For the past few years, Hallmark has signed exclusive deals with some of its stars. In addition, the competition, such as Great American Family has done the same, recently signing Mario Lopez, and before the end of 2023, Cameron Mathison.
However, the feel-good network has not made any such signings in quite some time. The last time they signed a special deal, it was Nikki DeLoach back in December 2022.
Has Hallmark Media stopped making exclusive deals? Here is the latest information.
Hallmark Media Has Quietly Changed Their Exclusive Deals
Hallmark Media has not announced an exclusive or multi-picture deal in over a year. What has happened? On Tuesday, Variety interviewed Lisa Hamilton Daly, the Hallmark Media EVP of Programming at the TCA Winter Panels.
The entertainment site asked about “exclusivity deals” and how they are “very important” to other networks. They asked Lisa, “Where does Hallmark stand with that?” She quickly replied, “We have actually backed off exclusivity a little bit.”
Lisa Hamilton Daly next explained what happened when she joined the network back in the fall of 2021. “When I got here, we were sort of on a talent exclusivity spree, and I think we’ve backed away from that, partly because we like our talent to be a lot of other places too.” She added, “We like people to be able to find them in other places and be excited to come back and see them here.”
Next, she revealed that the network wants to “expand our talent pool.” That includes “getting people for a one-off movie,” calling it “really exciting for us.”
However, they are not abandoning network fan-favorites. “We definitely have some of those core Hallmark favorites. They know that they have a place here and that they’re gonna get a Christmas movie, and then maybe another movie and we definitely lean into that.”
But in the end, she confirmed, “But we’ve sort of backed away from exclusivity.”
Network Favorites In Other Projects
What does Lisa Hamilton Daly mean by her comments? Many of the Hallmark favorites are doing outside projects, but returning to the network for Christmas or acting in a Hallmark Mystery. Two Hallmark Hunks are good examples of what she means.
For example, Luke Macfarlane is currently starring in the Apple TV+ series Platonic, but over Christmas, he starred in Catch Me If You Claus, and later this month, in the new mystery Crime Time: Freefall. His fans will not forget that before Christmas, he also starred in and executive produced the Lifetime movie Amish Stud: The Eli Weaver Story.
The Notes Of Autumn star is not the only one to star in a Lifetime movie. Two years back, Kristoffer Polaha had starred in Buried In Barstow, along with Angie Harmon. Polaha is currently working on his own mystery series, now that Mystery 101 is canceled. In addition, he has taken on a cornucopia of roles including the movie The Shift. But, just as Lisa Hamilton Daly explained, he and Bethany Joy Lenz lit up the holidays with the beautiful A Biltmore Christmas.
Hallmark fans, what do you think of Hallmark Media quietly stopping their exclusive contracts?