Hallmark to make TV movies under the Mahogany brand
For 34 years, Hallmark has offered cards, gifts, and home decor marketed toward African American consumers. Now, the company hopes to do the same for television.
Crown Media announced that it will be developing movies for its networks that reflect the Mahogany brand.
“We’re going to take every amazing rich, lush thing that the Mahogany card brand is, and use that as a jumping-off point to create great made-for-TV movies,” Toni Judkins, senior VP of programming and development, told Variety magazine.
Details about titles, casting, and story lines will be released in the coming months, with the first of the films set to air in 2022.
“Mahogany is a 34-year-old brand that has been an important part of the portfolio since its existence,” CEO Wonya Lucas told Variety. “So for us, it’s not an initiative; it’s bringing something to life through storytelling.”
Though other networks are attempting to market material toward African American viewers, Lucas said Hallmark is in a unique position because of the strong “emotional core” it has built with consumers through the Mahogany brand.
Judkins, who joined Crown Media in May 2021, told Variety about her own experience with the brand. She remembers looking through the cards as a child and noticing expressions or references that were distinct to her experience as an African American.
“When I look at Mahogany cards, I can clearly say to myself, ‘They see me,’” she said. “We’re going to take every amazing rich, lush thing that the Mahogany card brand is, and use that as a jumping-off point to create great made-for-TV movies.”
The Mahogany line was introduced in 1987. According to Hallmark, “The card line exists to enhance emotional connections between family, friends and the community by capturing what’s most beloved and valued about African American culture.”
Over the years, the brand has created cards with Maya Angelou, Jill Scott, T.D. Jakes, and Iyanla Vanzant.