Which Stars Are Signing with GAC Family vs Hallmark? See the Full List

GAC vs Hallmark

Crown Media Danica McKellar and Taylor Cole.

With the recent news that Candace Cameron Bure has signed a deal with GAC Media and is effectively leaving Hallmark, many viewers are trying to remember which stars signed with GAC Media (and GAC Family) and which are signed with Hallmark. Here’s a quick rundown.


Here Are the Stars Signed with GAC Media

Bill Abbott, the former CEO of the Hallmark Channel, launched GAC Family and GAC Living under the umbrella of GAC Media on September 27, 2021. GAC Family aired 12 original Christmas movies during the 2021 holiday season.

Here are the stars who have signed deals with GAC Media so far.

1. Danica McKellar

Danica McKellar signed an exclusive three-year contract with GAC Media in October 2021. In an exclusive interview with Heavy, McKellar said that part of what drew her to GAC Family was the freedom and collaboration involved in their movies.

“Even on the movies that I executive produced before, it’s just a different feeling,” she said. “…There was this feeling of freedom, and they all said to me afterward [after filming ‘The Winter Palace’], ‘Thank you for making it so collaborative.’ Well, thank GAC because that’s where I got my sense of freedom and collaboration from.”\

She continued, sharing: “Bill Abbott is a friend, and he’s such a good person. And I jumped at the opportunity to help him build this new network. … It’s a smaller network right now, and we’re building something together. And that in itself is this great feeling of collaboration and teamwork.”

2. Candace Cameron Bure

Candace Cameron Bure signed a major deal with GAC Media to star in and create original content for both GAC Family and GAC Living. GAC Media made the announcement on April 19.

Bure is stepping into a major executive role with the network, GAC Media revealed to Heavy. She will develop, star, and produce movies for both channels. A press release from GAC describes Bure as taking on “a prominent executive role at the company to oversee and curate programming for the networks as a whole.” A big part of her role will involve creating “year-round seasonal celebration content for the networks” along with playing “a key role in the company’s annual Great American Christmas franchise.”

Bure will also be producing and developing content through her Candy Rock Entertainment company.

Bure said in a statement: “I’m very excited to develop heartwarming family and faith-filled programming and make the kind of stories my family and I love to watch. I am constantly looking for ways that I can inspire people to live life with purpose. GAC fits my brand perfectly; we share a vision of creating compelling wholesome content for an audience who wants to watch programming for and with the whole family. Great, quality entertainment with a positive message is what my partnership with GAC is all about!”

Although it has not been said whether or not Bure’s deal with GAC is exclusive, Variety reported that “multiple sources” told them there are no plans for any additional “Aurora Teagarden” films.

3. Jen Lilley

In January 2022, Deadline reported that Jen Lilley had signed a deal with GAC Media. Lilley is in a non-exclusive contract and is still free to make other movies over the next two years. Heavy reached out to GAC Media, who confirmed that Lilley’s contract is not exclusive. However, Lilley seemed to indicate that she likely won’t be making Hallmark movies during her contract, when she answered questions on social media.

When one fan asked, “are you still going to be filming for Hallmark? I am so confused…. love all your movies,” Lilley replied: “I’ll be on @gactv channel for the next 2 years.”

Lilley’s deal with GAC Media covers four original movies in the next two years, Deadline reported.

In an interview with Sportsology, Lilley revealed that her pregnancy played a role in her decision to join GAC Media.

She said: “I have a long-standing relationship with Bill Abbott who is the CEO. I really love Bill as a person. I think he’s full of integrity, and he does so much amazing charity work behind the scenes. For me especially being pregnant. I’m due in May. I’m building my own football team over here. It was incredible timing to know I will have consistent work over the next two years. I’m really thrilled on multiple levels.”

4. Trevor Donovan

Trevor Donovan signed a contract with GAC Media that involves starring in and executive producing movies for GAC Family, Country Music Alley reported. Abbott tweeted that they have an expanded partnership with Donovan and will be spotlighting his efforts in preventing bullying.

