EXCLUSIVE: OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is making its first foray into original holiday movies with One Fine Christmas, Carole’s Christmas and Baking Christmas, set to air over three consecutive Fridays in November.
One Fine Christmas, starring Rick Fox and his daughter Sasha Fox in their first time acting together, as well as Marla Gibbs and Vanessa Williams (the Soul Food alumna, not Sasha’s mom), will premiere November 15. It will be followed by Carole’s Christmas, starring Jackée Harry and Kimberly Elise Star, on Nov. 22, and Baking Christmas, starring Aloma Wright and Tim Reid Star, on Nov. 29.
Holiday movies are a major audience draw, especially among women who are OWN’s core demographic. And, while TV movies are generally difficult to make work financially for a cable network because they are one-offs, holiday films are generally evergreen and can be rerun every holiday season.
Original holiday movies have been a long-time staple on female-focused Hallmark Channel and Lifetime. Freeform, which has carried on its predecessor ABC Family’s 25 Days Of Christmas franchise, started adding original holiday movies to the mix in 2017. Netflix too has been betting big on original holiday movies, with several new titles released every year.
“We are excited to bring holiday movies to OWN,” said Tina Perry, president, OWN. “This special time of year is about spending time with the ones you love, and we think our viewers are going to enjoy watching these movies together throughout the season.”
Here are details about OWN’s holiday movies:
One Fine Christmas premieres Friday, November 15 at 9pm ET/PT
Marking the first time they have acted together, Rick Fox and his daughter Sasha Fox star in One Fine Christmas. The father/daughter duo join beloved actress Marla Gibbs and fan favorite Vanessa Williams in the ensemble cast. The families on Christmas Street have been busy with their day-to-day lives that they lose sight of the importance of family during the holiday season. Haley (Sasha Fox) comes home for the Christmas holiday, but home has not been the same since her family split up. Haley’s mother Susan (Williams) is working on a new work deal with her client (Rick Fox) which causes her to hardly have time for Haley or her mother Alice (Gibbs). Al (Mark Christopher Lawrence) is too preoccupied with work that he overlooks his wife Matty (June Carryl). Meanwhile, Bob (Rodney Van Johnson) and Diana’s (Eva La Dare) son Jesse (Alfonso Torres Caballero) comes home for Christmas with a very special surprise. This “slice of life” holiday tale shares the individual stories of these neighbors as they celebrate Christmas Eve and find themselves unexpectedly united for the holiday season.
Carole’s Christmas premieres Friday, November 22 at 9pm ET/PT
Starring acclaimed actresses Jackée Harry and Kimberly Elise, Carole’s Christmas tells the story of Carole Jordan (Elise), an overworked businesswoman who learns the meaning of “be careful what you wish for” after she off-handedly wishes she had taken another path in life. When Carole’s wish is granted, her world is turned upside down and the only person she can confide in is Iris (Harry), a woman she recognizes from her “past life.” Carole no longer has time for the things that mattered most to her – family, friends and her annual Christmas party. She quickly learns how grateful she was for the previous life she was living. Carole’s Christmas also stars Cayden K. Williams (star of OWN’s David Makes Man), Bianca Buck and Anthony Montgomery.
Baking Christmas premieres Friday, November 29 at 9pm ET/PT
When Patty (Aloma Wright), the founder of the town’s most popular and successful bakery, announces her plan to retire at the end of the year, her children step up to take over the family business. Patty and Phillip’s (Tim Reid) children, Jennifer (Khalilah Joi), Angela (Leigh-Ann Rose) and Anthony (Arnell Powell), are qualified – and eager – to run the enterprise, and each has their own ideas for writing the bakery’s next chapter. There is only one way to ensure the shop ends up in the right hands and that is a Christmas cake bakeoff. The gloves come off and the frosting flies as the siblings vie for control of the bakery in an unforgettable competition to create the best-ever Christmas confection. Baking Christmas also stars Yohance Myles from OWN’s Ambitions.
The movies are produced for OWN by Hybrid, LLC in association with Harpo Films.