Gov. Hickenlooper and Bill Abbott, President & CEO, Hallmark Channel & Hallmark Movie Channel Announce New TV Series to be Filmed in Colorado

"When Calls the Heart," Hallmark Channel's Newest Original Series, Commences Production in Telluride July 22; Motion Picture Corporation of America Key in Forging Partnership

Denver - June 18, 2013 - When Hallmark Channel's second original primetime series "When Calls the Heart" begins filming this summer, it will mark the first time a TV series has been filmed in the gorgeous surroundings of Telluride, Colorado. It also will be the first narrative TV series filmed in Colorado since 1991, when the "Father Dowling Mysteries" series was filmed in the state. With the new series, Hallmark will add up to 200 jobs and estimates a $15 million economic impact.

"We are delighted with Hallmark Channel's choice of Colorado for its latest series," said Gov. John Hickenlooper. "With Hallmark Channel's brand behind it, the show will have a positive economic impact for our state and provide tremendous national exposure for Telluride and all of Colorado."  

Hallmark Channel's choice of Colorado to film episodes of "When Calls the Heart" was facilitated by the Colorado Film Office with the legislation signed last year by Gov. Hickenlooper.  Bill Abbott, President and CEO, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel, said "Hallmark Channel is coming to the gorgeous state of Colorado. The state provides the perfect backdrop for our Western inspired series, 'When Calls the Heart' and we are incredibly proud to infuse the state's economy with new jobs and resources as a result of filming our family targeted program here."   

The legislation added incentives to make Colorado more competitive for television and film production. "While we can't compete side-by-side with other state incentive programs, we continue to see the benefits of our modest incentive package coupled with Colorado's talented workforce and extraordinary scenery," said Donald Zuckerman, Colorado's Film Commissioner.

The Colorado Office of Film and Television negotiated the deal with the Motion Picture Corporation of America and Believe Pictures with Brad Krevoy and Brian Bird, two of the executive producers of the Hallmark Channel Original Primetime Series. Brad Krevoy, CEO of MPCA said "We are excited to immerse 'When Calls the Heart' against the rich backdrop of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, providing unrivaled production value to a story that takes place in the North American west one-hundred years ago. Governor Hickenlooper, Donald Zuckerman, John Cullen, Mayor Fraser and Tim Territo have changed our expectations of shooting Colorado, which will allow us to bring substantial economic vitality to the state in the first season alone."

Colorado Film Commissioner Donald Zuckerman, Telluride Mayor Stu Fraser, Colorado Tourism Office director Al White and Telluride Film Commission co-founder Tim Territo played key roles in bringing the Hallmark Channel Original Primetime Series to Telluride, whose economy stands to accrue substantial revenue from the production.  

Three-time Emmy® winner Jean Smart ("Designing Women" "Samantha Who?") and Lori Loughlin ("Full House" "90210") star in "When Calls the Heart" a Hallmark Channel Original Primetime Series, the special extended pilot premieres, October 5 at 9p.m. ET/PT, 8C.  Erin Krakow ("Army Wives" "Castle") and Daniel Lissing ("Last Resort") star in the Original Primetime Series set to premiere January 2014, Smart and Loughlin have the possibility to reprise their roles when the series returns in January.   

Based on Janette Oke's bestselling Canadian West book series, "When Calls the Heart" is the story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Krakow), a young teacher accustomed to her high society life, who receives her first classroom post in a small prairie town in the Western Frontier lead by two strong coalminer widows, Abigail Stanton (Loughlin) and Frances Tunnecliffe (Smart). Elizabeth must deal with her restless students as well as the new Constable in town, Jack Thornton (Lissing).  Set against the wild canvas of a 19th century coal town, Elizabeth will have to learn the ways of the frontier if she wishes to thrive in the rural west.    

"When Calls the Heart" is a Believe Pictures and Brad Krevoy Television production. Brad Krevoy, Brian Bird, Michael Landon, Jr., Roman Viaris, Francisco Gonzalez, and Jimmy Townsend are executive producers. Eric Jarboe is co-executive producer.

About Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Channel, owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc., is a 24-hour basic cable network that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming available in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to a national audience of 87 million subscribers. Hallmark Channel is the nation's leading destination for quality family programming with an ambitious slate of original TV movies and specials, as well as some of television's most beloved sitcoms and series, including The Golden Girls, The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, and Frasier. The channel is also home to a range of lifestyle programming, anchored by Home & Family, a daily two-hour live show filmed in a fully functional house located on the Universal Studios lot. Hallmark Channel's sibling network, Hallmark Movie Channel, available in HD and SD, focuses on family-friendly movies with a mix of original films, classic theatrical releases, and presentations from the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame library.

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