Hallmark Provides Clues on New & Returning Mystery Franchises

Hallmark Mystery

Heavy/Getty The newly rebranded Hallmark Mystery will feature multiple returning mystery franchises.

When Hallmark Media changed the name of its long-running Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel to Hallmark Mystery on March 6, 2024, the rebranding felt like its own mystery to many fans.

“So what exactly does this mean? How will programming change? A name change does nothing unless the programming reflects it,” one fan wrote on a Heavy on Hallmark post about the name change.

Ahead of the change, Hallmark Media said in a press release that the new Hallmark Mystery would include “a fresh, new on-air look, while continuing to provide the captivating, cozy mysteries that audiences know and love.”

Fans have been cautiously optimistic after several years of witnessing Hallmark seem to move away from the genre, canceling popular franchises like “Mystery 101” and leaving others — like the “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” mysteries — in limbo. But new clues have emerged about the revamped channel, providing more clarity about what to expect moving forward.

Here’s what you need to know:

Hallmark Execs Showcase Commitment to Continuing Established Mystery Franchises

Hallmark Mystery panel

GettyHallmark Mystery panel at 2024 TCA Winter Press Tour featuring (L-R back row) Hallmark exec Elizabeth Yost, Paul Campbell, Aimee Garcia, Danny Griffin, Ali Skovbye, ((L-R) front row) Victor Webster, Alison Sweeney, Luke Macfarlane, and Lyndie Greenwood on February 6, 2024 in Pasadena, CA

The day before the rebrand took effect, on March 5, Hallmark programming executive VP Lisa Hamilton Daly told Multichannel News (MCN) why rebranding to Hallmark Mystery felt necessary to her.

“You know, I’ve been at Hallmark for a little over two years,” the former Netflix exec told MCN. “And when I got here, they had kind of backed off of the mystery content and they’d leaned more into what we were calling ‘romantic drams.’ But those weren’t really…they didn’t feel distinct enough to me from what we were doing on the main channel. And they weren’t really rating as well as we would have liked them to.”

“We saw so much more fan sentiment around our mysteries,” Hamilton Daly said. “The rebranding of the channel is just calling attention to that focus.”

When Hallmark initially announced the new and improved Hallmark Mystery channel, it promised a “record number of all-new and returning mystery series” in 2024. Execs showcased their reinvigorated commitment to the genre by featuring multiple mystery-solving duos at the Television Critics Association (TCA) preview event in February, per Variety.

Among the returning franchises Hallmark highlighted at the TCA panel was the long-running “Hannah Swensen Mysteries,” when star Alison Sweeney appeared at TCA alongside her new crime-fighting partner, Victor Webster. He’ll replace Cameron Mathison, who recently inked a deal with Great American Family, in the upcoming “One Bad Apple: A Hannah Swensen Mystery,” set to premiere on April 5.

Paul Campbell and Aimee Garcia appeared at TCA, too, before heading to Vancouver to film a sequel to “The Cases of Mystery Lane,” their comedic mystery franchise that debuted in early 2023. According to a press release, Campbell and Garcia will reprise their roles as a married couple drawn into crime-fighting in “The Cases of Mystery Lane: Death is Listening” but no premiere date has been announced.

Though Nikki DeLoach and Andrew Walker weren’t part of the TCA preview, their “Curious Caterer” mystery franchise is going strong. The cast was in Vancouver in February, filming a new installment originally called “Curious Caterer: Sticks and Scones,” which has been renamed “Curious Caterer: Foiled Plans,” according to Hallmark’s Movie Checklist app. The movie, in which protagonist Goldy Berry’s Medieval feast is “interrupted by a murder,” will premiere on April 26.

According to Leading Distribution Partners, a fifth installment of the franchise has also been greenlit by Hallmark, with Goldy and Walker’s Detective Tom Schultz going on their first official date at a rock concert where they witness a crime.

