A Coronavirus Christmas: How Hallmark and Lifetime Avoided Elf-Sized 2020 Holiday Movie Slates

“We wanted to hit the ground running as soon as production was back up, so we took that down time to educate ourselves,” Hallmark’s Michelle Vicary says

The coronavirus threatened to be the Grinch for Hallmark and Lifetime this year, robbing the networks of their plans to shoot beloved holiday TV movies as TV and film production ground to a halt earlier this year.

But eight months after the pandemic shutdowns began, programming executives at both networks have pulled off a Christmas miracle: producing just as many holiday movies in 2020 as they did last year — 40 at Hallmark, which air across the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and 30 at Lifetime.

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Jennifer Maas

Jennifer Maas

TV Reporter • jennifer.maas@thewrap.com • @jmaas421