Hallmark Christmas Movie Star Danica McKellar Is Leaving For A New Network

A beloved Hallmark Christmas movie star is saying goodbye to the network, at least for the foreseeable future. Danica McKellar, who has been in numerous films for the channel, has signed a deal with a new basic cable channel.

McKellar, who first gained fame at age 13 when she landed the role of Winnie Cooper on the hit drama “The Wonder Years,” has signed a four-picture deal with GAC media. She will be the star and executive producer for the original films on the company’s flagship networks, GAC Family (formerly Great American Country) and GAC Living. “The Winter Palace,” premiering in January 2022 on GAC Family, will be her first project.

The actor recently posted a picture of herself with her costars from her most recent Hallmark movie, “You, Me & The Christmas Trees.” “Thank you to everyone who watched & tweeted tonight! Missed it? Wanna rewatch?” she captioned the photo with Benjamin Ayres and Jason Hervey.

However, as her GAC Family agreement extends through 2023, the Hallmark Christmas film, which premiered on Oct. 22, will be her last, at least until her new contract expires.

“Danica is a world-class talent who is among TV’s most beloved and enduring stars,” Bill Abbott, president and CEO of GAC Media, told Deadline. “Her combination of creativity and passion is second to none, and I am thrilled to have her join GAC’s close-knit family.”

GAC Family and GAC Living launched on Sept. 27.

“At GAC we’re focused on creating strong brands, compelling programming and a consistent family-friendly viewing experience across multiple genres,” Abbott told Country Living. “The launch of GAC Family and GAC Living is the next phase in our strategy to bolster the company’s portfolio with networks that deliver on the promise of safe and entertaining storytelling that enriches lives.”

Notably, Abbott is the former CEO of Hallmark Channel’s parent company, Crown Media Family Networks. He stepped down from the position he held for 11 years following controversy over how the Hallmark Channel handled a same-sex ad. Other Hallmark vets migrating to GAC include Lori Loughlin, Cameron Mathison and Debbie Matenopoulos, among others.