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Archive for Tuesday, July 24, 2001

Hallmark Channel debuts with H.G. Wells series

July 24, 2001

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— Greetings from the Hallmark Channel.

Starting in August, Odyssey Network will change its name to reflect its connection to Hallmark Cards Inc., the greeting card giant that has been established in the TV drama business for decades.

Hallmark Channel will debut with "The Infinite Worlds of H.G. Wells," a six-hour miniseries based on short stories by the classic science fiction writer.

The miniseries (Aug. 5-7) is the kind of ambitious project that Hallmark intends to deliver to viewers, said Margaret Loesch, the channel's president and chief executive officer.

It also represents the Hallmark Channel's mantra: offering shows that are intended for adults but wouldn't be considered inappropriate for family viewing.

In other words, Hallmark is keeping it clean just in case the kids wander into the room.

"It's not family programming per se but programming that is OK if your whole family sees it," Loesch said.

Getting a handle on Hallmark Channel's style is as easy as scrolling back through memories of 50 years of "Hallmark Hall of Fame" dramas (which continue on CBS). Besides that library, the channel will reprise separate Hallmark Entertainment programs such as the recent TV movies "Don Quixote" and "Moby Dick."

Even reality shows will be family friendly: "Adoption" will chronicle the experience of adoptive parents and children.

A miniseries based on "Lord Jim," the Joseph Conrad novel, and the four-hour movie "Hans Christian Andersen" are among the announced new programs.

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