It’s the most wonderful time of the year for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, which are in the process of rolling out 37 (37!) new holiday movies. You may have noticed that the halls are decked with lots of Christmas lights and no menorahs. But that might change next year. Slightly, at least.
Hallmark confirms that it has two movies incorporating the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah in development for its 2019 slate, which was first reported by Forbes. Both films — one called Holiday Date and the other untitled — will feature central plots in which the “celebrations of Hanukkah and Christmas overlap,” according to a spokesperson for Crown Media, which owns the two networks. (Every few years, the eight-day celebration known as the Festival of Lights runs through Christmas.)
“At Hallmark, we celebrate traditions and it’s hard to find a more tradition-rich celebration than Hanukkah,” said President and CEO of Crown Media Family Networks Bill Abbott in a statement to EW. “We are currently in development on two original holiday movies for 2019 that celebrate traditions of both Hanukkah and Christmas, which will be especially meaningful when the two holidays overlap.”
Hallmark Channel’s lone adventure into interfaith territory in this manner occurred in 2012, with the Joey Lawrence-starring Hitched for the Holidays, which centered on two people who pretend to pair up in order to relieve pressure from their families, but ultimately… well, you know what happens when faked romance turns real.
This year’s Hallmark slate features such actresses as Lacey Chabert, Lori Loughlin, Candace Cameron Bure, Tia Mowry-Hardrict, and LeAnn Rimes, with more than 30 of its 37 movies featuring the word “Christmas” in the title. (See: Christmas at Pemberley Manor, Christmas Joy, Road to Christmas, It’s Christmas, Eve.)