The Hallmark Channel has announced its first queer-led Christmas film ahead of the upcoming holiday season.

On 22 September, the popular network shared the highly anticipated schedule for its annual Countdown to Christmas event via Variety.

While the forthcoming lineup features the usual straight suspects, the schedule is also set to include Hallmark’s very first LGBTQ+-centric film, The Holiday Sitter.

According to the logline, the new movie follows Sam, “a workaholic bachelor who babysits his niece and nephew before the holidays when his sister and her husband have to go out of town.”

In an effort to make his job easier, Sam “recruits help from their handsome neighbour Jason”, and the two embark on an unexpected holiday romance.

Mean Girls actor Jonathan Bennett, George Krissa and Chelsea Hobbs are all set to star in the new film.

Shortly after the lineup was announced, Bennett took to Instagram to express his excitement over the history-making feature.

“The Holiday Sitter” will make history as the first leading gay couple in a Hallmark Christmas movie EVER! Words can’t describe what it feels like to have Executive Produced and starred in such an incredible story that will mean so much to so many,” he wrote.

“A HUGE APPLAUSE to Hallmark Channel and all the leadership and executives, they not only believed in this story but took such good care of it and championed it wholeheartedly the entire process. Dec 11 will be a very special day.”

While The Holiday Sitter will make history as Hallmark’s first queer-led film, it’s not the network’s first project to feature LGBTQ+ characters.

Back in 2020, the family-friendly channel released the ensemble film The Christmas House – which included Bennett and Brad Harder as a married couple.

At the time, Hallmark revealed that the movie was part of a new initiative to be more diverse and to represent “non-traditional families”.

The network also featured two queer characters in the popular romantic comedy Love, Classified – which was released in April.

The Holiday Sitter is set to premiere on The Hallmark Channel on 11 December.


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