The feel-good holiday movies have become points of pride for some of our favorite actors. 

By Meghan Overdeep
October 31, 2019

There was a time not too long ago when a Hallmark Channel movie was considered a blemish on an actor's IMDB page. These days, however, the feel-good juggernaut has no problem attracting some pretty big talent to its ever-growing lineup of Christmas movies.

There are a few reasons familiar names like Danica McKellar, Jodie Sweetin, and Tia Mowry, have hitched their wagons to its annual Countdown to Christmas holiday extravaganza, A.K.A. the cable network's uncontestable crown jewel.

To start, Hallmark Channel's Christmas movies have officially entered the zeitgeist. Even though they're unabashedly cheesy and formulaic, from an actor's standpoint, their mass appeal erases a lot of their stigma, opening the door to cinematic comebacks for leading ladies like Tia Mowry, Rachel Leigh Cook, Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin, Lacey Chabert, Danica McKellar, Holly Robinson Peete, Nikki DeLoach and Jen Lilley, and Hollywood hunks Chad Michael Murray and Trevor Donovan.

As E! News recently pointed out, Hallmark is consistently the highest-rated cable network in the fourth quarter each year, thanks entirely to its Christmas programming. In 2018, the movies attracted an average audience of 3.5 million viewers each. And this year's 10th Annual Countdown to Christmas—packed with 40 new movies across three channels and appearances by the likes of Kristin Chenoweth and Dolly Parton—promises to be bigger than ever.

Another reason the stars are coming around to the network is its constantly improving production value. You're not imagining it: Hallmark is investing a lot more money in their movies than they used to.

"Our movies are so much better because our production value, our stars, our music, our scriptwriting, our development, and our production are so much better than they've ever been," Crown Media's CEO and president, William J. Abbott, told Glamour.

And then there's the satisfaction actors get for being involved in such a wholesome cultural experience. Roles that bridge divides and make people smile don't come around every day.

In a 2018 "confession" piece for The Hollywood Reporter, Kris Polaha shared why, after starring in big-screen blockbusters, he decided to embrace the Hallmark Channel.

"As an actor, I am leaning into Hallmark because it's fun to sit with my seven-year-old and show him what I do for a living. These are family-friendly movies," Polaha, 41, wrote. "I'm leaning in because my 91-year-old Nana finally thinks I've made it in Hollywood because I'm on Hallmark. People her age remember the stores and the tangible products of a major household name brand."

"I'm leaning into them because they are leaning into me and showing me the love," he continued. "So, I encourage you, if you haven't indulged yet, perhaps this is your year to go where the love is."

We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

Hallmark Channel's "Countdown to Christmas" officially kicked off last weekend. Hallmarkies can enjoy heart-warming new movies every Saturday and Sunday through New Year's Eve.

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