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Danica McKellar And Lori Loughlin's First Post-Hallmark Movies For GAF Have Been Revealed

Hallmark's Matchmaker Mysteries and When Hope Calls Christmas
(Image credit: Hallmark and Great American Family)

It wasn't so long ago when fans of warm and feel-goody TV movies only had one or two places to seek out content, but times have absolutely changed, as Great American Family is poised to make some huge strides alongside the competition as 2022 rounds out. The cable channel is building up a stable of top-tier talent, which includes former Hallmark staples such as Danica McKellar, Lori Loughlin, and Candace Cameron Bure. While we'd already known what Bure's first GAF project will be, details have now been announced regarding McKellar and Loughlin’s first winter wonderland films for the former music network. So let’s take a closer look at what to expect from each.

Danica McKellar's First GAF Christmas Movie

The Wonder Years vet Danica McKellar will kick off her Great American Family Christmas filmography with a familiar co-star in Neal Bledsoe, for a new movie titled Christmas at the Drive-In, which is currently set for a non-specific “holiday season” premiere window. The two leads previously starred together in the snowy pic The Winter Palace, which aired on GAC back in January, as well as 2017’s Hallmark flick Coming Home for Christmas, so they should have little problem bringing that chemistry back for the new project.

Christmas at the Drive-In will star McKellar as Sadie Walker, who is back in her hometown of Chesterfield, New York in the aftermath of multiple life implosions, including her engagement ending and losing the biggest case of her law career, which resulted in her exiting her firm. Having taken a new college gig as a law professor, Sadie unwittingly finds herself back in a legal battle while trying to save Chesterfield’s drive-in theater. 

But her efforts will face surprising resistance from the late theater owner’s son, Holden (Bledsoe), who just so happens to be Sadie’s former love from childhood. Sounds like some feisty sparks will be flying long before the romantic ones do, but I’m sure all the surrounding snow will put out any wildfires that spring up. 

Having previously taken a step away from the acting world, Danica McKellar will also have a bigger role behind the scenes for Christmas at the Drive-In, as she’ll also be an executive producer for the TV movie. Whether or not this will be the actress’ lone holiday film this year is anyone’s guess, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she finds a way to get something else on the table for the cable network’s Great American Christmas programming block, which starts up on October 21 and runs through the end of the year.  

Lori Loughlin's First GAF Movie

 

Like Danica McKellar, Lori Loughlin had a working relationship with Great American Family prior to these announcements going public. The Full House and Fuller House vet appeared in the When Calls the Heart spinoff When Hope Calls for its swan song, reprising her former role of Abigail Stanton, a part she’d previously lost due to the college admissions scandal that landed her in all kinds of legal hot water. 

Now, Loughlin will take on a starring role for GAF in the new movie Fall Into Winter, which won’t be a Christmas movie proper, despite its seasonal setting. The romantic comedy will center on the actress’ character Keely, who shares co-ownership of their family’s candy shop business with her brother. Keely is confounded by her bro’s decision to sell his half of the business to his former BFF, and her arch rival. She’s forced to quickly find ways to work with her new partner, Brooks, and comes to realize they may have more in common than just their icy exteriors.

Fall Into Winter is set to air on Great American Family in January 2023, just after the Christmas block has concluded. And now that we know what Loughlin is working on next, we just need to find out what her former co-star Andrea Barber is working on, following the actresses joining Candace Cameron Bure in a GAF-friendly post recently.

Even though the Matchmaker Mysteries franchise is done now, fans can thankfully look forward to seeing Danica McKellar soon, so keep an eye out for release date news coming in the future. And head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what other projects are coming soon. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.