Why even QVC has a holiday rom-com

Holiday rom-coms are cheap to make and generate big ad revenue dollars.

QVC, best known as a home shopping channel, is producing a holiday movie, Holly & the Hot Chocolate. And yes, it’s a romance between a big-city gal and a small-town guy.

The movie will drop on the network’s free streaming service, QVC+, on Thanksgiving, and features QVC host David Venable as a hot chocolate vendor, per Variety.

Of course, QVC will also sell the cocoa mix.

Meanwhile, Discovery+ has two films boosting its Food Network stars: Bobby Flay cameos in one as a food critic, while Duff Goldman of “Holiday Baking Championship” plays host of a gingerbread house competition in another.

Holiday schlock is solid TV business

Entertainment Weekly rounded up 164 films coming to networks and streaming services this year, most of them romances. (One, however, is about a killer Santa robot.)

The reigning champ of holiday movies is Crown Media Family Networks’ Hallmark Channel, which has produced 300+ holiday movies since 2009, per Forbes.

They’re fast and cheap, but yield great results. They:

  • Shoot year-round, typically in Canada due to favorable tax credits
  • Cost ~$2m to make (including ~$50k in fake snow for those not shot in winter)
  • Take 2-3 weeks to film and generate $1.2m-$1.5m for the local economy
  • Attract 80m+ viewers, making Hallmark the most-watched channel among women ages 18-49 and 25-54 every holiday season
  • Generate $350m+, a third of the channel’s annual ad revenue

This year, Hallmark has 40 new holiday films, the earliest of which premiered before Halloween — oddly enough, it was not the one about a ghost who must help a man rediscover his holiday spirit.

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