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Hallmark Channel Chief Bill Abbott Exits In Aftermath Of Same-Sex Ad Controversy

Photo: Hallmark

Looks like there is still fallout from the Hallmark Channel pulling several ads from wedding planner, Zola that centered on a same-sex lesbian couple kissing at their wedding.

Now, Bill Abbott, who has been Crown Media Family Networks president and CEO for the last 11 years, is exiting the company.  The announcement was made today by Mike Perry, president and CEO of Hallmark Cards Inc.

No successor has been named. “I have tremendous confidence in the Crown Media management team and, with this team in place, I will begin a search for Bill’s replacement,” Perry said. “I want to thank Bill for his many years of success and contributions to Crown Media and wish him continued success.”

Prior to the firestorm against the cable outlet for pulling the Zola ads, (after conservative group One Million Moms petitioned to have the ads removed) and the network complied, the company was doing well.

Abbott presided over a period of growth and visibility for Hallmark including: Christmas programming and regular opportunities for seasoned A-list stars that in return attracted viewers and ratings. Bill Abbott’s exit is the latest result of Hallmark’s efforts to quickly turn the page on the bad PR.

Deadline reported that according to people familiar with the internal discussions, many people at the network expressed their preference for restoring the ad quickly, while Abbott went against their wishes and kept it off the air.

So, what do you think of Abbott stepping-down and Hallmark parting ways with him? Do you enjoy Hallmark Channel programming or find its fare and formula not diverse and inclusive enough? Comment below.

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Barb Flickinger
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Barb Flickinger

Once Hallmark starts showing LBGTQ crap – I’m gone. I always thought Hallmark followed more closely with my Christian values, but if they follow the way of the rest of TV, I will no longer watch it. I liked a lot of their shows, but I won’t have this garbage in my house where my young grand children might see it.

Billy
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Billy

Seriously? Soaps are moral and kissing is not? SMH.

Satan
Guest
Satan

A lot of folks who describe themselves as “Christians” are supporters of a serial adulterer who has about 1500 documented lies coming from his mouth since he’s been squatting in the White House.

Now admittedly, I haven’t spoken to my Former Employer in a long time, but I suspect he might find that a little more offensive than two people kissing in a commercial that airs on a channel full of bland, sappy programming.

rose
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rose

Barb…So I guess that means you don’t watch The Young and Restless and General Hospital.

Kay
Guest
Kay

This is the biggest lie Lordy do you people never stop take your crap and literally shove it! The ad never showed them kissing !!! It was humorous actually quite funny why does the left insist on making a drama out of nothing!!!

Kay
Guest
Kay

In other words why don’t you leave these people alone if this is their beliefs leave them alone let it go

Patrick Rose
Guest
Patrick Rose

“get off the cross” red green yellow.. all means the same thing to every body. common sense… mind your own p’s and q’s.. for those who “choose” to mix with rally ! every one.. I’ve been to the rodeo aint no charge lesser than mine… I pay the bills … mortgage, utilities, food on the table I stand equal his step down is freeing on another note : from what I can gather… Mark Steines, “settles” lawsuit with ? hip hip hooray. He … stood with his female co-workers. Hallmark thought he would take the bullet not so fast… I… Read more »

rose
Guest
rose

We’ll never know the real politics behind closed doors for Abbott’s departure. I just know I enjoy the Hallmark Channel. I may not have watched everyday, back-to-back, like over Christmas, but it was a welcome relief from our daily news, Million Moms, and politics. It may be formula…so are our soaps…and I find it is almost as diverse as our soaps. With pleasant stories, some actors I recognized from the soaps, and stories that always end right. Even our soaps don’t let stories that initially end right stay that way for long.

dzz
Guest
dzz

Everyone calls out for their Rights, not every one has the desires/stomach to see LBGTQ kissing.. Doesn’t make straight people wrong or selfish. We have our rights to keep our belief. It’s called desires!

Patrick Rose
Guest
Patrick Rose

how sad to leave the house and not see any thing more than what you want

Heather
Guest
Heather

I left when they reinstated the gay commercial. I will not support a gay channel or company. Will not go into a store or buy a card from them again unless they go back to real family values.

rose
Guest
rose

Heather…So I guess that means no ABC/ General Hospital, or CBS/Young &Restless.

Satan
Guest
Satan

Real family values?

You mean like an orange man who orders his immigrant brides via mail order and then cheats on them with porn stars when they’re pregnant?

Hell, I have better values than that, and I’m the Devil!

Patrick Rose
Guest
Patrick Rose

this is exciting… leave, enough room for color… a shared moment…a start

Tom
Guest
Tom

Yes, if you don’t like Hallmarks programs then change the channel. Majority of Americans approve of the network’s movie.

