Hallmark Movies & Mysteries (formerly known as Hallmark Movie Channel) is an American digital cable and satellite television channel that is owned by Crown Media Holdings. The channel was spun off from sister network Hallmark Channel, and airs family-oriented feature and made-for-TV movies along with a limited number of mystery-themed television series.
As of February 2015, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is available to approximately 55,827,000 pay television households (48% of households with television) in the United States.
The channel launched on January 20, 2004 as Hallmark Movie Channel. On March 14, 2014, Crown Media Holdings announced that Hallmark Movie Channel would be rebranded as Hallmark Movies & Mysteries in late 2014. The name change took place on September 29, 2014.
The channel features mystery, western, and family-friendly movies and mini-series mainly from the Hallmark Channel library , notably original films that had once premiered on Hallmark Channel at an earlier date. The channel also features a small amount of films from Hallmark Hall of Fame, Walt Disney Pictures and Touchstone Pictures. Hallmark Movie Channel also broadcasts the McBride, Murder 101, Jane Doe, and Mystery Woman film series, as well as later Perry Mason and Matlock made-for-TV movies produced after the end of those series.
The first original movie to premiere on the channel was Son of the Dragon on April 2
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, 2008, and a handful of movies have since premiered on the channel. In July 2010, the channel begin airing scripted television series to its schedule. These series currently include Murder, She Wrote, Matlock, The Good Wife, Hart to Hart, and Perry Mason.
In March 2009, the network announced that it is partnering with the NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and TV to showcase short films by the school’s students and alumni. The shorts will begin airing in October, and will also be available for viewing online at the network website www.hallmarkmoviechannel.com. Actor Alec Baldwin is a Tisch alum who will be one of the judges to determine which films appear on the network.
HMC began broadcasting in 1080i high definition to a small audience as early as April 2, 2008, but expanded nationally on May 12, 2008 on Dish Network and recently has been added many markets, including DirecTV, DISH, Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable. DirecTV added the channel for the first time in HD only on May 19, 2010. Sometime in 2013 Crown Media ended their distribution of the standard definition versions of their networks, and now all providers downscale the HD version with letterboxing for the standard definition versions of the Hallmark networks.
Shortly after its sister network Hallmark Channel updated its consumer website, the company updated hallmarkmoviechannel.com to make it more interactive for the viewer.
On January 29, 2009 the company announced the development of an online movie shop at both www.hallmarkchannel.com and www.hallmarkmoviechannel.com featuring DVD movies and movie-related products from its library. The shop is powered by the Amazon Associates program. Since its soft launch in mid-2008, Hallmark Channel has already generated sales of over 10,000 items. The network earns a commission on each sale.
AT&T U-verse dropped Hallmark Channel and sister channel Hallmark Movie Channel on September 1, 2010 due to a carriage dispute.
As of July 23, 2015 Cheongsam Dress, the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries have returned to U-verse.