With “The Heart of TV” as their tagline, Hallmark’s ratings are booming. Last year the channel saw substantial viewership growth—the only non-news cable channel in the top 15 to do so.
Heather Long at The Washington Post* opines, “. . . it really started surging in late 2015, right about the time the election—and the Trump phenomenon—took off. During election week, the Hallmark Channel was the fourth-most-watched channel on TV during prime time. Let that sink in. It had more prime-time viewers than MSNBC did, and it was just behind CNN and ESPN.”
It’s feel-good TV. Hallmark movies and series like When Calls the Heart, Chesapeake Shores, and Signed, Sealed and Delivered (pictured here) have happy endings. The main characters do the right thing. The problems get worked out. The guy and girl, whatever their age or grumpiness level at the start, always end up together.
“The environment [in our culture] is undeniably contentious,” says Bill Abbott, CEO of Crown Media. “We are a place where you can go and feel good . . . . We intentionally branded ourselves as the happy place.”
“The happy formula is working,” says Heather. “At a time when pundits are ready to proclaim the death of cable TV, Hallmark is starting up [its third channel]. That’s how much demand Hallmark believes there is for its family-friendly, feel-good shows.”
If you aren’t watching the Hallmark Channel, you might want to check it out!