Hallmark Channel Announces 1st Christmas Movie of 2023, Bethany Joy Lenz and Kristoffer Polaha to Star (Exclusive)

Hallmark Channel plans ahead. Next month, the network will begin production on its first movie of the 2023 holiday season.

Directed by Bethany Joy Lenz and Christopher Polha, “A Biltmore Christmas” will film entirely at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, a National Historic Landmark known for its classic holiday traditions. Dustin Rickert serves as executive producer with Andrew Gernhardt producing. John Patch directs the script, which was written by Marcy Holland.

“Each year we look for ways to create fun and new viewing experiences during the holidays for our audience,” says Samantha DiPippo, senior vice president of development and programming for Hallmark Media. “We know fans will love being transported back in time, and the iconic and beautiful Biltmore Estate is the perfect place to help fans get into the holiday spirit.”

Lenz, best known for her role on One Tree Hill, has starred in several films for Hallmark over the years, including Poinsettias for Christmas (2018), Bottled With Love (2019), Five Star Christmas (2020), and An Unexpected Christmas” (2021).

Polaha has starred in seven “Mystery 101” films at Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, as well as several original films for Hallmark Media, including “Dater’s Handbook” (2016), “Rocky Mountain Christmas” (2017), “Pearl in Paradise” (2018), “Double Holiday” (2019) and “A Dickens Of A Holiday” (2021). Bolaha also starred in The CW’s Life Unlimited, which directed the crossover episode “One Tree Hill” in 2010, welcoming Lanes’ character, Haley James Scott, to town.

The official description for “A Biltmore Christmas” is below:

Lucy Collins (Lanes) is a screenwriter who gets the job of her life when she’s hired to write the script for a remake of the beloved holiday movie His Merry Bride! First filmed in 1947 at the beautiful Biltmore House, it has long been considered a Christmas classic. With Christmas approaching, Lucy travels to the Biltmore Estate to research. You join a guided tour of the grounds where you get information about the history of the site and the filming of “Frot Bride!” , As soon as she entered the house, she was drawn to a beautiful hourglass. When Lucy accidentally drops it, she finds herself transported back in time to 1946 – the golden age of Hollywood – as the cast and crew prepare to shoot His Flirty Bride! in Biltmore. Lucy does her best to navigate the unfamiliar place as a woman beyond time, charming some and suspicious of others. It isn’t long before Lucy catches the eye of the film’s protagonist, Jack Huston (Bolaha) and though she rejects his advances at first, their relationship soon becomes undeniable. Lucy’s sudden appearance sets off a series of events that put the production in jeopardy. Before she can return to the present, she must make things right or threaten to change the future forever. Lucy has one chance to go home but must say goodbye to the man who could be her soulmate unless some Christmas magic can prevent the curtain on their love story.

The news comes on the heels of a huge year for the Hallmark Channel and its “Countdown to Christmas” franchise. In 2022, the network ranked as the most-watched entertainment cable network during the holiday season among its many demos. “Three Wise Men and a Baby,” which premiered in November, became the most-watched TV movie of the year.

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