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'A Royal Christmas' Performs Regally for Hallmark

The holiday programming magic continued for Hallmark Channel this past weekend, as the family-friendly network againg notched big numbers with its telefilms.

A Royal Christmas bowed to 4.0 rating and 4.48 million viewers on Nov. 22, according to Nielsen data. The original movie, starring Lacey Chabert and Stephen Hagan in the lead roles, now stands as the top "Countdown to Christmas" entry and the second-highest-rated telefilm in the network's history with those measures -- 2006's The Christmas Card notched a 4.2 rating.  All told, A Royal Christmas reached 6.3 million unduplicated viewers, the most in the network's history for an original movie.

In its 8 p.m.-10pm time period, A Royal Christmas was the No.1- rated film among almost all key demos, including  women 18 to 49 (1.6), females 25 to 54 (2.2) and total viewers (2.1). Moreover, the movie ranked first in delivery among households (3,38 million), women 18 to 49 (712,000), females 25 to 54 (945,000).

The Christmas Shepherd premiere on Sunday, Nov. 23 averaged 4.2 million total viewers and reached 5.8 unduplicated viewers. In its 8-10pm time period, the film tallied the second spot among households and total viewer ratings and delivery. The debut helped boost the network to be the top- rated network for the entire day among households at a 1.9 and women 25 to 54  with a 0.9 mark.

Speaking of the latter, channel officials say that Hallmark has now strung together four consecutive weekends as the top network with those watchers, and extended its run as the top service with the group to three weeks.

“The enthusiasm for Countdown to Christmas, which was solidified by this weekend’s strong performance, further proves the value in Hallmark Channel’s unique form of holiday storytelling and original content,” said Bill Abbott, president and CEO, Crown Media Family Networks. “We look forward to continuing to deliver more of what our viewers love and enjoy, as well as building on this successful franchise for years to come.”