Crown Media will create a slate of films targeted to African-American audiences under its Hallmark greeting card brand, the company said Wednesday.
Toni Judkins, senior VP of programming development for Crown Media, will spearhead the initiative, which will launch in 2022 as a quarterly slate of original movies airing on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries under the Mahogany brand, which is rooted in the three decade-old, Hallmark greeting card line of the same name, said company officials. Crown plans to eventually expand the initiative into scripted series and podcasts.
“This launch marks a pivotal moment in our evolution as we continue to bring the Hallmark brand to life in new ways,” Crown Media President & CEO Wonya Lucas said in a statement. “In addition, it’s a huge step forward in our mission to deliver more diverse, inclusive content representing various cultures and perspectives that resonates with our current audience and attracts new viewers.”
Added Judkins: “Mahogany is an expression of all the love, joy, and complexities that emerge from the distinctive journey of Black people. It is a dream realized to create a content experience around this Hallmark brand that honors, empowers, and authentically captures Black culture and amplifies our voice.”
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.