As signs of a cool crisp fall settle in cities across the U.S., many are already bypassing pumpkin season and looking ahead to the Christmas holiday and all the joy it brings–from Jesus to presents, hot cocoa, and holiday movies. This includes TV stars like Candace Cameron Bure and Danica McKellar of the Great American Family TV network (GAC) who say they are already excited for the premieres of their holiday films.
The network is scheduled to launch its "Great American Series" on Oct. 21 and has plans to release a free app that will make family-friendly content available all year.
"We are thrilled to be launching Great American Community with 15 new, always-on series that are topical, relatable, and hosted by our growing family of recognizable talent. This new platform represents an important evolution of the company's digital strategy and gives our passionate fans a fun and engaging new way to interact with our stars in a trusted, family-friendly environment, 365 days a year," Bill Abbott, GAC Media CEO, told Variety.
Bure announced her first film with the network earlier this month, just five months after announcing her departure from the Hallmark Channel.
After 10 years and 30 Christmas movies, the Fuller House star told Yahoo News she left the network because of failed contract negotiations.
"The truth is, I've been under contract with Hallmark for a very, very long time. And those [years] have been absolutely wonderful. It just so happened that my contract was expiring when Great American Family started up," she said. "So we did not start having those discussions until we were well into negotiations with Hallmark Channel for renewing. And as every business person knows, you've got to do what's right for contracts. It didn't work out with Hallmark and so we started talking to Bill [Abbott]."
Abbott, a former CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, Hallmark Channel's parent company, stepped down in 2020 and launched GAC in 2021.
His departure came after the company shifted to the left, responding to backlash for pulling a commercial with a same-sex couple.
At the time, VP of programming George Zaralidis told NBC the channel was excited to launch projects "featuring LGBTQ storylines, characters, and actors."
Many Hallmark stars left the network following Abbott, including Bure, Danica McKellar, and Jen Lilley.
"I am constantly looking for ways that I can inspire people to live life with purpose," Bure said in May. "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."
Bure took to Instagram in September and said she was "so happy" about starring in a new film on the network, "A Christmas…Present".
Meanwhile, McKellar, who formerly starred in The Wonder Years, moved to GAC after signing a multi-picture deal last year. Her first film with the network, Christmas at the Drive-In, will roll out on Thanksgiving weekend.
"I'm thrilled to be executive producing and starring in my very first-holiday movie for Great American Family, Christmas at the Drive-In," she told Yahoo. "My career started with the very nostalgic show, The Wonder Years, perhaps that's why I love nostalgia so much. And I love my fans who have been on this journey with me so long!"
McKellar and Bure are good friends and often share their Christian faith.
The 47-year-old McKellar recently took to Instagram and shared how Bure encouraged her in her faith journey.
"God's love is bigger than any human love and when He sweeps you up in understanding how powerful it is, because He is, it's undeniable. Praying for you on your journey and relationship with Jesus my sweet friend," Bure wrote to McKellar on Instagram.