The CEO of Hallmark Channel rival GAC Media says his goal is for the company to be the "leader in family television" with high-quality original content and television classics that the whole family can watch without mom and dad diving for the remote.
GAC Media CEO Bill Abbott made the comments during an interview on Up Next with John Contratti, saying his company has hired actors and actresses that families love while partnering with production companies that are known for excellence.
"We want to be relentlessly family-friendly," Abbott said.
Abbott's remarks were made prior to GAC Media announcing the hiring of Hallmark veteran Candace Cameron Bure to develop, produce and star in movies and television shows. GAC Media has hired at least a dozen Hallmark actors and actresses for its channels, GAC Family and GAC Living. Others include Danica McKellar, Jen Lilley, Daniel Lissing and Jessica Lowndes.
Abbott formerly was the CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, the parent company of the Hallmark Channel.
He said he is "passionate" about family entertainment.
"There's so much need for family content and the market in this space," he said. "It's pretty scary, quite frankly, the amount of content that's out there ... the vast majority of content is salacious and is not appropriate for any member of the family, really."
Launched in 2021, GAC Living airs original movies and classic TV shows such as Father Knows Best, Bewitched, Full House, Who's the Boss and Hazel.
"There isn't a lot of family content out there," he said, referencing the entertainment landscape. "If you look in the last 20 years, it'd be real hard to find a show that you can watch in its entirety with your family and not have some point that would make you uncomfortable if you're with a 10-year-old."
With many modern shows, he said, "you have to run for the remote."
Classic shows, he said, are funny, well-written and well-cast.
"And while they're retro, in many ways, people really do long for nostalgia and long for that type of content that they [enjoyed] growing up," he said.
GAC Media partnered with MPCA, the same company that produced When Calls the Heart. MPCA is "Hallmark's leading producer for the last eight years," he said.
"We want to be the leader in family television," Abbott said. "... We think that we've got assembled a terrific team not only at our networks, but also [on] the talent side – people who are well-known to the audience and who the audience loves."
His goal, he said, is for GAC Media to be family-friendly, consistent and high-quality.
"If we do those three things," he said, "I think that will deliver on the promise, and we'll be the leader in the space, and the same would hold true in the lifestyle area."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Monkey Business Images
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.