Hallmark’s annual Countdown to Christmas movie marathon has once again proved a ratings boon for the company, with Hallmark Christmas movies topping the ratings for eight straight weeks. Christmas programming on Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries attracted more than 36.5 million unduplicated viewers, according to numbers released by Nielsen. In addition to producing […]
Hallmark stars revealed who their favorite co-stars and which sequels they want to make during an evening event to launch Countdown to Christmas 2022.
In interviews on the red carpet, both Aimee Teagarden and Nikki DeLoach said they would love to work with Andrew Walker again.
Teagarden, who recently signed a multi-year contract with Hallmark, said she particularly enjoyed working with the actor in their 2021 Countdown to Christmas movie My Christmas Family Tree.
“It was really fun,” Teagarden said in a statement to Us Magazine. “And it was really about this family and found family. I would love to see what they would do with a sequel.”
Nikki DeLoach, who has worked with Walker in several Hallmark movies, also mentioned the actor. DeLoach said she would love to make a sequel to their 2016 Countdown to Christmas movie A Dream of Christmas.
“I want to do one with them 10 years later,” DeLoach told Us Magazine. “They have three kids. They are in that place in their lives where their kids have taken over everything, they have nothing left to give for themselves. The romance is gone. And then the guy makes the wish. So he goes on the journey and has to find his way back to me and my family.”
A magical evening
During an event to launch the 2022 Christmas movie season, a group of network stars rode a double-decker bus wrapped in a crocheted red sweater to Radio City Music Hall. The stars then enjoyed a performance of the Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes.
“I am just now putting my feet on the ground from the magic that was last week in NYC with some of my favorite humans,” wrote DeLoach in an Instagram post. “As we made our way through Manhattan on a double decker bus enveloped in a handmade crocheted sweater, I stood atop in awe, surrounded by friends who have become my family. I turned to @awalkk35 and said, ‘Did you ever think when we started at the network all those years ago, that we would one day pull up to Radio City Music Hall?’ We took it all in, so blessed to be a part of @hallmarkchannel.”
Rachel Boston also posted a photo from the top deck of the bus.
“Merry Countdown to Christmas!!!” she wrote. “Still smiling from this incredible night with the hard working, kind, inspiring team @hallmarkchannel. Thank you for having me! I love my job, and I love this family so very much!”
In his own Instagram post, Ryan Paevey also thanked the network for the fun evening.
“Thank you @hallmarkchannel for a surreal, magical night…..watching #AHolidaySpectacular and the Rockettes with all my friends at Radio City Music hall was one for the books. #countdowntochristmas.”
Countdown to Christmas 2022
Countdown to Christmas and Miracles of Christmas continue on Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. Forty new movies will premiere during the lineup, including films starring Lacey Chabert, Brooke D’Orsay, Andrew Walker, Tyler Hynes, and Holly Robinson Peete.
For a full schedule, of Hallmark’s new movies, click here.
For a full schedule of all the new Christmas movies premiering this year — we’re talking Lifetime, Netflix, UpTV, OWN, etc — click here.
Soap star Kim Matula will make her Hallmark debut in the new movie Ghosts of Christmas Always. In an exclusive interview with TV Cheddar, the Emmy-nominated actress said she is thrilled to be part of the Countdown to Christmas lineup.
“Hallmark movies are so beloved!” she said. “I’m thrilled to finally be in one. To quote my aunt, an avid Hallmark movie viewer, ‘There’s no nasty language and people are just nice.’ It’s hard to be inundated daily with the tragedies of the world. These films are a reminder that not everything has to be so dark. These movies fill you with cheer and immediately make you feel cozy.”
In Ghosts of Christmas Always, Matula plays Katherine, who works for the Department of Restoring Christmas Spirit as a Ghost of Christmas Present.
According to a synopsis from Hallmark, “Katherine loves her job, visiting Earth every Christmas to help one unsuspecting soul rediscover their Christmas spirit. But this year has something unusual in store for her. Along with her co-workers, Ghost of Christmas Past Arlene (Tan Chinn) and Ghost of Christmas Future Roy (VelJohnson), their assignment is a man named Peter (Ian Harding). They’re not sure why they’ve been assigned to him because, unlike their typical cases, Peter’s Christmas spirit is on point. When it appears that Katherine and Peter just might be fated for each other, their assignment starts to head down an unusual path toward none of them could have expected.”
Kim Matula is best known for playing Hope Logan on the hit soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. In 2014, she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for her work on the series.
Matula has appeared in the movies Spilt Milk, Dawn Patrol, and Fighting With My Family. She has also appeared on the TV shows Leverage: Redemption, Impeachment: American Crime Story, and The Sex Life of College Girls. She recently finished filming Tapawingo, a comedy featuring Billy Zane, Jon Heder, Gina Gershon, and John Ratzenberger.
