In a bid to expand its programming library and attract younger viewers, Hallmark Channel has acquired broadcast rights to 99 family-friendly movies from Disney-ABC Domestic Television. All of the titles revealed at this point are live-action productions, though some contain animation. Bedknobs and Broomsticks from 1971 has live actors interacting with cel-animated characters, while Disney’s 1998 remake of Mighty Joe Young features a CG version of the title character, an overgrown gorilla.
The slate of acquired films includes such time-honored favorites as The Shaggy Dog, Flubber, Old Yeller, The Parent Trap, The Incredible Journey, The Princess Diaries, Freaky Friday, The Santa Clause, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, That Darn Cat, The Love Bug, Babes in Toyland, The Cat from Outer Space, Gus, Return to Snowy River, Snowball Express, White Fang, The Apple Dumpling Gang and Swiss Family Robinson. The movies will play on Hallmark Channel and on its sibling Hallmark Movie Channel, a new 24-hour outlet devoted to beloved family movies.
Hallmark Channel is owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings Inc. The 24-hour basic cable offering has a national audience of 84 million subscribers and consistently ranks among the top 10 ad-supported cable networks in prime time and total day household ratings. The network is hoping to boost ad revenue by appealing more to boomers and their children. Hallmark Movie Channel HD will launch in April.