Hallmark has laid claim to many an industry — sentimental family movies, holidays conspired entirely for card sales, a school store in Hudson, N.H. — but the corporate giant with Missouri roots has yet to sate its worldly appetite. The next realm to conquer: television shows. The Hallmark Channel has greenlit its first original series, Cedar Cove, set to launch in January with a two-hour pilot. The program, based on a book series by author Debbie Macomber, will place venerably Hallmarky actress Andie MacDowell at the center as a municipal court judge named Olivia Lockhart (a venerably Hallmarky name). Variety reports that the network has also begun planning four additional original series, each set to hit the air by 2014.
It's only natural to assume that Hallmark will draw from some of its other regimes to develop this new empire. After all, you've got to imagine that the company's renowned expertise in the art of cardsmanship should translate at least somewhat effectively to TV. Given this double-sided aisle of possibilities, here are a few Hallmark-worthy pitches we'd like to suggest.
Get Well Soon
Marcus Halloway is a street-tough who never had nobody to look after him. But when he gets caught racketeering in the premiere episode, a local judge forces him to spend his days caring for bedridden senior citizen Gretta Cardman as community service. Over the course of the series, Marcus comes to care for Gretta, learning a little bit about life, love, and growing up, as he tries long and hard to make her comfortable through her terminal illness.
Dr. Hallie Markowitz is the top cardiologist at Greetings Hospital, helping both her patients and colleagues week after week. Hallie cures sickly visitors to the hospital with her surgical prowess but is just as impressive as an inspiration to young interns and jaded doctors, thanks to her knack for crafting poetic, life-affirming greeting cards (which frame the narration of the episodes) for every occasion.
H. Allan Markenheim is a rich, business-driven socialite who has spent the last ten years of his life investing every ounce of his humanity into keeping his father's Fortune 500 company at the top of the industry. But when he meets Anna Versary in the pilot, Allan starts to realize that maybe there's more to life than work and money, and he begins focusing all of his energy on the girl of his dreams.
In this sci-fi procedural, has-been mailman Jeff Schmallmark (I know, I'm getting lazy, just deal with it) teams up with crime-fighting robot E-CARD (Executor of Criminal Analysis and Riot Deterrence) in a dystopian future to maintain justice and deliver messages from murder and kidnapping victims and jailed criminals to their loved ones.
[Photo Credit: Hallmark]
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