Q: I am wondering why Hallmark Channel's original shows such as "When Calls the Heart" aren't repeated as often as their original movies?

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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

Hallmark takes an innovative approach to its back-catalog of programming, which makes some sense since its catalog is unlike anyone else's.

Programming-wise, Hallmark is very much a movie producer. It's been making two-hour heartwarmers since way back in the days of the four-channel TV universe.

Now that those days are gone, though, Hallmark is making bold moves in today's infinite-channel cable universe. That includes producing TV shows as well as movies.

However -- and this is where it differs from most TV producers -- Hallmark's catalog is still made up of mostly movies, and so, to finally answer your question, it's treating the shows as being more valuable, because they're more rare.

Bill Abbott, CEO of Hallmark Channel's parent company, has said that repeating the shows less often has driven up their value. And he plans to capitalize on that value online.

"Now we're sitting in a position where we have quite a bit of content that can't be seen anywhere else that we can take and go over the top with," he said in an interview with Broadcasting and Cable magazine. ("Over the top" is an inside-industry term for non-TV broadcasts, most notably web streaming.)

He pointed out that, in fact, reruns of many of its shows don't pull in very strong TV ratings, despite having large fan bases -- he offered the series "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" as an example. The theory is that they'll do better online.

If this seems like yet another predictable move away from traditional TV, Abbott would like to remind you that Hallmark just launched yet another TV channel -- Hallmark Drama -- last year. That, he said, is proof of a commitment to the traditional model.

"We don't think the linear television business is going away any time soon," he said, using yet another insider term. 


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