The CEO of Hallmark rival Great American Family says he wants the network to be the go-to for audiences who desire family-friendly programming with actors and actresses who are "role models."
Bill Abbott, the president and CEO of Great American Media, made the comments as parent company Great American Media prepares to launch a free director-to-consumer app on Sept. 26. known as Great American Community. It will include 15 all-new original short-form series featuring such talent as Danica McKellar and Trevor Donovan.
The company's flagship channel, Great American Family, recently announced a slate of new original movies.
Candace Cameron Bure signed with Great American Media earlier this year.
"We want our talent to be role models and represent us well and overall reinforce really the positive sides and that are life-affirming," Abbott told Family Savvy. "There's so many people who are role models who we all know shouldn't be role models."
Abbott previously served as the president and CEO of Hallmark Media and – before that – at The Family Channel. Abbott said he feels "called to serve the underserved audience that just does not have the experience of being able to sit and watch TV with family."
For decades, he said, the culture has moved toward a "dark, violent, sexual presentation of edgy content" – thus leaving families with "no place … to watch TV together."
Great American Channel, which launched last year, has signed multiple actors and actresses who starred in Hallmark movies. Its "Great American Christmas" event, featuring new holiday movies, returns on Oct. 28.
The goal of the Great American Community app is to "make families more intentional about the essential things in their lives," according to MovieGuide.
"Unfortunately, social media, while it can be a wonderful vehicle for a lot of different things … also has now become subjected to the sewer that is the entertainment business," Abbott told Family Savvi. "... [But] we have some unique assets that a lot of organizations that are much bigger than we are don't. And it starts really with a great family of talent who are very much committed to our mission, promoting us and to reinforcing what we stand for."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/DragonImages
Video courtesy: ©Family Savvy
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.