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Hallmark Channel Designates New Friday Night Destination For Family Movies

Hallmark Channel announced today the launch of “Walmart and P&G present Walden Family Theater,” a new Friday night appointment viewing franchise. Created in collaboration with Walmart, Procter & Gamble, award-winning family entertainment producer, Walden Media, and fast-growing independent studio, ARC Entertainment, “Walden Family Theater” reflects a shared commitment to fill the void on TV for quality family entertainment.

In a nod to television’s historic role as a unifying entertainment experience, bringing family members of all ages together for common enjoyment,, “Walden Family Theater” kicks off on March 15 th with the world premiere of “Return to Nim’s Island,” produced by Walden and ARC and starring Bindi Irwin, daughter of the beloved late family entertainment icon, Steve Irwin (“Crocodile Hunter”).

“Return to Nim’s Island” is one of 6 new original family movies that will headline the franchise. “ Space Warriors,” starring Dermot Mulroney, Danny Glover, Josh Lucas, Mira Sorvino and Thomas Horn, the second new film in the series is slated to make its world debut on Hallmark Channel in May. In addition to the 6 new titles, “Walden Family Theater” will include a variety of beloved original movies from Hallmark Channel’s vast library. Further announcements of additional titles and airdates are forthcoming.

“We at Hallmark Channel could not have asked for better collaborators for ‘Walden Family Theater’ than Walmart and P&G, as leading sponsors, and Walden and ARC as producers — these are all brands that share in our passion for and commitment to family entertainment,” says Bill Abbott, president and CEO, Crown Media Family Networks. “This collaboration is a 360-degree effort that allows us a unique opportunity to further revive the practice of families regularly gathering to enjoy television entertainment as a shared experience.”

Micheal Flaherty, Co-Founder of Walden Media remarked, “Walden Family Theater is a great step forward for us to continue the Walden mission. These great films we are presenting on The Hallmark Channel and/or making with ARC reinforces our vision to provide families a chance to recapture imagination and rekindle curiosity through entertainment. These films will stand side by side with some of our proudest features like our Narnia movies, Holes, Bridge To Terabithia, Amazing Grace, and Journey To The Center Of The Earth.”

Return to Nim’s Island,” the sequel to Walden Media’s 2008 family action-adventure and world- wide box office hit “ Nim’s Island” picks up the story a few years later with fourteen year old Nim more determined than ever to protect her island and all the wildlife that call it home. When she faces off against resort developers and animal poachers, she realizes she can’t depend on her animal cohorts alone and must make her first human friend – Edmund, who has run away to the island from the mainland – to save her home.

Inspired by the Nim books by revered Australian author Wendy Orr, “ Return to Nim’s Island” is a story to enchant moviegoers of all ages.

For more information and to see “ Return to Nim’s Island” trailer, go to www.returntonimsisland.com

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, Frasier, and Happy Days. The channel is also home to a range of lifestyle programming, anchored by Home & Family, a daily two-hour live show shot in a fully functional house located on the Universal Studios lot, and Marie, a one-hour talk show hosted by iconic entertainer, Marie Osmond. Hallmark Channel's sibling network, Hallmark Movie Channel, also 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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