In an exclusive interview with TV Cheddar, Matula talked about her work, her passion for advocacy, and what it was like to make her first Hallmark movie.
TVC: You were on The Bold and the Beautiful for six years and you were even nominated for an Emmy for your portrayal of Hope Logan. What did working on a soap opera teach you, both about acting and about show business?
Kim Matula: Working on B&B was such a wonderful introduction into the world of acting. It provided so much. The best thing I got from it though is after seeing myself on screen day after day, I learned what I needed to work on as an actor. Sometimes what I’d be feeling inside, wouldn’t translate onto the screen the way I thought it would. Particularly feelings of anger. I remember seeing an episode pretty early on where I had to be really angry and it just did not translate! I was shocked. It was a wake-up call that I guess I suppress those feelings! So, it was all a big learning process and a great way to hone my acting skills.
TVC: Your social media accounts show that you are a passionate advocate for animal welfare and the Black Lives Matter movement. Why is advocacy so important to you?
Kim Matula: I am a huge advocate for everyone being treated with dignity and respect. No one is better than anyone else. We all have families and friends that we love more than anything and the grief we feel when a loved one is taken, is the same grief. It’s deep and it lasts forever. I often look around and am so disheartened by the world. To ignore the realities of the lives around us that are brutally kept at a disadvantage, especially so the lives of a select few can be propped up, is not a reality I can accept. We have to be a more empathetic society.
TVC: You have tackled some serious material in your career as an actress, from your work on The Bold and the Beautiful to your work on 9-1-1 Lone Star. But in the film Tapawingo — and on your social media feed — you prove you are a skilled comedienne. What was it like putting those skills to use with some of the best in the business?
Kim Matula: Comedy has always been my first love. The decision to leave Bold was not easy but ultimately I did it so I could pursue comedy. And I’ve been very fortunate to have gotten to explore and play on comedies like LA to Vegas and Tapawingo. And even a little bit in Ghosts of Christmas Always! Having other skilled comedians to work off of truly brings me a sense of joy that can be hard to find.
TVC: Hallmark Christmas movies have become an institution. They are watched by audiences around the world and have inspired many imitations. Why do you think people find these stories so compelling? Was there anything that surprised you about working on a Hallmark movie?
Kim Matula: Hallmark movies are so beloved! I’m thrilled to finally be in one. To quote my aunt, an avid Hallmark movie viewer, “There’s no nasty language and people are just nice.” It’s hard to be inundated daily with the tragedies of the world. These films are a reminder that not everything has to be so dark. These movies fill you with cheer and immediately make you feel cozy.
TVC: Is there any particular message you hope audiences take away from Ghosts of Christmas Always?
Kim Matula: I think a good takeaway from this movie is that love can present itself at any time and in many different ways. Especially when you least expect it. Sometimes you just have to loosen the reins and let life come to you. It can surprise you in all sorts of beautiful ways.
The Hallmark Christmas movie Noel Next Door will premiere as the first original film of the network’s Countdown to Christmas 2022 lineup. Starring Natalie Hall and Corey Sevier, the movie tells the story of a single mom and the neighborhood Scrooge and how they end up falling for each other.
Natalie Hall posted about the movie on her Instagram page.
“Our sweet movie “Noel Next Door” is the premiere and first movie to start out @hallmarkchannel iconic countdown to Christmas,” she wrote in the caption. “I’m so looking forward to sharing this beautiful movie with all of you.”
The Hallmark Christmas movie Noel Next Door
In the movie, Hall plays Noelle, a hardworking single mom. When her son, Henry, (played by Callum Shoniker), is scolded by a grumpy neighbor, she jumps to her son’s defense. She doesn’t realize that the neighbor is actually a handsome man named Jeremy. When Jeremy comes to the diner where she works, she finds herself attracted to him. But Jeremy can’t believe such a beautiful woman would fall for him. As the two continue to bump into each other, Jeremy tries to summon the courage to ask Noelle out.
This is the second movie that Hall and Sevier have made together for Hallmark. The two starred in Road Trip Romance, which was released in May 2022.
“I had the best time shooting this film with my favorite crew in Ottawa,” Hall wrote in an Instagram post promoting the film. “Hilarious cast! And with the wonderful director @thesamanthawan leading the way.”
About the cast
Natalie Hall had parts on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and The Good Wife before landing the role of Colby Chandler on All My Children. She appeared in Pretty Little Liars, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and the CW reboot of the series Charmed. She starred in Hallmark’s Love’s Christmas Journey, which was based on the series by Janette Oke, as well as the Hallmark rom-com You’re Bacon Me Crazy.
Corey Sevier first appeared on a screen when he was six months old. Over the years, he has made more than 30 films, and had parts in the TV shows Cedar Cove, CSI: Miami, Heartland, Smallville, and Supernatural.
Noel Next Door will premiere on Hallmark Channel on Friday, October 21 at 8/7c.