Hallmark Channel Charts Post-Martha Stewart Plan with Marie Osmond, Home and Family

At its upfront presentation in New York today, Hallmark Channel confirmed that it has signed Marie Osmond to host a new daytime talk show for the channel. The addition of Osmond had been rumored for some time. The channel also announced that it was picking up an unusual two-hour daytime lifestyle show called Home & Family, which will be filmed inside a real home being constructed on the Universal Studios lot in Los Angeles.

Marie and Home & Family will become the centerpieces of a new daytime lineup for the channel, which is charting a new direction following the cancellation of The Martha Stewart Show. While Stewart will no longer be the face of Hallmark’s daytime lineup, the channel does retain library rights to MSLOs catalog, rights that extend through 2013. It will continue to air MSLO programs as part of its daytime lineup.

Both Marie and Home & Family will debut in the fourth quarter of this year. More information on both is after the jump.

Hallmark also announced that it entering the original scripted series game, and is developing two programs to fit that bill. Cedar Cove and When Calls the Heart will debut as backdoor pilots later this year, and will debut as series next year if they get picked up. To go along with the originals, the channel also picked up off-network rights to the ABC comedy The Middle.

HALLMARK CHANNEL ANNOUNCES GROUNDBREAKING NEW LIFESTYLE SERIES,
‘HOME & FAMILY,’
LAUNCHES ON THE NETWORK Q4

220 Original Two-Hour Shows From Creator Woody Fraser;
Hosts to be Announced Soon

Hallmark Channel announces a groundbreaking new Original Daytime Series, “Home & Family,” will launch in Q4 as part of the network’s robust Lifestyle block. “Home & Family” is 220 original two-hour shows over 44 weeks from award-winning production company Woody Fraser Productions (“Good Morning America,” “Nightline,” “The Dick Cavett Show”). The hosted series is the ultimate destination for innovative home ideas and improvements, as well as, being the place for the latest information, trends and products for everyone in the home. Hosts for the new daytime talker will be announced shortly.

“Home & Family” originates from a Midwestern-style 2800 square foot, fully-functioning house on the Universal Studios lot. Show segments take place throughout the Hallmark Channel home, and everyone is invited in. The home features a fully furnished kitchen, living area, formal dining and casual family rooms. Informative segments on today’s popular tech gadgets will take place in the home’s office, automotive segments in the working garage, and landscaping and gardening segments will be presented from the home’s backyard. As part of the Universal Studios tour, trams will deliver audiences daily for specific portions of the program – games, animals, parties, musical performances, celebrity and host “Meet & Greets” – and performers will entertain audiences from a specially constructed stage that overlooks the famed Psycho House at Universal. The “Home & Family” home is equipped with two-way video screens, computers and Skype which bring America alive.

“Home & Family” is a show that deals in answers. Each day, the show’s hosts interact in roundtable discussions with experts from every field. High profile celebrities will join in some discussions and auditions will soon be held for real people to become part of the show. Week to week, “Home & Family” follows America – from expecting moms’ journeys to weight loss successes – engaging the audience in stories that matter.

“Morning shows, nightly news series, reality programs, and great American talk shows are the heart of Woody Fraser Productions’ remarkable contributions to television,” said Michelle Vicary, Executive Vice President, Programming, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel.