Hallmark’s News Christmas Movies Score Big Viewership Ahead of Thanksgiving



The holiday spirit officially took over the cable airwaves ahead of Thanksgiving, as a trio of brand new Hallmark Christmas movies each debuted to an audience of more than 1.9 million viewers and one film, “A Merry Scottish Christmas,” beat every out cable news program on television last week.

Key Facts

“A Merry Scottish Christmas” was the fourth most-watched cable program last week, Nielsen data shows, scoring 3.33 million viewers for its Saturday night premiere and ranking only below “Monday Night Football”-related coverage on ESPN.

The top-10 most watched cable programs last week were rounded out by episodes of “The Five” and Wednesday night’s “Jesse Watters Primetime,” all on Fox News.

The Sunday premiere of “Holiday Hotline” on Hallmark had 2.27 million viewers and was the 16th most-watched cable program, and “Navigating Christmas,” which was released Friday night, had 1.97 million viewers in the No. 36 spot.

The films’ success pushed Hallmark to become the third most-watched cable channel of the week in primetime, with an average of 1.35 million viewers.

Hallmark fell behind ESPN’s 2 million primetime average viewers and Fox News’ 1.79 million, but the network out-rated MSNBC, CNN and HGTV between 8 and 11 p.m.

In total-day viewership, the Hallmark Channel was the fourth most-watched behind Fox News, MSNBC and ESPN, in that order.

Key Background

Hallmark Christmas movies have been a staple of the holiday season for more than a decade and the total number of new original films has risen each year since 2009, when Hallmark put out nine movies. More than 300 Christmas movies and a handful of Hanukkah films have been aired on the brand’s channels since. Hallmark will release a total of 40 brand new movies this holiday season—31 originals through the Hallmark Channel’s “Countdown to Christmas” and nine in Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ “Miracles of Christmas” lineup. Nielsen in 2021 estimated that more than 80 million people watch at least a few minutes of a Hallmark movie each Christmas season.


On broadcast television, football continues to dominate ratings. The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles game on Monday, November 20 was the most-watched Monday Night Football game in 27 years, ESPN said, drawing 29 million viewers across the ABC broadcast network and ESPN. The game, a rematch of the 2023 Super Bowl, came amid rising interest in the Kelce brothers, each star players on their respective teams. Travis Kelce of the Chiefs has drawn massive attention for his public relationship with music superstar Talyor Swift, and the family of Jason Kelce, an Eagle, was the subject of the popular documentary Kelce on Prime Video. The Minnesota Vikings v. Denver Broncos game on Sunday drew 18.45 million viewers to NBC, Nielsen data shows, and the Las Vegas Raiders v. Miami Dolphins game on FOX had 14.2 million viewers.

Further Reading

MORE FROM FORBESThe Economics Of The Hugely Popular Hallmark Christmas MoviesMORE FROM FORBESWhat’s Really The Most-Watched Netflix Show? Hollywood Writers’ Deal Could Bring Streaming Data To LightMORE FROM FORBESThis Year’s World Series Is Least-Watched Ever-How It Compares To Years Before


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