Debbie Matenopoulos called her time on Hallmark’s Home and Family the most amazing nine years of her career
Audiences have seen Debbie Matenopoulos on everything from The View to Entertainment Tonight. But the TV star and entrepreneur says that her favorite job by far was hosting Hallmark Channel’s lifestyle series Home and Family.
“With Home and Family, our job was to spread joy,” she said in a recent interview for The Good Men Project. “Legitimately, my job every day for nine years was to go to work and make people smile. Not discuss politics, not discuss religion, but to just say, ‘Hey, how are you doing today? Spend the next two hours with me. We are going to bake a cake. We are going to talk about celebrities and their pet projects.’”
The series finale of Home and Family aired in August 2021. In a statement released to Variety, a Crown Media spokesman said, “For nearly a decade, the show has anchored our daytime lineup, featuring countless hours of cooking, lifestyle, DIY, health, entertaining, and decorating segments. We want to thank the heart and soul of the show, our incredibly talented cast and crew — led by co-hosts Debbie Matenopoulos and Cameron Mathison — for their creativity, hard work, and dedication.”
In her interview, Matenopoulos told The Good Men Project that the premise of the show was simple.
“What are you doing to better your life and better the lives of the people around you?” she said. “It was how to grow some herbs, garden, fix something in your house, make yourself look better for $20.”
End of an era
The series debuted under the name The Home and Family Show in 1996. It was canceled after two seasons, but Hallmark brought it back in April 2012. The two-hour program featured celebrity interviews, as well as segments on pet rescue, crafting, and cooking.
Matenopoulos replaced host Cristina Ferrare in 2016. Production on the series halted because of COVID-19 in March 2020. New episodes were back on the air in September, but the series stopped filming again in December. In March 2021, Hallmark debuted a shorter, hour-long version of the program, which aired Monday through Wednesday instead of five days a week. Crown Media announced at the end of March that the series was canceled.
From MTV to Hallmark Channel
In her interview, Matenopoulos touched on her sudden rise to fame, which occurred when she was cast as one of the original co-hosts of ABC’s The View in 1997. She was 22 years old at the time, studying journalism at NYU and working part-time at MTV when she was offered the job.
“It was very hard to deal with because suddenly I get all of this fame and notoriety very quickly,” she said.
She spent two years on the show before moving back to be near her parents in California. She hosted The Daily 10 on E! and worked as a correspondent for Entertainment Tonight before taking the job at Hallmark.
“What a great show,” she said. “I had the most amazing nine years of my career. People would ask me, ‘But what about The View? What about E!? What about Entertainment Tonight?’ And I would say, no.”
Matenopoulos called Home and Family a ‘huge love bomb every day.’
“We would laugh so hard to the point where we would cry,” she said.