Great American Family Touts Big Gains During First Quarter

Lori Loughlin
Lori Loughlin starred in Great American Family’s ‘Fall Into Winter.’ (Image credit: Great American Family)

Bill Abbott’s Great American Family network chalked up big percentage gains in viewing during the first quarter with its collection of original movies and specials.

Great American Family’s first-quarter primetime ratings were up 124% among total viewers and 118% in households.

In total-day terms, ratings were up 119% in total viewers and 121% in households.

Great American Country also registered its highest-rated weekend ever in several key demographics on Saturday, March 18 and Sunday, March 19.

The percentage increases were the largest among the networks measured by Nielsen. The gains came on a still-small base. The network, launched in 2021, finished 2022 as the No. 103-ranked cable network with an average of 79,000 primetime viewers. Hallmark Channel, which ranked 10th in 2022, averaged 1.3 million primetime viewers.

Abbott, former head of Hallmark Channel, has followed the Hallmark playbook and registered industry-leading increases in viewing by packing its fourth-quarter schedule with original holiday movies.

In the first quarter of  2023, Great American Family premiered eight original movies, including Fall Into Winter starring Lori Loughlin, the former Hallmark star who was jailed for her role in the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal. Great American Family also aired the specials Great American Rescue Bowl, hosted by Beth Stern, and To The Rescue Pup-A-Thon with Tommy Habeeb. The network also features classic series including Columbo, Little House on the Prairie and Murder, She Wrote. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.