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Hallmark Channel parent creates in-house prodco

The parent company of Hallmark Channel has launched an in-house production unit aimed at upping the group’s original content efforts.

Michelle VicaryCrown Media Family Networks, which also operates Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, has created Crown Media Productions.

Michelle Vicary (pictured) will lead the LA-based division, which will produce up to six telemovies in 2015 that will be released under Hallmark Channel Original and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Original banners. This will be doubled in 2016.

CMFN expects Vicary’s relationships in the production business to “make the startup immediately successful”, and the division will hold all rights to the films it makes.

‘Launching Crown Media Productions represents the next stage of the company’s evolution,” said Vicary, who is executive Vice President, programming, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

“A production arm creates the infrastructure that makes it possible for us to keep up with an ever-growing demand for more and more original Hallmark-branded programming across a variety of platforms, and it benefits Crown Media with more direct input into the creative process and financing, rights retention, and growing one of the best family film libraries in entertainment.”