Hallmark Reacts to Stars Leaving for GAC: ‘There’s A Lot of Talent Out There’

Candace Cameron Bure in 2018.

Crown Media Candace Cameron Bure in 2018.

There have been a lot of shakeups lately as GAC Media finds its footing under the leadership of former Hallmark CEO, Bill Abbott. Quite a few Hallmark stars, including Candace Cameron Bure and Danica McKellar, have signed contracts with GAC. But at the same time, numerous stars have signed exclusivity contracts with Hallmark too. Hallmark executives recently commented on the shakeups and their plans for future exclusivity deals.

Hallmark Says They Have Contracts with ‘Almost Everybody’ They’re Excited About

During a TCA (Television Critics Association) event on August 10, Hallmark executives commented on all the changes happening with actors signing contracts with different networks.

Variety reported that Lisa Hamilton Daly, EVP of programming for Hallmark Media, told journalists:

We’ve kept a lot of our talent under options, say for Christmas movies. We’re looking for new talent all the time. I think there’s a lot of talent out there that we’ve worked with in the past that GAC is now working with, but I think that we also are constantly trying to evolve the talent pool that we’re working with. We have, I think, retained almost everybody that we’re really excited to have. So that’s where we are.

Wonya Lucas, President and CEO of Hallmark Media, said the competition isn’t just with GAC Media, but other networks as well.

“Talent works with Netflix, talent works with Lifetime and that’s kind of the way the industry works,” she said, according to Variety. “I think one of the things that makes us unique versus a lot of other places is that, when I first got here, people would say, ‘We’re a family.’ I didn’t quite get that but our talent, they know each other. They have a great relationship and that’s the secret sauce we have as Hallmark. That continues today. We have existing talent that’s been with us a long time, and we have a new talent that we’re bringing in as well. And they all feel part of this Hallmark Channel love and so that that will be consistent; that is consistent in the past; that’s consistent today.”

(Note: The two quotes above were originally misattributed in an early edition of Variety’s article. Heavy has confirmed the quotes with Hallmark Media, and the updated attributions.)

Quite a Few Stars Have Signed Contracts with GAC or Hallmark

Heavy has previously reported on all the stars who signed with GAC Media versus Hallmark. Here’s a refresher.

Among those joining GAC Media are Danica McKellar, Candace Cameron Bure in an executive role, Jen Lilley, Trevor Donovan, Susie Abromeit, and Jessica Lowndes. Although some stars like Cameron Mathison have headlined movies for GAC Media, they haven’t all signed exclusivity contracts.

Meanwhile, stars who have signed with Hallmark include Andrew Walker, Jonathan Bennett, Brennan Elliott, Lacey Chabert, Holly Robinson Peete, Taylor Cole, Heather Hemmens, Ryan Paevey, Aimee Teegarden, and Tamera Mowry-Housley (although it’s not clear if Housley’s contract is still in effect, since it was signed earlier than the rest.) Some popular stars, like Tyler Hynes, have not announced signing contracts with the network yet.

During the TCA event, Hallmark also announced that Crown Media was changing its name to Hallmark Media, according to a press statement sent to Heavy.

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