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Fans cry foul as Hallmark cancels annual Kitten Bowl

A comptetitor from Hallmark Channel's Kitten Bowl
A competitor from Hallmark Channel’s Kitten Bowl. The network told fans that the program would not air this year. Pic credit: Crown Media

Hallmark Channel shocked some fans when it announced it would not be staging its annual Kitten Bowl this year. The televised event, which featured kittens playing on a set designed to look like a football stadium, has been part of Hallmark’s Super Bowl Sunday lineup for the past eight years.

But when a fan asked the network about the tradition, a representative responded with the following statement: “While we are not currently developing original animal-centric programming, Hallmark Channel is pleased to support partners like North Shore Animal League America as part of our commitment to social responsibility initiatives.”

The news was not received well by fans, who sounded off on social media.

“Everything good is being destroyed or cancelled, even the sweet animals,” wrote one viewer on Twitter. “Goodness. HMC has lost its compassion. How they have treated their most loyal fans this past year is very telling. They seem to only care about ratings but doing little to earn them.”

The Kitten Bowl was produced with the North Shore Animal League of America. It featured animals that were up for adoption or had recently been adopted. Many shelters around the country would have their own version of the Kitten Bowl on the same day as the televised event.

A fan asks Hallmark Channel about the Kitten Bowl
A fan asks Hallmark Channel about the Kitten Bowl. Pic credit: @susanduncan/Facebook
Hallmark's response to a fan's inquiry about the Kitten Bowl
Hallmark Channel’s response to a fan’s inquiry about the Kitten Bowl. Pic credit: @hallmarkchannelusa/Facebook
A viewer takes issue with Hallmark Channel canceling the Kitten Bowl
A viewer takes issue with Hallmark Channel canceling the Kitten Bowl. Pic credit: @charmedbyhiba/Twitter

Another show finished

Fans pointed out on social media that the network has canceled several productions recently. The series Good Witch aired for the last time in July 2021. The show Home and Family finished in August 2021. Crown Media, which runs Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, also canceled two of its mystery series in the past year.

Some Kitten Bowl fans suggested that Bill Abbott, who was CEO of Crown Media before his abrupt departure in early 2020, should pick up the show for GAC Family, one of two networks he started in June 2021.

“Such an important cause and kind event can’t end!” wrote a fan on Twitter. “We need a new furry home at GAC.”

“Not developing original animal programming makes it sound like they were producing a Kitten Bowl series each week!” another wrote. “It’s once a year people! They canceled everything successful in the @billabbottHC era. #savegoodwitch #kittenbowl #mysteries# #homeandfamily. Fix this @GACfamilyTV.”

A Kitten Bowl fan urges GAC Family to take over the event
A Kitten Bowl fan urges GAC Family to take over the event. Pic credit: @alwayskbex/Twitter
A viewer questions Hallmark Channel's logic in canceling the Kitten Bowl
A viewer questions Hallmark Channel’s logic in canceling the Kitten Bowl. Pic credit: @lgurskysbcglob1/Twitter

Super Bowl Sunday viewing

Not everyone was upset with Hallmark’s decision. Some fans wrote that they preferred Discovery Channel’s Puppy Bowl. Others said they didn’t care that much themselves, but knew other people enjoyed the event.

“NOOOOOO. I never watch these things,” one person wrote. “But I am sure others love it.”

A viewer is upset on behalf of Kitten Bowl fans
A viewer is upset on behalf of Kitten Bowl fans. Pic credit: @lynnkipilahanson/Facebook

Still others said they would rather see a new movie from the network than the Kitten Bowl.

“No way, we need more movies on Super Bowl Sunday,” one viewer wrote.

A viewer suggests more movies for Super Bowl Sunday
A viewer suggests more movies for Super Bowl Sunday. Pic credit: @janicemooney/Facebook

It looks like the Kitten Bowl will certainly be missed by fans.

View Comments (8)

Comments - Have Your Say

  1. I cannot believe the hallmark channel would cancel such a sweet and cute show like the kitten bowl.
    Not only are shows like this fun to watch but they also raise awareness to the great work that places
    like the North Shore Animal League and others like them do to protect and care for animals that otherwise would have little hope of having a good life. I hope that if the Hallmark Channel wont change their mind that another channel will pick it up and continue what many of us consider a Superbowl day tradition.

