The CEO of Great American Channels is on a mission to make GAC Media the “Leader in Family TV,” and he’s taking significant steps to make that goal a reality.
After some families found Hallmark Channel’s pro-LGBT change daunting, sister networks GAC Family and GAC Living are now poised to become Hallmark’s biggest competitors.
During an interview on Up Next with John ContrattiGAC Media CEO Bill Abbott outlined his plans to deliver high-quality original content to the whole family.
Abbott said: “There is so much need for family and market content in this space. It’s pretty scary, quite frankly, the amount of content out there, the vast majority of the content is salacious and not suitable for any member of the family. , really.”
The Oyster Bay, Long Island native said creating family shows is “something he’s passionate about and wanted to do.”
One of the company’s biggest moves appears to be the hiring of Candace Cameron Bure for a leadership role in the organization. More information on this here.
The GAC Family network has already worked hard to achieve its goal, releasing 12 original Christmas movies over the past Christmas season. The company has also hired Hallmark actors and actresses to appear in films and programs for its channels. Danica McKellar, Jen Lilley, Daniel Lissing and Jessica Lowndes are just a few of the artist’s GAC audiences who will recognize.
The GAC Living network also streams original movies as well as several classic family-favorite TV series, including Bewitched, Full House and Who’s The Boss.
“These shows are funny. They’re very well written. They’re well cast,” Abbott explained. “And while they’re retro in a lot of ways, people really yearn for nostalgia and yearn for that kind of content that they spent a lot of time growing up with. So we focused on those that were family-friendly. .”
Abbott, who was the former CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, the parent company of Hallmark Channel, told Contratti his company partnered with MPCA, a production company that was Hallmark’s primary producer for the past eight years, producing Hallmark’s highest quality content.
“We are happy to work with them and excited about the roster for 2022,” he said.
Abbott also said GAC Media is looking to bring its television and film production to the United States from Canada.
“I was just in Oklahoma City yesterday, visiting different places in Oklahoma,” he explained. “We’re looking at Oklahoma, Kentucky, Texas, really anywhere that might have advantages for filming.”
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“We want to be the leader in family television,” Abbott told Contratti. “We think we’ve assembled a great team not only on our networks but also on the talent side – people who are well known to the public and whom the public loves.”
“We want to present high-quality content,” he continued. “We think the genre, the wrong kind of genre, gets a bad rap to some extent by the quantity versus the quality philosophy that I think some channels have and that not all Christmas movies are created equal .”
“We want to be relentlessly family friendly. We want to be consistent and we want to be high quality,” he said. “And if we do those three things, I think we’ll deliver on the promise and be the leader in the space, and it will be the same in the lifestyle space.”
The interview was published ahead of the April 19 announcement that GAC Media has hired Candace Cameron Bure to develop, produce and star in films and TV shows.
“I’m very excited about developing heartwarming family and religious programming and creating the kind of stories that my family and I love to watch,” Bure said in a statement. “I’m constantly looking for ways to inspire people to live their lives with purpose.”
As CBN News has reported over the past few years, Bure, a devout Christian, has starred in several Hallmark movies and last November she was even named Hallmark Movies “Christmas Queen” after starring in her 10th movie. Christmas for the network. Bure has starred in 20 films for the Hallmark Channel over the past 10 years.
Landmark changes from family-friendly to all-inclusive after the LGBTQ backlash
In February 2021, Wonya Lucas, president and CEO of Hallmark’s parent company, Crown Media Family Networks, said the cable channel would expand its storylines to feature more LGBTQ characters.
Another Hallmark executive, Michelle Vicary, also said it’s a “high priority” for the company to focus on showcasing “different kinds of diversity.”
Hallmark, once considered family-friendly, is known for its collection of heartwarming and sentimental films. The channel even removed LGBTQ wedding ads from its platform in 2019.
Hallmark executives originally decided to remove the Zola ads after conservative activist group One Million Moms — which represents a significant portion of the network’s target population — launched a petition exposing the ads as inappropriate for a family channel in because of his “promotion of homosexuality.”
But then the network faced LGBTQ backlash, apologized and promised to reinstate previously removed LGBTQ-friendly wedding ads.