Have you ever wondered where Hallmark gets ideas for all of its movies? While many of the channel’s romantic comedies, Christmas movies, and mysteries are original stories, some are actually based on books. This includes the film that led to Hallmark’s longest-running original series and a popular mystery series featuring an actor who was one of Hallmark’s biggest stars.
“Big Sky River” is based on a book by Linda Lael Miller
RELATED: Kavan Smith says his new landmark film ‘Big Sky River’ is about ‘broken people trying to get a second picture’
Earlier this year, When the heart calls you‘s Kavan Smith starred alongside Emmanuelle Vaugier in Big Sky River, a film about a widower who starts a new relationship with a divorced woman. It’s based on a book by Linda Lael Miller, who said she wanted to focus on two characters who overcome their challenges to develop a deep personal connection.
“Most of my characters are terrified of falling in love again because they’ve been burned in some way,” she said in a chat with Vaugier and Smith (via Youtube). “Especially in this story, everyone had to go through all the personal stuff that would keep them from taking a risk. And I find that really fascinating to write.
‘Mrs. Miracle’ and other Hallmark films are based on books by Debbie Macomber
If you’re a reader of romance novels and women’s fiction, you know the name Debbie Macomber. The New York Times bestselling author has written dozens of books, several of which have been made into Hallmark movies. They include the 2009 film Mrs Miracle and its consequences Mister Miracle and A Mrs. Miracle Christmas, as good as Christmas trade and Advance on the snow. She also wrote the book series that inspired Hallmark’s first scripted series, Anse of the cedars.
“Christmas in Canaan” is based on a book by Grammy-winning Kenny Rogers.
Hallmark teamed up with country music superstars for 2009 holiday movie Christmas in Canaan. Set in 1964, it’s based on a book co-written by Grammy-winning Kenny Rogers and stars Billy Ray Cyrus as a widowed Texas farmer whose son develops an unlikely friendship with a boy from a different breed.
Candace Cameron Bure’s ‘Aurora Teagarden’ Movies Are Based on Charlaine Harris’ Book Series
Hallmark of Aurora Teagarden Mysteries The series ended following star Candace Cameron Bure’s decision to move to competing network Great American Family. But fans can still rewatch the dozen films in the series, as well as the original Charlaine Harris books. (Fun fact: Harris also wrote the Sookie Stackhouse novels that inspired HBO True blood.)
Janette Oke’s ‘When Calls the Heart’ inspired a movie and TV show
Janette Oke published her inspiring novel When the heart calls you in 1983. Thirty years later, her story of a young teacher who takes a teaching job in a small town on the Canadian border was made into a film starring Maggie Grace and Poppy Drayton. Soon after, Hallmark decided to expand the story into a television series. The show – which has diverged significantly from Oke’s original stories – is currently heading into its 10th season.
Oke is also the author of Love comes slowly. Katherine Heigl starred in a 2003 adaptation of this book that aired on Hallmark. Several other films based on Oke’s sequels to his first novel subsequently aired on the network.
Several Hallmark movies are inspired by Jane Austen’s novels
Sometimes Hallmark turns to classic novels when looking for inspiration for its movies. Over the years, the network has aired several films loosely based on Jane Austen’s books, including Reason, sensitivity and snowmen, Christmas at Pemberley Manor, and cupid playing (which draws from Emma). Free Mr. Darcy is based on a modern account of Pride and Prejudice by Teri Wilson, and Pride, prejudice and mistletoe is based on a book by Melissa de la Cruz.
Interested in more Hallmark movies based on books? We’ve only scratched the surface, but other adaptations include The bridge (based on a book by Karen Kingsbury), The Christmas train (based on a book by David Baldacci), and Sand Dollar Cove, the secret ingredient, and Evergreen Christmas (all based on books by Nancy Naigle).
For more from the world of entertainment and exclusive interviews, subscribe to Showbiz Cheat Sheet YouTube Channel.
RELATED: These Hallmark Channel Stars Are Real-Life Couples