Both HGTV and the Food Network are getting into the Christmas movie game. The cable channels announced they have produced four original scripted specials with Christmas themes for the upcoming holiday season. They join CBS, Lifetime, and the streaming platform Netflix, which have all started creating Christmas movies similar to those that air on Hallmark each year.
The Warner Bros. Discovery-owned networks have made four movies: One Delicious Christmas, A Gingerbread Christmas, A Christmas Open House, and Designing Christmas. The films will be available to stream on Discovery+ starting November 11, according to Variety.
HGTV and the Food Network
Though the network didn’t release many details about the movies, a spokesperson did say that stars Ben and Erin Napier (of HGTV’s Hometown) and Hilary Farr (of Love It or List It and Tough Love With Hilary Farr) will make cameos in the HGTV films. Celebrity chefs Bobby Flay and Duff Goldman will appear in the movies airing on the Food Network.
Networks have been trying to recreate the success Hallmark enjoys each year with its Countdown to Christmas and Miracles of Christmas programming lineups. According to Nielsen ratings, more than 2 million viewers tuned in to watch the new holiday movies premiering every weekend from late October to late December on Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. During the opening weekend of Countdown to Christmas, Hallmark beat out all four major networks for the 8-10 p.m. Saturday time slot among women ages 18-54.
In 2021, CBS aired two original holiday movies. Netflix created 12, including A Castle for Christmas, starring Brooke Shields and Cary Elwes. Both companies are producing more films this year.
Candy Coated Christmas
The Food Network tested the waters last year with the movie Candy Coated Christmas, which featured a cameo by celebrity chef Ree Drummond. In the film, Molly McCook played a Beverly Hills career woman who returns to her hometown of Peppermint Hollow to sell her mother’s childhood home.
In addition to appearing in the movie, Drummond shared Christmas-themed recipes for goodies such as mint brownie bites, gingerbread hot chocolate, and maple oat nut scones.
Discovery+ will begin streaming original Christmas movies on November 11.