“Chesapeake Shores” is a well-liked Sunday evening present with tens of millions of followers, however possibilities are you’ve by no means heard of it.
At the least should you don’t watch Hallmark Channel.
“Tv series appear to now have what you possibly can name ‘boutique audiences,’” says Deal with Williams, 66, who stars in “Chesapeake Shores,” a household drama now in its third season.
“There are individuals who watch the Hallmark Channel, and there are those that watch ‘The Strolling Lifeless,’” he says. “They don’t appear to cross paths a lot, however there are sure passionate audiences for sure issues.”
Nowhere is that this pattern higher exemplified than Hallmark. The community launched in 2001, and since then its model has expanded quickly. This yr, it’s producing 34 TV Christmas movies; subsequent yr the objective is 90.
‘There are individuals who watch the Hallmark Channel, and there are those that watch ‘The Strolling Lifeless.’
Michelle Vicary, Hallmark’s government VP of Programming, says, “There was an expectation from Day One on what a channel that had the Hallmark model connected to it could be: emotional connections, traditions, household, holidays,” says Vicary, Hallmark’s government VP of programming. “However it nonetheless doesn’t imply that we didn’t must develop it.”
The TV movie series “Storage Sale Thriller” (Sunday nights on sister channel Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) starring Lori Laughlin (“Full Home”) lately snared over 2 million viewers, whereas the primary two episodes of Season three of “Chesapeake Shores” averaged 2 million viewers.
“These are huge numbers in immediately’s tv panorama,” says Vicary.
“The one shock is that they are no more well-known in sure areas of the Hollywood neighborhood,” says Vicary. “They don’t get the identical quantity of consideration as some exhibits that is likely to be cooler to speak about … So for our viewers to nonetheless discover them and have them develop yr after yr despite the fact that they will not be quick water-cooler discuss [is impressive].”
And even when it doesn’t have a “cool” issue, the community is attractive to lots of its actors.
For Loughlin, 54, who’s in each “When Calls The Coronary heart” and the “Storage Sale Thriller” franchise (which she additionally produces) and some Hallmark Christmas movies (“Each Christmas Has a Story,”) it’s stored her busier than she’s ever been.
“I’m now working extra in my profession than I ever have, because of Hallmark and then additionally doing ‘Fuller Home,’” she says, alluding to the Netflix revival of “Full Home.” “And as everyone knows, as an actress, whenever you attain a sure age, work turns into very slim. I couldn’t really feel extra lucky to have landed within the scenario that I’m in.”
For Williams, who’s had a prolific profession with movies like “Hair” and “As soon as Upon a Time in America,” Hallmark offers him a possibility to proceed doing visitor stints on different exhibits similar to “Chicago Fireplace” and “Blue Bloods” whereas having a gradual gig to ship his children (now ages 19 and 26) to varsity. It additionally doesn’t take him away from his spouse and 16-acre Vermont farm for too lengthy.
“It’s laborious to get me off this property, I like my residence right here [in Vermont],” he says. “It’s 4 months of the yr that we shoot [‘Chesapeake Shores’], it’s not 23 episodes the place your life is wrapped up for nearly a complete yr. [Years ago] whenever you did a TV film on a Sunday evening, each Sunday newspaper had your image on the duvet or because the insert. All people knew you had been doing it.
“Now, there’s a lot content material that you could’t simply channel surf anymore; you need to type of do the homework to search out out the place to go to search out the stuff you want,” he says. “Hallmark appears to have actually figured it out what that viewers needs to look at … I feel I’m one of many luckiest actors on earth, I actually do.”