While Hallmark Channel is leaning into inclusive storytelling, Candace Cameron Bure and Great American Family seem to be doing the opposite. In a new interview with The Wall Street Journal, Bure, who left Hallmark to join former CEO Bill Abbott at the new company earlier this year, talked about his new role as chief creative officer.
“My heart wants to tell stories that have meaning and purpose and depth behind them,” he said of making a difference. “I knew that the people behind Great American Family were Christians who loved the Lord and wanted to promote a system of faith and good family entertainment.”
Bure is not only a star in her own choice of films, but she is also creating a cult following under the “Candace Cameron Bure Presents” banner. However, the move has come with a lot of controversy, with the WSJ telling Hallmark that “it’s actually a completely different network than when I started because of the leadership change.” (The network, too, said, “We want all viewers to see themselves in our program and everyone is welcome.”)
While Hallmark is making a strong call for more LGBTQ+ issues — their first holiday movie focused on the same eagle debuts next month — that won’t be the case for Great American Family, Bure said.
“I think the Great American Family will keep the traditional wedding at the center,” he said. Abbott added, “This is 2022, so we know where to go. There’s no white board saying, ‘Yes, this’ or ‘No, we’re never going here.'”
In September, Abbott and Bure spoke with him Variety about their network growth plans. When asked about including other different topics, Abbott explained, “Sometimes we don’t think of people who really know these topics so we have to go find them… In growing this business, it’s more difficult than me. you thought. I knew it would be hard, but not this hard. And so, we will get there, but it is not an overnight thing. “
He also said that “over time” there will be an opportunity to celebrate other religions, not just Christianity and Christmas. “We don’t have proof that we have 30 people in development who are able to hold meetings with many different people. We take as many as we can, but time is limited in the day,” he added
“I think we know the core audience and what they want is exactly how Bill Hallmark Channel was designed,” Bure said. “It was Christmas and traditional holidays, so that will be the focus. You have to start somewhere. You can’t do everything at once.