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Bill Abbott’s new network will release four movies by the end of the year

Chad Michael Murray and Jessica Lowndes in the GAC Family movie An Autumn Romance
Chad Michael Murray and Jessica Lowndes in An Autumn Romance, one of four new films being released by GAC Family, the network founded by former Hallmark exec Bill Abbott. Pic credit: GAC Media

GAC Family, one of two new cable networks started by former Hallmark exec Bill Abbott, has four family-friendly movies in production, including two Christmas films. The first to air will be An Autumn Romance, starring Chad Michael Murray and Jessica Lowndes, which will debut on the network on October 23.

The network, which is owned by Abbott’s company GAC Media, will begin programming on September 27, though it has not yet announced which shows it will air.

Abbott left Crown Media Family Networks, which produces original content for the Hallmark networks, in January 2020. He gave no reason for his departure, but the move came less than a month after the network aired a commercial that showed two women kissing. After an outcry from the group One Million Moms, the ad was pulled. When LGBTQ activists condemned the network, the ad was then reinstated and the network issued a formal apology.

In June 2021, Abbott announced the start of GAC Media, a company organized by Dallas-based Hicks Equity Partners LLC. The stated purpose of the company was to produce family-friendly entertainment.

GAC Family films will have familiar names

Both Chad Michael Murray and Jessica Lowndes have appeared in Hallmark productions. In a December 2020 interview with Hollywood Life, Murray said he seeks out family-friendly projects because of his children.

“I’m a family guy,” he said. “Put God and family first, that’s how we run, and these cater to that in a large way. They’re family films. I believe in that. It’s better than my kids going to school in the upcoming years and having their dad’s posted up someone’s locker or something like that.”

Dewshane Williams and Rukiya Bernard in the GAC Family Film Christmas Time is Here, which will air on Novemver 13 at 8/7c.
Dewshane Williams and Rukiya Bernard in the GAC Family Film Christmas Time is Here, which will air on November 13 at 8/7c. Pic credit: GAC Media

Another Hallmark star, Jen Lilley, announced she was making a film for Abbott’s company less than a week after her latest Hallmark movie aired.

About the new GAC Family movies

An Autumn Romance tells the story of librarian Taylor Harris (played by Lowndes) who loses her job and goes to visit her brother in Montana. She becomes active in efforts to save a local hotel, which tech tycoon Joel Sheenan (played by Murray) wants to convert into an upscale tourist property. It will air on October 23 at 8/7c.

Much Ado About Christmas will star Susie Abromeit and Torrance Coombs. Abromeit plays Haley, a beloved member of her local community who also happens to be the daughter of the wealthiest man in town. When she meets Coombs, she creates a fake backstory for herself, claiming that she was raised by a struggling, single mother, just so that he won’t take her for a spoiled rich girl. It will air on October 30 at 8/7c.

Susie Abromeit and Torrance Coombs in the GAC Family movie Much Ado About Christmas
Susie Abromeit and Torrance Coombs in the GAC Family movie Much Ado About Christmas, which will air on GAC Family Saturday, November 13. Pic credit: GAC Media

Christmas Time is Here stars Dewshane Williams and Rukiya Bernard. It follows successful real estate Nia Moore (played by Bernard) who is trying to find the perfect property for a wealthy client (played by Williams) who wants to build an upscale resort. The problem is, he only has eyes for a property that is not for sale. It will air on November 13 at 8/7c.

Finally, Jen Lilley will star in Royally Wrapped Christmas, a feature about a woman who runs a non-profit that tries to give every child in the world a Christmas gift. A release date has not been set for the film, which is just beginning production in Canada.

An Autumn Romance, starring Chad Michael Murry and Jessica Lowndes, will air Saturday, October 23 on GAC Family at 8/7c.

Much Ado About Christmas, starring Susie Abromeit and Torrance Coombs, will air Saturday, October 30 on GAC Family at 8/7c.

Christmas Time is Here, starring Dewshane Williams and Rukiya Bernard will air Saturday, November 13 on GAC Family at 8/7c.

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