From what I can find, ABC carried "Hallmark Hall of Fame" films as recently as 1989 (when "My Name Is Bill W." aired on the network), perhaps even later than that. But it has certainly felt like a CBS show of late. But not now. The official word:
Hallmark announced today a multi-year deal, beginning with the 2011-2012 TV season, to premiere Hallmark Hall of Fame movies exclusively on the ABC Television Network with encore broadcasts a week later on Hallmark Channel.
“We’re delighted our movies will premiere exclusively on ABC starting with our 61st television season,” said Brad Moore, president – Hallmark Hall of Fame. “Since our very first talks with ABC last year we’ve looked forward to this announcement. Our agreement to follow ABC premieres with encores on Hallmark Channel is an exciting, unprecedented use of broadcast and cable.”
“A week after the Hallmark Hall of Fame network premiere on ABC, Hallmark Channel will air four encore broadcasts over a week-long period,” said Bill Abbott, president, Crown Media Networks. “This will bring even more exceptional, high-profile programming to our audience, and increase the viewership and impact of the Hallmark Hall of Fame series. We’re delighted to be a partner.”
The first movie to premiere on ABC will be Mitch Albom’s Have a Little Faith, based on Albom’s best-selling book. Albom also wrote the screenplay. The movie, now being filmed in Michigan by Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions, is executive produced by Brent Shields and directed by Jon Avnet. Laurence Fishburne, Bradley Whitford, and Martin Landau star. The movie will air before Christmas. ABC and Hallmark Channel will cross-promote this and subsequent telecasts.
During its 60-year history, the Hallmark Hall of Fame has been broadcast on ABC, NBC, and most recently CBS. Previous presentations on ABC include Emmy award winning movies My Name is Bill W, starring James Woods and James Garner, and The Shell Seekers, starring Angela Lansbury. Other previous Hallmark Hall of Fame presentations on ABC included A Place for Annie, staring Sissy Spacek, and Redwood Curtain, starring John Lithgow.
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