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TCA17: Crown Media to Launch Hallmark Drama Cable Network

Crown Media Family Networks is planning to expand its Hallmark Channel brand on both the linear and digital platforms with the October launch of two new services.

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Crownon Oct. 1 will launch a new linear channel, Hallmark Drama, which will spotlight movies and series from the company’s library of original dramatic content as well as feature exclusive original programming, said network officials.

Two days later on Oct. 3 the company will launch a subscription video on demand streaming service dubbed Hallmark Movies Now. The service, which will retail at $5.99 a month or $59.95 a year, will feature between 800 and 1,000 hours of programming not available on Crown Media’s linear channels.

The Hallmark Drama channel will complement Crown’s two existing linear channels,Hallmark Channel andHallmark Movies and Mysteries.

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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.