Hallmark holiday movies offer viewers balm in tough year

By DAVID BAUDER AP Media Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — The Hallmark Channel is a dependable purveyor of holiday fare each season, and with COVID-19 keeping people home, the network is seeing more interest.

Viewership is up two percent over last year and while that may not seem like much, ratings increases are the exception rather than the rule in modern television.

Hallmark tried to calm fans in March by running some holiday movies then, but its executives said the pandemic has had little impact on its planning for this holiday season.

Programming chief Michelle Vicary says viewers are tuning to the holiday movies as a respite from COVID-19 news, and don't need for the virus to be part of the movies.

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