In an exclusive interview with Heavy, Donovan said he plans to continue pitching ideas to GAC Family and he’ll be making at least two new movies for the network in 2022.

5. Susie Abromeit

Susie Abromeit signed a deal to star in four original movies and to host GAC Family’s Original Movie Nights, Deadline reported.

She also starred in “Much Ado About Christmas,” which launched GAC’s lineup of 12 Christmas movies in 2021. The movie was directed by Michael Damian, who directed Hallmark’s “Christmas Waltz.”

6. Jessica Lowndes

Jessica Lowndes signed a major deal with GAC Media in February 2022. A representative from GAC Family confirmed with Heavy that Lowndes’ deal is non-exclusive, so she can still make movies for Hallmark too if she has the time.

According to a press release sent to Heavy, Lowndes signed a four-picture deal with GAC Family that covers starring in, writing, directing, and executive producing original movies for the channel.

In a tweet, Abbott wrote: “Jessica is an immensely talented actor, writer, producer & singer. We’re so proud of the fan-favorite films we have created w/her thus far & look forward to our continued partnership & brining even more high quality movies to our passionate fans.”

Lowndes recently starred in, wrote, and executive produced a movie that aired on GAC Family on February 12 called “Harmony From the Heart.” Jesse Metcalfe, another Hallmark star, also starred in the movie. In addition, Lowndes performed several original songs for the movie.

Many Hallmark stars have also starred in GAC movies, but have not signed contracts with either network as of the time of this publication. These include Cameron Mathison, Jesse Metcalfe, Daniel Lissing, Lori Loughlin, Sarah Lind, Dillon Casey, Rukiya Bernard, Dewshane Williams, Chad Michael Murray, Brendan Fehr, Becca Tobin, Christopher Russell, Jill Wagner, Cindy Busby, and more.


Here Are the Stars Signed with Hallmark

1. Andrew Walker

In mid-April 2022, Deadline reported that Andrew Walker signed an exclusive, multi-picture deal with Crown Media.

Walker told Deadline about the new contract: “I’m humbled and grateful to have been a part of the Hallmark family for a decade now. I love diving into each character, to create quality films with positive content that make people feel good. The impact this network is making on its viewers is infectious and I’m thrilled to be continuing our collaboration.”

Walker and Paul Greene are hosting a special four-night cruise event in 2023 for Hallmark fans.

2. Jonathan Bennett

In early April 2022, Deadline reported that Jonathan Bennett signed an exclusive, multi-picture deal with Crown Media.

Bennett told Deadline about the news: “I am so proud of the work I have done in my Hallmark movies. Most recently with back-to-back GLAAD Media Award nominations for ‘The Christmas House’ and ‘The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls.’ I’m so fortunate and proud that Hallmark is a champion for representation. I can’t wait for all that is ahead.”

3. Brennan Elliott

Brennan Elliott signed an exclusive, multi-picture deal with Crown Media in March 2022, Deadline reported.

Elliott told Deadline about his contract: “It’s been a dream to have worked with the wonderfully creative and supportive team at Hallmark over the years. I’m thrilled to continue this relationship that’s meant so much to me and have the opportunity to bring to life new characters and tell stories that will make people smile.”

Many fans hoped this might mean more installments of “Crossword Mysteries,” but there has been no indication of that yet.

4. Lacey Chabert

In February 2022, Hallmark announced that Lacey Chabert had signed a multi-picture deal with the network. Her deal was announced to last two years and included starring in and executive producing movies, along with developing additional content for the channel and other Hallmark platforms.

Chabert said in a statement about the deal:

My experience at Hallmark, a home to me for over ten years now, has been wonderful and it’s beyond rewarding to create characters and develop stories that resonate so strongly with viewers. I’m also incredibly grateful to Crown’s programming team for supporting me as a producer and empowering me to develop and star in projects that bring my passion and creative vision to life. I am so excited for what’s next and to continue connecting with Hallmark’s audience.

