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Thursday May 26th, 2022 12:40PM

Mashing things up with Hallmark

By Bill Maine Executive Vice President & General Manager

Comfort food for the eyes and sweet dessert for the soul, wonderfully predictable and always satisfying, Hallmark Christmas movies have certainly found a large following. Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas seems to start sometime in July and run through the end of the year. In fact, they do a Christmas in July run. To get even more mileage out of the franchise and be liturgically correct, they should run them through Epiphany on January 6th which is also known as “little Christmas” celebrating the wisemen’s visit to see Jesus.

Even though I do enjoy these servings of sentimentality, Hallmark is missing an opportunity to give the concept extended life. People have many interests. Just look at all the channels dedicated to food, DIY, outdoor sports, science, history and…well you get the idea. While the folks who watch hunting and fishing shows may not be interested in home remodeling and vis a versa, many of both camps celebrate Christmas. Why not combine their favorite interests with this most joyous of seasons?

Let’s begin the team ups with HGTV. This diva of DIY is all the rage. Millions watch programs about fixing up and flipping houses in a mere sixty minutes. I’ve enjoyed several of their shows but have yet to swing a hammer because of them. I know how things would turn out. The only real DIY I do when it comes to remodeling is calling the contractor myself. A team up might go something like this. Just use that move trailer announcer voice you keep stored in your head when you read the next graph.

He’s a handsome contractor who’s love life is crumbling. He’s too busy building houses to build a relationship. She’s an interior designer whose life needs a bit more color. When their paths cross while working remodeling the home of a millionaire, they discover their renovating more than a home. Hallmark and HGTV present “Constructing Christmas”.

That’s not the only HGTV opportunity. Since the “G” in HGTV stands for “garden”, I offer this idea.

She’s a botanist working to develop a new variety of Brussels sprout that tastes like bacon. Wed to her work, she has given up on marriage. He’s a beekeeper with ripping muscles who likes to work with his shirt off. When she contracts with him to use his bees to help with the research, will they feel the sting of true love? Find out as Hallmark and HGTV present “Christmas Cross Pollination.”

Before Amazon and the internet, there was the Home Shopping Network. A team up with Hallmark would be a natural as they could pitch Hallmark items as part of the plot or at least between scenes.

“Liked the decorations you saw on Sandra’s tree? They’re all high quality, handmade and can be delivered in time for your Christmas celebrations.”  The marketing opportunities are as limitless as are the plot lines.

He’s a festive yard decoration abandoned on the front lawn while the family of the house is in the Bahamas for the holidays. He stands with his head barely visible above the snow. Will his awkward placement so close to the icy front walk be enough to trip up a pair of burglars looking to score loot from his family’s home? More importantly, can you get one of these cute little guys for your yard? Find out as HSN and Hallmark present “Gnome Alone”.

For those looking for a Christmas love story:

Nick is a lonely elf figurine handcrafted in Italy who longs for companionship and free shipping. Nikki is a choir girl candle holder looking for someone to light her fire. When both go on sale as a package deal for just three easy payments of $29.99, will these two Nicks discover they have a knack for love? Find out as HSN and Hallmark present “Shelf.”

There’s such a large fan base for crime shows that there would be an audience for a little mashup between Hallmark and Oxygen. Since Oxygen bills itself the True Crime Network, it makes sense that they would also make great partners in the purveying of the modern Christmas Spirit.

He’s arrested for breaking and entering. She works the overnight shift at Mr. Bond Out and longs for a man who works with his hands. Will his bond be the one that ties them together? True Crime Network and Hallmark present “Jingle Bail”. Every time their phone rings, a jailbird gets his wings.

Let’s not leave the internet out of this. There are plenty of marque websites that could cash in on a partnership with Hallmark productions. In fact, I think they could really sink their teeth in this next one.

Sharon is a train buff whose late father started her love of locomotives with the gift of a train set when she was a child. Every Christmas season she honors his memory by taking a train trip. While on this year’s trip, one of her teeth abscesses. She will require an emergency root canal. Fortunately, fellow passenger Dan is a dentist. Single since his wife was involved in a fatal snow blower accident, he fears he will never know love again. Will it be love at first bite? WebMD and Hallmark present “The Molar Express.” Can’t wait to see the toys and promotional items that come out of that one.

You might think these ideas a little farfetched. Maybe they are. But given society’s tendency to take everything to the extreme, perhaps not. Who would have thought pumpkin spice bath bombs, mac and cheese scented candles and candy corn that tastes like Thanksgiving side dishes would ever happen?

 

  • Associated Tags: Christmas, Maine's Meanderings, Mornings on Maine Street
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