Former soap opera star and Hallmark veteran Jen Lilley announced that her latest Christmas film is being produced by GAC Media, a new company started by former Hallmark exec Bill Abbott.
In an interview on the Hallmarkies Podcast, Lilley said she is excited to be working with CEO Bill Abbott, who started GAC after leaving his position at Crown Media Family Networks more than a year ago.
“He reached out to me back in April,” Lilley said. “He was like, ‘Have you ever played a princess before?’ I was like, ‘I’ve always wanted to do a princess movie!’”
The film, titled Royally Wrapped Christmas, is the first production GAC Media has made public since announcing last week that it would launch programming on September 27. The move comes after GAC bought Great American Country from Discovery Inc in a deal Bloomberg reported was worth $90 million.
The company will launch two networks. The GAC Family Network will focus on movies and scripted TV series that “celebrate relationships and the emotional connections related to holidays, seasons, and occasions.”
GAC Living will focus on unscripted lifestyle content and will follow the tagline “Life Well Lived.”
Lilley starred in more than 10 Hallmark movies while Abbott was at the helm of Crown Media Family Networks, including Mingle All the Way, Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday, and USS Christmas. Her most recent Hallmark film, A Little Daytime Drama, debuted on August 21.
When she got a call from Abbott back in April, Lilley said she was thrilled.
The movie particularly appealed to Lilley because it’s about a woman who is trying to help others. In the film, her character runs a non-profit that is trying to deliver a toy to every child in the world for Christmas.
“I’m so honored to be part of a project that represents charity,” she said.
The movie will also be a tie-in with the website Lilley helps run, Christmas is Not Canceled, which raises donations for children in foster care. Her Camp Christmas in July raised money that covered back-to-school supplies for 5,000 kids.
She says her next initiative will begin in October and will be promoted alongside Royally Wrapped Christmas.
Lilley gave the interview from a hotel room in Canada, where she is in quarantine before shooting begins.
Royally Wrapped Christmas will air during the coming holiday season, although there is no official release date just yet. Programming begins on GAC Family and GAC Living on September 27.