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Hallmark Channel Sets ‘Countdown to Christmas' Special

Hallmark Channel will launch its annual Christmas-themed original movies lineup with a one-hour special debuting in October.

The network’s Countdown to Christmas Preview Show will premiere Oct. 22 and will provide viewers with an exclusive sneak peek at all 21 original holiday-themed movies launching on Hallmark Channel during the season, according to network officials.

Actress Candace Cameron Bure will star in the preview special along with Lori Loughlin, Jodie Sweetin and Hallmark Channel’s rescued and adopted pet, Happy The Dog – all of whom will appear in new, original holiday films over the next three months, said network officials. The "Countdown to Christmas" programming stunt launches Oct. 27.

Hallmark Moives & Mysteries will also air a preview show for its "Most Wonderful Movies of Christmas" original holiday slate that will be hosted by actess Holly Robinson-Peete on Oct. 21, the network said.

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.