5. Holly Robinson Peete

In late March 2022, Holly Robinson Peete signed an exclusive, multi-picture deal with Crown Media, Deadline reported. The report noted that her exclusivity covers making holiday movies only with Crown Media Family Networks, which owns the Hallmark brands.

Peete said in a statement to Deadline: “Hallmark is one of the most unique and warm destinations on television, especially at Christmas, and I am so proud of the projects that we have done together these past years. I am thrilled to continue my work with them to collaborate on creating joyful and heartfelt movies, while highlighting special stories in which viewers can truly see themselves.”

Peete shared the news on Instagram and wrote, “Thank you to everyone at @hallmarkchannel you have not only supported my career but my family, my charity @hollyrodfdn and the #autism & #parkinsonsdisease communities through our work together and everything that’s important to me ! And Love to my awesome Team: Dan, Jeff, Kevin, David , Kim & Jessica🙏🏾🔥 You are the best! … Let’s Freekin Goooooo!”

6. Taylor Cole

In late April 2022, Taylor Cole signed an exclusive, multi-picture deal with Crown Media Family Networks, Deadline reported.

Cole told Deadline: “I am beyond excited for what is in store next. Being able to continue creating such amazing stories is something that I hold near and dear to me. I am forever grateful for the work I get to do with Hallmark.”

In an Instagram post, Cole wrote, “I’ve never been more proud to be a part of the @hallmarkchannel family. Forever growing together. #familyfirst #hallmarkmovies”

Shawn Christian replied, “I am SO PROUD OF YOU!! ❤️❤️ Your LOVE & LOYALTY are boundless. @hallmarkchannel”

7. Heather Hemmens

In early March, Heather Hemmens signed an exclusive deal with Crown Media. Hemmens’ deal involves starring in multiple movies exclusively with Crown Media Family Networks, the parent company of Hallmark, Deadline reported. The announcement didn’t reveal how many years the contract will last or how many movies are involved.

Hemmens has starred in at least two Hallmark movies already, including “Christmas in My Heart” opposite Luke Macfarlane (which aired in 2021) and “Love, Take Two” with Cornelius Smith Jr.

Hemmens told Deadline about her new contract: “I am thrilled to continue to work with Crown Media. Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries are the go-to-networks for feel-good entertainment, and I feel very lucky to be a part of that.”

8. Tamera Mowry-Housley

Mowry-Housley signed a deal with Hallmark in November 2020, Deadline reported. Her deal covered starring in and executive producing new films for the network. Her deal also involved joining “Home & Family” as a contributor, but the daytime series has since been canceled. It’s not clear how long Mowry-Housley’s deal lasts or if it was also exclusive.

9. Aimee Teegarden

On April 27, Hallmark announced that Aimee Teegarden had signed on for an exclusive multi-picture deal. She’s starring in “Heart of the Matter” in May and also starred in one of Hallmark’s most-viewed Christmas movies of 2021: “My Christmas Family Tree.”

Teegarden told Deadline: “Getting to work with Hallmark on projects that are both heartwarming and inspirational has been a dream come true. I’m ecstatic to continue.”

READ NEXT: Hallmark’s April 2022 Movie Lineup

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Terry Chmelecki
Terry Chmelecki
8 months ago

For some actors Hallmark actually gave their careers a little boost. But I guess loyalty doesn’t win out over the grass looking greener.

Rebecca Caliguire
Rebecca Caliguire
8 months ago

It’s a shame that their are two networks competing against each other and people are leaving to go from one to the other. It would be nice if they could have a joint contract between the two. Or better still, as an actor, have the right to pick and choose what movies they want to do with either one, and not be forced to be contracted to only one network. For those who were doing series on Hallmark, and have chosen to go to GAC, those other actors are now left holding the bag due to the cancellation of that series because the actor left; not fair to them who are now out-of-work. GAC is not televised in all areas of the country, so people will lose out seeing those actors that have left Hallmark period.

Alice Riggio
Alice Riggio
9 months ago

I’m sorry to see many of the actors going to GAC Family. I check every day and never see any new movies with these actors on GAC. I understand it takes time to do the movies, but all GAC has shown is very old shows.

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