Candace Cameron Bure just shared an update about what type of storylines will be offered on Great American Family, the new network planning to compete with The Hallmark Channel for the holiday season.
Bure left Hallmark to join GAF CEO Bill Abbott, who she had worked with before at Hallmark. Abbott exited the network abruptly after he refused to air a commercial for the wedding planning site Zola that featured two women kissing. He claimed he just wanted to make a career change, but now he’s building a rival network to rival the more left-leaning Hallmark.
Abbott and Bure spoke about how GAF movie messaging would differ from Hallmark’s.
“My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning and purpose and depth behind them,” Bure told The Wall Street Journal in an interview. “I knew that the people behind Great American Family were Christians that love the Lord and wanted to promote faith programming and good family entertainment.”
The 46-year-old actress told the publication that Hallmark essentially became “a completely different network” than when she signed on due to a “change of leadership.”
Notably, Hallmark has been developing more LGBTQ storylines, including the first original holiday movie focused on a same-sex couple called “The Holiday Sitter,” which premieres December 11.
The network had included gay characters in their films before but never as the main storyline. Following intense pressure from LGBTQ advocacy groups, the company committed to adding this type of content and “creating a Hallmark experience where everyone feels welcome.”
Things are different at GAF. While Bure didn’t rule out same-sex romance in the movies, the actress confirmed it’s not emphasized at her new home network like at Hallmark.
“I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core,” she said. Abbott agreed, saying, “It’s certainly the year 2022, so we’re aware of the trends. There’s no whiteboard that says, ‘Yes, this’ or ‘No, we’ll never go here.’”
Bure, who is known as a key player in the popular and lucrative Christmas movie genre, made waves when she announced her intention to leave Hallmark for the Great American Country channel, which was later rebranded as GAF.
“I’m very excited to develop heartwarming family and faith-filled programming and make the kind of stories my family and I love to watch,” Bure shared in a statement in April. “I am constantly looking for ways that I can inspire people to live life with purpose.”
“GAC fits my brand perfectly,” she continued. “We share a vision of creating compelling wholesome content for an audience who wants to watch programming for and with the whole family. Great, quality entertainment with a positive message is what my partnership with GAC is all about.”
The channel will include what it describes as “soft faith” messaging that’s subtle in its delivery.
“I want to be able to tell that story in a beautiful way, but also that is not off-putting to the unbeliever or someone who shares a different faith,” Bure said of her newest venture.