Hallmark Channel original telefilm The Christmas Choir received MovieGuide's Epiphany prize as the most inspiring TV program of 2008.
The original holiday movie was feted at the 17th annual awards ceremony in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Feb. 11.
Based on a true story, The Christmas Choir examines the life of Peter Andrews (Jason Gedrick, Desperate Housewives) who is a workaholic accountant with no interest in the holidays. He has shut out everyone from his life, including his fiancée Jill (Cindy Sampson, Swamp Devil), who decides she can't go through with the marriage. Andrews soon finds his calling in helping the less fortunate when he meets a homeless man named Bob (Tyrone Benskin, 300), who inspires Peter to start a choir at the homeless shelter. With the help of Sister Agatha (Rhea Perlman, Cheers) and the men at the shelter, Andrews turns his life around, making the choir's success his main priority.
"We are so proud to win this prestigious award against such worthy competition as the critically acclaimed John Adams miniseries," said Hallmark Channel executive vice president of programming David Kenin in receiving the award."This is exactly the type of programming we love producing, one that's relevant, appreciated for its values and attracts wide and enthusiastic audiences. This win supports Hallmark's mission that viewer's want programming that is inspiring and uplifting."
The Christmas Choir debuted on the family-friendly network on Dec. 6, averaging a 3.1 household rating from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. that night, which made it the second-highest-rated cable movie of the day and the fourth-highest-rated movie of the Dec. 1-7 week, according to Nielsen Media Research data.
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