There’s nothing quite like the family-friendly brand of films offered on networks like Hallmark and Lifetime. The transparent plots and saccharine-sweet scripts are beloved by viewers, especially around Christmas time. The Hallmark Channel has long been a major go-to spot for such entertainment, but GAC Family has been among a number of channels battling to stake its own claim in the genre. Several actors recently jumped ship to GAC Family, but now Hallmark has scored a big win with one of its most recognizable stars, Lacey Chabert.
It’s an exciting time for longtime Hallmark Channel star Lacey Chabert. Her history with the network dates back to 2010’s Cinderella-esque Elevator Girl, and she’s starred in more than 30 Hallmark movies since. Now, Chabert has signed an exclusive multi-picture overall deal with Crown Media Family Networks, Deadline reports. Chabert will star in and executive produce movies and develop other content for Hallmark Channel and other Hallmark platforms over the next two years.
It’s a huge deal for the Mean Girls actress, who recently accomplished a “longtime dream” when The Wedding Veil trilogy aired on the Hallmark Channel. Chabert developed, executive produced and starred in the three movies, and she also stars in and executive produces Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ movie series Crossword Mysteries. If the new agreement is any indication, Crown Media likes the work Chabert has delivered over the years, and it looks like there will be a lot more to come.
The news comes after a holiday season that saw multiple actors stepping away from the Hallmark Channel to sign exclusive deals with GAC Family (formerly Great American Country), including Danica McKellar, Jen Lilley and Trevor Donovan. Several other Hallmark movie actors also made their GAC Family debut this past season, including Cindy Busby, Sam Page, Chad Michael Murray, Rukiya Bernard, Jessica Lowndes, Jennie Garth, Dewshane Williams, Jill Wagner, Cameron Mathison, and Christopher Russell.
Jen Lilley defended her move to GAC Family — which itself is run by former Crown Media Family Networks CEO Bill Abbott — after some fans spoke out about the network’s perceived views on social issues. Lilley said GAC Family was “completely loving” and “diverse,” and said her Christian faith compelled her to make the switch.
Lacey Chabert’s new deal might have also been influenced by personal reasons. Multiple Hallmark Channel stars, including Candace Cameron Bure, rallied around Chabert after the unexpected death of her sister Wendy in November 2021. Chabert dedicated Christmas at Castle Hart to her sister, as the movie made its Hallmark Channel premiere just days after Wendy’s death.
With GAC Family’s Bill Abbott clearly trying to attract some of Crown Media’s talent, we’ll have to see if more exclusive deals will be made by either company. The action behind-the-scenes seems as dramatic as one of the network’s movie plotlines, so who gets to have the happy ending?
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