Hallmark parent company exec Bill Abbott talks with The Hollywood Reporter's "TV's Top 5" podcast about how its 10-year-old "Countdown to Christmas" programming block largely ignores other faiths and inclusion.
While other networks are viewing the holidays with an eye toward inclusion, Hallmark is delivering the dream of a white Christmas, just like the one's audiences used to know.
Of the network's record 24 original holiday movies this season, four of them have black leads, according to Bill Abbott, who serves as CEO of Hallmark parent Crown Media Family Networks. And that's down from last year, when five of its 21 original holiday movies had black leads.
"I think that generalization isn't fair either, that we just have Christmas with white leads," Abbott told The Hollywood Reporter's TV podcast, TV's Top 5, in a Nov. 15 interview (with hosts Lesley Goldberg and Daniel Fienberg) when asked about Hallmark's prioritization on attracting a broad audience vs. creating content that reflects society. "In terms of broadening out the demographic, it’s something we’re always thinking about, always considering and we’ll continue to make the movies where the best scripts are delivered to us and what we think have the most potential."