Great American Family Breaks Records with Debut Christmas Movie: ‘Great Content Wins’

Hallmark rival Great American Family broke nearly every network viewership record with its debut movie for the 2022 Christmas season, leading its CEO to declare that “great content wins.”

The movie, Destined at Christmas, was the first of 18 original holiday movies this year on Great American Family, which was launched in 2021 by former Hallmark executive Bill Abbott. The film stars Shae Robins (Identical Love, Love in Aruba) and Casey Elliott (Retreat to Paradise, An Hour of Love) and debuted Oct. 22.

Destined at Christmas broke “all network ratings records” in “every key demo,” including total households, total viewers, women 25-54 and women 18-49, according to the news release. It also topped the “Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Saturday premiere” in the “women 25-54 coverage area,” according to the release, which was based on Nielsen data.

Over three broadcasts of Destined at Christmas, nearly 1 million viewers watched.

The network has dubbed its movie season “Great American Christmas.”

“The first weekend of Great American Christmas was the highest-rated weekend ever for Great American Family among Households and Total Viewers,” the news release said.

Abbott, the president and CEO of Great American Media – the parent company of Great American Family – celebrated the news on social media.

“Not all Christmas movies are created equal,” he tweeted. “We understand better than anybody how to produce quality Christmas movies and that great content wins. Viewers have found that in our #GreatAmericanChristmas programming event on #GreatAmericanFamily!”

Daniel Lissing, who stars in the upcoming Great American Family movie Catering Christmas (Oct. 29), said he believes the network will continue growing.

“I am certain that [Abbott] is going to take the reins of Great American Family, and he is going to turn that into the No. 1 family programming channel in America,” Lissing told Digital Journal.

The Great American Christmas lineup will feature such well-known names as Candace Cameron Bure, Danica McKellar, Cameron Mathison, Gladys Knight and Jill Wagner.

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.