January 28, 2023

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Only “Traditional Marriage” at Great American Family

If you’re looking for a cheesy gay love story this holiday season, stick to Hallmark, not Great American Family. Candace Cameron Bure – who was formerly a mainstay at Hallmark Channel – has risen to the rank of CCO at Great American Family, and she says the cable network intends to focus its programming on “traditional marriages.”

Bure, a fiercely conservative Christian, has starred in over a dozen Hallmark made-for-TV movies over the years, but she left the network earlier this year to join former CEO Bill Abbott at Great American Family, where she has starred in her selection of films will be starring and will produce religious content under the Candace Cameron Bure Presents banner. She discussed the move in an interview with The Wall Street Journal (via Variety), where she said her new home network prioritizes the Christian faith over Hallmark.

“My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning and purpose and depth,” Bure said. “I knew the people behind Great American Family were Christians who loved the Lord and wanted to promote faith programs and good family entertainment.”

Hallmark has made a concerted effort to diversify its content in recent years — their first original vacation film, which focuses on a same-sex couple, debuts next month — and it’s easy to see that Bure hasn’t appreciated the change. The actress called Hallmark “a completely different network than when I started my leadership transition,” adding, “I think the Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at its core.”

Abbott offered a more media-savvy response regarding his stance on whether Great American Family would produce LGBTQ content. “It’s certainly 2022, so we’re aware of the trends. There’s no whiteboard that says, “Yes, that” or “No, we’re never going to go here,” he said. Speaking to Variety, he said the network is much smaller than Hallmark and doesn’t necessarily have the manpower to create so many different stories, but said that could change “over time.”

Still, Bure, beautiful as ever, held on to her guns. “I think we know the core audience and what they love is exactly how Bill originally built the Hallmark Channel,” she said. “That was Christmas and those traditional holidays, so the focus will be on that. You have to start somewhere. You can’t do everything at once.”