If you’re looking for a cheesy gay love story this holiday season, stick with Hallmark, not Great American Family. Candace Cameron Bure — who used to be a mainstay at the Hallmark Channel — has stepped up as CCO at Great American Family, and she says the cable network intends to focus on “traditional marriage” in its programming.
Bure, an outspoken conservative Christian, has acted in over a dozen Hallmark television movies over the years, but she left the network earlier this year to join former CEO Bill Abbott over at Great American Family, where she’ll star in her choice of films and produce religious content under the banner “Candace Cameron Bure Presents.” She discussed the move in an interview with The Wall Street Journal (via Variety), where she said her new home network prioritized the Christian faith more than Hallmark.
“My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning and purpose and depth behind them,” Bure said. “I knew that the people behind Great American Family were Christians that love the Lord and wanted to promote faith programming and good family entertainment.”
Hallmark has made a concerted effort to diversify its content in recent years — their first original holiday movie focused on a same-sex couple debuts next month — and it’s easy to see that Bure hasn’t appreciated the change. The actress called Hallmark “a completely different network than when I started because of the change of leadership,” adding, “I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core.”
Abbott offered a more media-trained response regarding his stance on whether Great American Family would produce LGBTQ content. “It’s certainly the year 2022, so we’re aware of the trends. There’s no whiteboard that says, ‘Yes, this’ or ‘No, we’ll never go here,'” he said. Speaking with Variety, he said the network was much smaller than Hallmark and didn’t necessarily have the manpower to create as many diverse stories, but said that “over time” that could change.
Still, Bure, lovely as ever, stuck to her guns. “I think we know the core audience and what they love is exactly how Bill originally built the Hallmark Channel,” she said. “That was Christmas and those traditional holidays, so that’s what the focus is going to be. You’ve got to start somewhere. You can’t do everything at once.”