Hallmark premieres first-ever movie with main storyline LGBTQ characters. 

Thu. November 19, 2020 8:44 PM by GoPride.com News Staff

jonathan bennett and brad harder in the christmas house

photo credit // crown media
Studio City, CA - This weekend, Hallmark will premiere "The Christmas House," it's first-ever Christmas movie featuring a gay couple in its primary story line. (Watch the preview.)

The cast includes Robert Buckley ("One Tree Hill"), Jonathan Bennett ("Mean Girls", "Cupcake Wars"), Treat Williams ("Chesapeake Shores"), Sharon Lawrence ("NYPD Blue"), Ana Ayora ("In the Dark") and Brad Harder ("Aurora Teagarden Mysteries").

Buckley created and developed the film, which is based on his family holiday tradition.

The network describes the storyline as a family working through some difficult decisions.

"Mitchell family matriarch Phylis (Lawrence) and patriarch Bill (Williams), have summoned their two grown sons – TV star, Mike (Buckley) and Brandon (Bennett) – home for the holidays. It is their hope that bringing the family together to recreate the Christmas house, will help them find resolution and make a memorable holiday for the entire family and community."

"As Brandon and his husband Jake (Harder) make the trip home, they are anxiously awaiting a call about the adoption of their first child. Meanwhile, Mike reconnects with Andi (Ayora), his high school sweetheart."

The new and original movie airs on Sunday, November 22 (8 p.m. ET/PT), on Hallmark Channel as part of the network's "Countdown to Christmas" television event.

Hallmark: "Our holiday table is bigger and more welcoming than ever"

This past December, Hallmark's parent company, Crown Media Family Networks, faced some backlash over removing an ad showing same-sex couples celebrating their wedding after recieving calls from fringe element organizations to boycott their network. A few days later, Hallmark released that they "believe this was wrong decision" and was "sorry for the hurt and disappointment" caused by the removal.

Prior to the backlash, Hallmark has previously included same-sex couples in their advertising and in other products, including their greeting cards.

Recently, Michelle Vicary, Executive VP of Programming at Hallmark, said in a statement, "Our holiday table is bigger and more welcoming than ever. This year’s movies reflect our most diverse representation of talent, narratives, and families..." The statement goes on to say, “Our movies are rooted in warmth and positivity, meaningful connections, family gatherings, and seasonal traditions - a winning formula we hope will bring our millions of viewers much-needed levity and holiday cheer at the end of a tough year."