for “Countdown to Christmas” 2011 includes:

LUCKY CHRISTMAS, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere, November 12 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C), starring Elizabeth Berkley and Jason Gray-Stanford

When a single mom struggling to make ends meet finally wins the lottery, she is devastated to discover her car—with the lottery ticket inside—has been stolen. The accidental thief sees her story on the news and is convinced by his greedy friend to romance her in order to get a cut of the money. Finding himself having genuine feelings for her, he decides it is better to be lucky in love and tries to win her heart instead, just in time for Christmas.

CANCEL CHRISTMAS, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere, November 13 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C), starring Judd Nelson

Santa Claus discovers children have become too greedy in the world and must prove otherwise if he doesn’t want his favorite holiday canceled. Santa’s mission is to teach two incorrigible children the importance of charity. Enlisting their help to aid a handicapped boy inspires the magic of the holiday season, and the children’s joy in giving ensures Christmas is going to better than ever this year.

A CHRISTMAS WEDDING TAIL, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere, November 19 (6 p.m. ET/PT, 5C), starring Jennie Garth, Brad Rowe, Tom Arnold, voice talent Jay Mohr and Nikki Cox

A Christmas Wedding Tail is the story of a pair of passionate pooches, Labrador Rusty and Poodle Cheri, who fall head-over-tails in love. The two smitten pups conspire to get their respective owners, Susan and Jake to wed. Despite Susan’s and Jake’s compatibility, their new blended family turns out to be more than Rusty and Cheri had bargained for. Now, the calculating canines must channel their pooch powers to keep their family from ending up in the dog house.

THE CASE FOR CHRISTMAS, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere, November 19 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C), starring Dean Cain and Rachel Blanchard

Santa is in trouble—everyone is losing faith in him, and he’s being sued for ruining Christmas. Young lawyer Michael Sherman takes Santa on as his client to defend him against wealthy businessman Braxton Bennett. When it comes out that the law suit is all for Braxton’s own financial gain, Michael helps save Christmas and finds love along the way.

A CHRISTMAS WISH, a Hallmark Channel Original World Premiere, November 20 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C), starring Kristy Swanson, Edward Herrmann and Tess Harper

A down-and-out mom finds herself in need of a miracle when her no good husband abandons her a week before Christmas, taking all her cash and leaving her homeless with her two young daughters and stepson. After finding a waitressing job at a diner, formerly a famous root-beer drive-in, and a room in a rundown motel in a sleepy rural town, she meets some warm-hearted people who come to the rescue to give her a holiday she can never forget.

JINGLE ALL THE WAY, a Hallmark Channel Original Animated Special World Premiere, November 25 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C), based on Hallmark’s Jingle, the Husky Pup™

A spirited Husky puppy looking for a home at a Christmas tree farm instantly bonds with a young boy visiting with his parents. As the boy rides away, unable to keep him, the pup escapes and embarks on a snowy journey to find his friend again. Guided by a wise cardinal and the sound of jingle bells, he eventually receives the help he needs from a big man in a red suit just in time for Christmas morning.

DEBBIE MACOMBER’S TRADING CHRISTMAS, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere, November 26 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C), based on the novel When Christmas Comes by Debbie Macomber, starring Faith Ford, Tom Cavanagh, Gil Bellows and Gabrielle MillerSparks fly as two unlikely couples meet in a cross-country house swap when a widowed schoolteacher from Washington State trades homes with a writer in Boston to surprise her daughter, a college student, for Christmas. But when she arrives, she is upset to learn her daughter flew to Phoenix with her new boyfriend. All alone for the holidays, she could never guess she’s in for a holiday romance of her own—just as her best friend meets the handsome writer who’s inhabited her home.

HOLIDAY ENGAGEMENT, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere, November 27 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C), starring Bonnie Somerville, Shelley Long, Jason Bridges and Haylie Duff

Jilted by her high-powered fiancé just before Thanksgiving, and terrified of disappointing her demanding mother, a down-and-out newspaper reporter hires an unemployed actor to pretend to be her fiancé over the holiday weekend. After a few missteps, she soon discovers the hired replacement may just be the real thing.

A PRINCESS FOR CHRISTMAS, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere, December 3 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C), starring Sir Roger Moore and Katie McGrath

After her sister and brother-in-law’s tragic death, an American woman who is the guardian for her young niece and nephew is invited to a royal European castle for Christmas by her late brother-in-law’s father, the Duke of Castlebury. Feeling out of place as a commoner, she is determined to give her family a merry Christmas and surprises herself when she falls for a handsome prince.

ANNIE CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere, December 10 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C), starring Vivica A. Fox and Vicki Lawrence

Santa’s daughter takes her first trip away from the North Pole during the Christmas hoping to find adventure and love in sunny Los Angeles. She soon feels at home when she befriends her landlady and a local toyshop owner who is struggling to keep his business afloat during the holidays. But when Annie is duped into falling for a charming actor she risks losing her family, friends and a shot at true love.

THE CHRISTMAS PAGEANT, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere, December 11 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C), starring Melissa Gilbert

After an overbearing New York City Broadway director gets fired from yet another production for her hot temper, her agent sends her upstate to direct a small town’s annual Christmas pageant against her protests. There, she reconnects with an old flame and meets an interesting and lovable cast of characters who teach her there can be much more to life than her career.

CHRISTMAS RETURNS TO CANAAN, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere, December 17 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C), starring Billy Ray Cyrus in the sequel to Hallmark Channel’s highly-rated “Christmas in Canaan”

In this sequel to 2009’s heartwarming story of a small Texas town breaking down racial barriers, the sweet Southern farming family returns. When the youngest son undergoes experimental surgery to help him walk again, his father falls in love with his beautiful rehabilitation doctor and invites her to spend Christmas at the farm. But as he struggles to incorporate her into his simple family life, he ends up pushing her away, and has to learn how to let himself find happiness again.

CHRISTMAS MAGIC, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere, December 18 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C), starring Lindy Boothe and Paul McGillion

After having been in a severe car accident, a high-power, successful event planner is put on “angel duty” as part of her last task on Earth before she can “pass over” to Heaven. She must help and guide a young restaurant owner, who is depressed because his restaurant is weeks away from shutting its doors. However, along the way, she comes to learn a lot more about herself and romance, more so than when she was actually alive.

HOLLYWOOD CHRISTMAS PARADE, a Hallmark Channel Original Special World Premiere, Date TBD(8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C). The Hollywood Christmas Parade is a Southern California tradition. This year’s parade will be shot live on Sunday, November 27 in the heart of Hollywood and includes musical performances from Universal Studios. Benefits Marine Toys for Tots.

123RD TOURNAMENT OF ROSES PARADE – Live from Pasadena, California. The prestigious classic celebrating the New Year is LIVE Monday, January 2 on Hallmark Movie Channel and re-aired at 3 p.m. ET/PT, 2C on Hallmark Channel.