Looking for some girl power this holiday season? Just turn your TV to the Hallmark Channel and keep it on through the New Year.
Over the course of its decade (and counting) run, Hallmark has quietly assembled a surprisingly stacked line-up of leading ladies, most of whom return each year to lead a festive rom-com during their annual Countdown to Christmas event.
One of its go-to moves it to cast a familiar face—whether they're a former child star the public watched grow up or an actress who appeared on a hit teen drama—playing into viewers' nostalgia. While other networks are going with revivals to capitalize on the trend, Hallmark is just going for star power—and it's working, especially for their wildly successful seasonal programming lineup, which has continuously made the network the highest rated cable channel in the fourth quarter for the last several years. It really is the most wonderful time of year for Hallmark.
"We're all about creating traditions and celebrating family and celebrating who people want to spend time with, whether it's a romantic relationship or a friendship or a parent or a sibling," Hallmark exec Michelle Vicary previously told E! News.
She continued, "Why couldn't we recreate that as a television experience? We know our audience would like to see these people because they are iconic television stars who they can relate to, who they aspire to be like or that they feel like are family or friends and would like to see more of them. When we strategically cast them that way, our audience said, 'Yes, that's exactly what we want.'"
And no star represents the Hallmark Channel brand better than Full House's Candace Cameron Bure, who has become the network's golden star, leading their Countdown to Christmas (C-to-C in our households) charge (and starring in the hit Aurora Teagarden film series).
Her latest film, If Only I Had Christmas, marks Bure's ninth Christmas outing, but she's not the only female lead to hit that milestone, with Party of Five and Mean Girls fan-favorite Lacey Chabert hitting double digits with two outings in 2020. (We think her father, the investor of Toaster Strudel, would want to hear about this.)
In our imagination, the creative teams behind the Hallmark Christmas movies assemble at the beginning of each year for a leading lady draft of sorts, bringing scouting reports, comparing stats and eyeing a star to lead their film. (We kind of love that these movies tend to be all about the female lead, and also love to imagination the network's top ladies staging their own fantasy football-esque draft to choose their male co-star for their movie each holiday season. Dibs on Andrew Walker or Mark Taylor!)
So we decided to do our own scouting report of sorts, rounding up many of the female leads who have starred in multiple Christmas films for the network over the years...