The Oprah Winfrey Network is releasing two holiday movies for Christmas 2022, snagging a piece of the ever-growing pie for the super saccharine-yet-ultra popular streaming genre. At the same time, OWN’s offerings added much-needed diversity to the mix. First up is The Great Holiday Bake War, starring LeToya Luckett and Finesse Mitchell as dueling pastry chefs. That film debuts Saturday, December 3 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The family-friendly Christmas cookoff film will certainly attract fans of the genre, plus the fans of Luckett, who is an original member of Destiny’s Child.
But holiday film lovers will swoon upon learning that the network didn’t stop at one.
There are more.
A Christmas Fumble follows on December 10, starring Eva Marcille as Nicole Barnes and Devale Ellis as Jordan Davies. Barnes is the “queen of crisis management,” who has to handle a scandal for a pro athlete-TV commentator whose contract isn’t renewed after some elements of his past came back to haunt him. It’s the kind of film steeped in authentic realness that the viewers of OWN can appreciate. Marcelle is a co-executive producer but also of note is that Roger Bobb, a longtime contributor to this genre of film is, listed alongside Carla Gardini as executive producer as well.
The 2022 films are part of the “OWN for the Holidays” film lineup, which the network has been marketing for four years now. Last year the network debuted three films: A Chestnut Family Christmas, starring Meagan Holder and Brad James; A Sisterly Christmas, starring Deborah Joy Winans and Kendrick Cross and A Christmas Stray, starring Andra Fuller and Rhyon Nicole Brown.
Most people joke about – and tune in – to Hallmark’s Christmas movies, which can see some 80 million viewers over the season, according to Nielsen. These films are good business for networks since most are produced for less than $2 million each while demand is rising, ensuring ample viewership. In 2020, in fact, I wrote about the trend on the rise. And there is still nowhere to go but up.