The company that owns Hallmark Channel announced the launch of a new production unit, signaling its commitment to original made-for-TV movies.
Variety reports that the new unit, Crown Media Productions, “is designed to allow the Hallmark and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channels to own more of their programming outright and to control it across multiple platforms worldwide. Crown Media Prods. aims to bankroll the production of up to six telepics this year, with the goal of doubling that number by 2016.”
Michelle Vicary, executive VP of programming for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, will oversee the new unit, which comes under the umbrella of Hallmark parent company Crown Media Family Networks.
Vicary called the move “the next stage of the company’s evolution.”
She added: “A production arm creates the infrastructure that makes it possible for us to keep up with an ever-growing demand for more and more original Hallmark-branded programming across a variety of platforms, and it benefits Crown Media with more direct input into the creative process and financing, rights retention, and growing one of the best family film libraries in entertainment.”