Danica McKellar Explains Why She Left Hallmark for GAC Family

Danica McKellar

Getty Danica McKellar

When former Hallmark Channel CEO Bill Abbott launched GAC Family and GAC Living, it wasn’t clear which Hallmark actors would film for the new network. Many actors are making movies for both Hallmark and GAC. However, Danica McKellar signed an exclusive three-year contract with GAC Media in October 2021. She recently explained why she made that decision.

McKellar Said Her Prior Work With Abbott Led Her to Join GAC

McKellar told The Wall Street Journal that she was drawn to GAC Family because she had enjoyed working with Abbott at Hallmark, where he had been the person to recruit her.

“So when he was getting ready to launch this new network, I was thrilled that he reached out to me to sign a multi-picture deal as an actress and executive producer,” she shared.

GAC announced the exclusive deal in October. At the time, a GAC Media representative confirmed with Heavy that this exclusive deal means McKellar will only make rom-coms and holiday films for GAC Family during the term of her contract. The press release noted that the contract lasts through 2023. McKellar’s contract is a four-picture deal to star in and executive produce original films for the network, according to Deadline.

It’s not clear if her deal will cover “Matchmaker Mysteries” movies, since it covers only rom-coms and holiday films, according to GAC.

When the news was first announced, McKellar shared a screenshot on Instagram and wrote, “I’m so happy to be joining the wonderful@gactv family!”

The news of her exclusive deal was shared shortly after she and Tamera Mowry-Housley hosted the 2021 Christmas preview special on Hallmark. She also starred in “You, Me & the Christmas Trees,” a movie that launched Hallmark’s 2021 Countdown to Christmas lineup. It premiered on October 22.

McKellar’s first project under her new contract with GAC is a movie premiering on GAC Family on January 8, 2022, called “The Winter Palace,” which McKellar will star in and executive produce, according to Deadline.

According to IMDb, Jennifer Wigmore, Luke Marty, Zarrin Darnell-Martin, Tom Rooney and Jenni Burke will also star.

McKellar has been sharing updates about the new movie on Instagram.

Her first day of shooting was November 8. “Can’t wait to make some more feel-good magic for you all!” she wrote.

She has since been sharing updates on Instagram every Wednesday.

She wrote on Instagram on December 9: “As an executive producer on this movie, I’ve had the privilege of being involved in the editing process and I grabbed this sneak peek moment to share! (The white numbers at the top are the timecode. 😋) This is a screengrab of me & @becauseibledsoe in a scene right before we get into a bit of mischief. 😉 Can’t wait to share this awesome movie with you all, Saturday January 8th on @gactv! 💙”

Matenopolous Said GAC’s Lineup Is ‘What the World Needs’ Right Now

Debbie Matenopolous, who was a co-host of Hallmark’s daytime show “Home & Family” before it was canceled, was also a co-host for GAC Family’s Christmas preview special in October. She told the Wall Street Journal that GAC’s lineup “is exactly what the world needs” after two years living in a pandemic.

Nielsen ratings show Hallmark “usually draws more than 20 times as many viewers with its Christmas programming as the upstart channel has since its inception,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

Abbott left The Hallmark Channel in January 2020 after 11 years, The Hollywood Reporter reported. In July 2020, Hallmark brought on Wonya Lucas as the new CEO and president of the Hallmark Channel, according to the outlet.

READ NEXT: Hallmark’s Christmas 2021 Lineup of Movies

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