    Reply
  2. It is such a shame how we have lost so much programming at the hands of Hallmark in such a short period of time…all we loved during the Bill Abbott era starting with Good Witch, Home and Family, the Mystery Series and now this last straw, the sweet and loving Kitten Bowl. It’s a Super Bowl family tradition in my home and the heartfelt stories were beautiful. This special raises awareness we all need to be mindful of. Please pick up Good Witch and all we have lost at GAC Family or maybe the Kitten Bowl, Puppy Bowl and Hero Dog Awards on GAC Living @billabbotthc

    Reply
  3. Hallmark, WHY?? Why would you do that now, and cancel a truly helpful, adorable, fun & heartwarming show, that actually does SO much GOOD in this world…& finds SO many homes for those beautiful, innocent, sweet, cute little kittens!!! WHAT is the reason for the cancellation?? It’s NOT like it wasn’t working, it always places SO MANY animals//kittens in “Fur-ever” homes…AND raises a lot of money for kitty shelters, too!!! WHO wouldn’t want to keep that going??!! I’ve always loved Hallmark, for anything, movies, kitten and puppy bowls, and everything else they do, but…now…I don’t understand this, or what possible reason they are doing this for, & as a cat owner…I DONt” like it!!! I may have to just start boycotting Hallmark now…& start watching the TV shows & movies that other stations have on TV!! …Well, Hallmark’s greeting cards were getting WAY too expensive, anyway!! I still nearly all the time, resist going to get the same ones, (even a Hallmark line!!). at the Dollar stores, that are easier to get to now anyway, as there are SO many more of them than on Hallmark stores now, so I’m pretty much always near one. May just be time to switch…!! I hate to, but their cards have gone up SO much, too…& this is NOT a GOOD thing!!! It’s ending a very good thing!! I hope I can get this GAC station if they pick it up & hope they do, or any other channel, at least for now!! I DO watch the Super Bowl, I’m VERY into football, yet I ALWAYS watch ALL the kitten, puppy, etc. bowls, too! I and several people I know, were really looking FORWARD to it this year, too!!! I HOPE someone else DOES pick it up!! Is Hallmark ONLY cancelling it for THIS year?? Are they planning to bring it back next year?? I just feel bad for ALL those poor, adorable, homeless kittens…that would have gotten their forever homes…in LESS than a week now..
    …Who are going to have to stay at the shelters…all alone…now, because of this!! The cuteness & great exposure that Kitten gives them, & other animals, the halftime show pets, too, etc., …is upparalleled!! Dumb move!! I HOPE you at least bring it back NEXT year!!! W/all the “Bad” out there in the world lately…you have to cancel something truly nice, helpful & wonderful…??!! I can’t think of a reason that could make this a good idea!! First time in my life I’ve ever been mad at Hallmark!!! And, my 90 year old mother, is going to miss it MORE than I do, & she is even a BIGGER Hallmark supporter than I am!!! I have several friends who will really miss it, too!!! & those kittens!!!

    Reply
  4. The Kitten Bowl has been one of only two shows we care to watch on Hallmark. We can find alternatives to watching anything else on Hallmark Channel. If they no longer care to produce animal-centric programming, we can go elsewhere.

    Reply
  5. You’d think they were balking at producing the Kitty Olympics, for Pete’s sake! It’s two hours, once a year, and they don’t even have to pay the players.
    Of all years to quit! COVID has had a heavy impact on cats and dogs, because vets were not permitted to do non-emergency surgeries (eg., spay/neuter) during the worst of the pandemic, as PPE was reserved for human use. The result was a population explosion of unusual proportions. Shelters and rescues are overwhelmed. This is the year Hallmark could really save some lives. This is the year Hallmark could have… made its mark.
    But no.
    I think maybe that’s gonna be my answer when Hallmark tries to sell me a card, or some pretty paper, or a cute stuffed bear: “No.” Just “no.”

    Reply
    • Thank you. I feel the same way. Shame on Hallmark for putting their profits ahead of helping a good cause. I have cancelled my Hallmark TV subscription today, and hope many more animal lovers will do the same.
      This could have been done in an entirely different, acceptable way, by offering a solution and giving enough notice for the organizers to find another venue. What disgusting people :(

      Reply
  6. This is crap Hallmark. The kittens were needed to get adopted into a home. Kept the dog adoption bowl. Now they may never get a home or be put down because of overcrowding.

    Reply

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