Andrew Walker believes there’s no comparison between Hallmark Media and Great American Family.
“I don’t know how our style gets duplicated somewhere else in quite the same way,” he said in a recent interview. “It’s like comparing apples to oranges.”
Walker spoke with a reporter from Vulture alongside Paul Campbell and Tyler Hynes when the three stars visited Hallmark Media’s New York headquarters.
During the interview, the actors addressed everything from their reign as the Kings of Christmas to Candace Cameron Bure’s exit from Hallmark in 2022 to join Great American Family.
Paul Campbell also weighed in on Great American Family, saying there’s no competition between the new network and Hallmark.
“I think the word ‘competition’ implies there are viewers going elsewhere because somebody else is doing what Hallmark is doing,” Campbell said. “If you look at the numbers this season, viewership is up, so it’s a big playground. There’s a lot of space for people to produce and tell similar stories. But I don’t think there’s competition. Hallmark is the only place that does specifically what Hallmark does.”
The actors made it clear that there’s room for everyone on the broadcasting stage.
“The formula is pretty sound. I don’t think we need to sit here and go, ‘Oh, one network is better than the next,’” Walker said.
Great American Family
Great American Family was launched by former Hallmark CEO Bill Abbott in 2021. Actress Candace Cameron Bure made headlines when she announced in April 2022 that she was leaving Hallmark to take up an executive position at the new network. She said that leadership changes had created a new atmosphere at Hallmark Media and that Great American Family’s ideals were more in line with her own.
“I’m very excited to develop heartwarming family and faith-filled programming and make the kind of stories my family and I love to watch,” she said in a statement through the network.
In his interview with Vulture, Walker made it clear he thought her move was motivated by something else.
“I think it was just a good excuse to cover up an opportunity she had somewhere else,” he said. “Whether she thought she had it less at Hallmark because she’s an executive now over at Great American Family, I don’t know. That’s the way I took it.”
Tyler Hynes weighed in with his opinion.
“I can’t imagine how complicated or nuanced her relationship was or wasn’t,” he said. “All I know is, for us, it’s very simple why we’re here. We know what we’re doing. I don’t want to speak for you guys, but I certainly know why I’m here.”
The three actors also promoted an extended cut version of their 2022 Countdown to Christmas hit Three Wise Men and a Baby, which Hallmark recently made available on its streaming platform, Hallmark Movies Now.
In an Instagram post, Hynes thanked fans for their enthusiastic response to the movie, which was the most-watched cable film of last year.
“Seeing your stories and posts with all of the new scenes, lines and moments have been lovely. :),” he wrote. “It’s your passion for the film thats inspired this first for the network and certainly us. …Thanks to everyone who worked on bringing back more of the love, laughs and heart, making for an even more immersive experience. Lovely to see streaming allowing for creative opportunities like this. We know theres a blooper reel floating around… ;)”