As to you the small majority of Americans who want to push their lifestyle on others. Simply said, get your own network and problem is solved

JEnny
Guest
JEnny

I think that if Hallmark continues to show these types of commercials and add gays to their programs they will eventually not have a hallmark channel. I cannot understand why we do not have rights as conservative Christians in America. Losing Bill Abbot will forever change hallmark.

News

Soap Smarts: How Daytime Dramas Are Using Ingenuity To Get Back Into Production During COVID-19

Daytime dramas seldom get the credit they deserve, and now they should be getting further credit for being the first back into production as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage on, and trying to implement new ways to keep their trademarks love scenes, intimate moments and two-person scenes somehow looking in tact; even though it will be far from how it was done in the past.

In the story from the Associated Press The Bold and the Beautiful EP, and head writer, Brad Bell – who’s soap was the first one back into the studio – commented on how the show is utilizing mannequins, or real-life significant others to help pull off close contact love scenes and how it is rather groundbreaking. “We feel almost like television pioneers all these years later because we’re the first ones out, blazing new ways of producing the shows with the current safety standards, and we’re getting the job done. It’s very exciting.”

When B&B scripts written pre-coronavirus were reviewed in preparation for shooting during the pandemic now, originally all the cinches and smooches were cut. But Bell found a solution whereby a remote actor recites lines as their on-camera scene partner responds in a “low, intimate voice” and engages in “beautiful, yearning eye contact” with an off-camera doll.

As far as the soapy embrace or lip-lock, B&B cast member Katrina Bowden (Flo) has had her husband and musician Ben Jorgensen stand in for her on-screen love interest, Darin Brooks (Wyatt) since returning to taping new episodes.

Photo: JPI

Days of our Lives EP Ken Corday noted to AP:  The “learning curve” is steep. Before the pandemic, “we were producing eight, one-hour episodes a week. That’s basically 40 or 50 scenes a day.  That’s going to be basically impossible to reopen, so to speak, at that pace. We’re going to have to be more careful. So will there be five shows a week, or more? Yet to be determined.  It will certainly cost more.”

B&B and now Y&R which heads back into production next week, and the others soaps, will be using the company called Reel Health, which launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to serve the entertainment industry, and hires medically trained workers to monitor sets and enforce protocols developed by a company epidemiologist and in accordance with industry and government standards,

Alicia Rodis, a veteran intimacy coordinator who helped the actors guild develop guidelines for taping scenes of romance and simulated sex. shared: “Finding ways to put romance on the screen is inevitable and necessary.  At the end of the day, intimacy isn’t going anywhere. Physical intimacy is a part of the human experience. And we’re going to have to find a way to be able to continue to tell these stories, even in extraordinary circumstances.”

So, what do you think of how soaps are tackling taping episodes in the new normal to give their fans a sense of all that they love from their favorite daytime dramas during COVID-19? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Breaking News

General Hospital Shifts Production Restart Date

On Friday, ABC’s daytime drama, General Hospital has now determined to push back their production restart date given the escalating number of cases of the coronavirus as the pandemic has worsened in Los Angles County.

According to Deadline: “GH is now targeting the week of July 20 to resume taping. The situation remains fluid as new infections have been soaring in Los Angeles.”

General Hospital was previously eyeing a return to production this coming Monday on July 13th, before the COVID-19 outbreak saw a spike in numbers.

While GH is pushing itself back another week, The Young and the Restless is at this moment preparing to start taping new episodes beginning on Tuesday, July 14th.

B&B is already back in production and Days of our Lives is now targeting a September 1st restart.

So, glad that GH is holding off a little bit longer to ensure safety first for all involved from cast, and crew? Comment below.

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News

NBA Great and LA Laker, LeBron James Buys B&B and Y&R Co-Creator Lee Phillip Bell’s Beverly Hills Estate

One legend is moving into another legend’s previous home.  Sources are reporting to The Real Deal, that Los Angeles Laker and NBA star, LeBron James has purchased the estate of the the late, Lee Phillip Bell, the beloved co-creator of The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless.

According to the report, James is in contract to buy Bell’s estate which was being marketed at 39 million.  It was unclear what James is paying for the 13,000-square-foot property, which sits on a 2.5-acre plot and boasts seven fireplaces, a pool house with two baths, lighted tennis court, and screening room.

Photo: JPI

Bell’s estate was officially put on the market on April 30

This is the third L.A. County mansion purchase for James, who signed as a free agent with the L.A. Lakers in the summer of 2018.  LeBron previously bought two homes in Brentwood, California for 23 and 21 million dollars.

Lee Phillip Bell passed away in late February of this year.  She was remembered during the just completed 47th annual Daytime Emmys In-Memoriam segment on the telecast on CBS.

So, what do you think of LeBron moving into the renowned soap opera creators home?  Comment below.

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B&B’s Heather Tom talks with Michael Fairman immediately following her record-tying win in the Lead Actress category during the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  Heather and Erika now hold the most wins for an actress with 6! Leave A Comment

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