Hallmark Mystery Hints at Other Returning Franchises

To promote its rebranded channel, Hallmark Mystery began running a preview promo of mystery franchises viewers can expect to see in the coming months. The teaser refers to “returning favorites” over footage of “Dancing Detective” duo Lacey Chabert and Will Kemp, whose first mystery together premiered in June 2023, so a second mystery is likely in the works.

A quick clip of Skyler Samuels in “Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Something New” was also shown in the promo. The prequel to Candace Cameron Bure’s “Aurora Teagarden” franchise, which ended when the actress left Hallmark for Great American Family in 2021, premiered in June 2023. According to BC Creative, the cast began filming two new installments in Vancouver on March 4.

Footage from Tamera Mowry Housley’s “Haunted Harmony Mysteries: Murder in G Major” is also seen in the promo; the first installment premiered in September, but the actress didn’t get to promote the movie due to the SAG-AFTRA strike. She has said since, though, that it was one of her favorite roles to play, so it’s possible she’s returning for another.

Though it wasn’t included in the new promo for Hallmark Mystery, another new franchise getting a sequel is Jodie Sweetin and Stephen Huszar’s “The Jane Mysteries,” based on a set of mystery novels written in the early 90s by K.K. Beck about protagonist Jane De Silva, according to Publishers Weekly. Sweetin and Huszar first teamed up in March 2023 and have a sequel — “The Jane Mysteries: A Deadly Prescription” in the works, per IMDb. 

Whether POstables will get a new “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” movie remains to be seen, but it’s not off the table.

In February, Hamilton Daly told Variety, “Standby. The ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ fans are all over me every day. I love it, I hear them. As we said today, we really do listen to what our fans want, and when possible, we try to lean into that.”

Hallmark’s also kicked off 2024 with multiple “new cases” — premiering possible new franchises, that have already included “Gilded Newport Mystery: Murder at the Breakers” set in 1890, “True Justice: Family Ties” starring Kat McNamara, and “Crimetime: Freefall” starring Luke Macfarlane and Lyndie Greenwood.

Meanwhile, on March 15, longtime Hallmark star Brooke D’Orsay teams with Gilles Marini for the new “Crimes of Fashion: Killer Clutch.”

Non-Mystery Movies Will Move to Different Channels, But ‘Christmas Miracle’ Promotion Will Likely Remain

Sense & Sensibilty

HallmarkScene from Hallmark’s Mahogany 2024 production of “Sense & Sensibility”

Given that Hallmark Mystery is now completely devoted to mysteries, the more dramatic movies and projects that Hallmark Movies & Mysteries used to air will likely move to Hallmark Channel or the rebranded Hallmark Family, which was known as Hallmark Drama until February 28.

This spring, Hallmark Channel has begun to host “bonus” premieres of multiple movies that originally aired on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries in 2023, including “The More Love Grows” starring Rachel Boston, which will make its Hallmark Channel debut on March 16.

Movies produced under the Mahogany and Dayspring banners will likely have a similar evolution. Hallmark Channel already debuted the Mahogany-produced “Sense and Sensibility” in February as part of its Loveuary lineup and the Dayspring faith-based movie “An Easter Bloom” is due to premiere on Hallmark Channel on March 30, starring Aimee Teegarden and Benjamin Hollingsworth.

When asked about the status of Mahogany by MCN, Hamilton Daly said, “I think that we’re trying to be sure that those movies feel supported by the rest of the channel, that they’re not out there floating by themselves. Having them sit inside ‘Christmas’ or inside of our ‘Loveuary’ stunt is a great way to make sure that…attention is paid to them.”

As for the annual “Miracles of Christmas” programming that typically airs on the network as a complement to Hallmark Channel’s “Countdown to Christmas” each holiday season, CFX reported in February that “the plan for now is to still fund its ‘Miracles of Christmas’ programming stunt, perhaps with a bit more of a mystery bend to some titles.”

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