Hollywood -- Hallmark Channel will create a block of mystery and crime
programming on Sundays featuring several classic off-network series.
Beginning next month, Hallmark will add such 1970s shows as Quincy,
Banacek and Columbo to its Sunday lineup, which already includes
TheStreets of San Francisco and Hawaii Five-0, executive
vice president of programming David Kenin said Monday at a Television Critics
Association tour event here.
Hallmark will supplement the block with a series of short programming
vignettes airing before and after each show that will tout the network's mystery
"The wraparounds say we are a contemporary channel, that we're hip and we're
stylish," Kenin said. "We're offering still-high-quality programming, and [the
mystery block] fits in within our great-stories ideas."
While the acquired shows initially won't fill a full 24-hour day, Kenin said,
eventually, the network will add original mystery movies to compliment the
Hallmark's Sunday mystery block and its Saturday Western programming lineup
provide viewers with an alternative to sports-oriented programming from other
broadcast and cable networks.
"There's a lot of sports activity on Saturdays and Sundays, so this will
serve people who love stories and general-entertainment programming," Kenin
said. "When you put a single program on the air, it's hard to find, but viewers
will find a block of mystery programming or a block of Western shows."
In other Hallmark programming news, the network announced that it will
premiere in June The King and Queen of Moonlight Bay, a dramatic film
about the reunion of an estranged father and daughter, starring Tim Matheson
(The West Wing) and Ed Asner (The Mary Tyler Moore Show).
The network will also rerun television miniseries Roots in February
during Black History Month. Last February, the six-part miniseries set a ratings
record for Hallmark.