Hallmark wheels into ‘Mystery Movie’ mode

Skein has four detectives each in four two-hour segs

Hallmark Channel plans to hark back to the days of the “NBC Mystery Movie,” which rotated three different detectives and spawned such hits as “Columbo” and “Quincy.”

Called “Mystery Movie,” the Hallmark series will encompass four crime-solving characters, featured in four two-hour movies apiece, for a 16-week season, beginning later this year. It’s tapped to air on Sundays.

Dave Kenin, executive VP of programming for Hallmark Channel, said he hasn’t yet settled on the specific characters, but “they’ll all be contemporary and family-oriented — no advertiser will feel uncomfortable buying time on these shows.”

Hallmark has hired two veteran writers to come up with some of the scripts: Dean Hargrove, who wrote and produced “Columbo” and “Diagnosis Murder,” and Michael Gleason, whose credits include “McCloud” and “Remington Steele.”

One possible character in the series could be “Mystery Woman,” a two-hour made-for that scored the second highest rating of all the original movies Hallmark scheduled last year. The lead characters are two women: a photographer who runs a mystery bookstore, and her friend, who’s an assistant district attorney.

If “Mystery Woman” goes to series, Michael Sloan, who did the original, will write and produce it.

Larry Levinson, who, with Robert Halmi Jr., is executive producer for all of the original movies Hallmark commissions, will serve as exec producer of “Mystery Movie.”

Kenin said Levinson will produce the 16 detective movies in the United States, not Canada. The cost savings will come because all four of the specific detective movies will be shot at one time like a standard series, over a two-month period.

Hallmark is eager to produce lots of movies, because it also has to fill its 24-hour spinoff cable network Hallmark Movie Channel.

More TV

  • Barry Glow Marvelous Mrs Maisel

    Emmy Nominees Are Fresh but Still Familiar

    Hallmark Channel plans to hark back to the days of the “NBC Mystery Movie,” which rotated three different detectives and spawned such hits as “Columbo” and “Quincy.” Called “Mystery Movie,” the Hallmark series will encompass four crime-solving characters, featured in four two-hour movies apiece, for a 16-week season, beginning later this year. It’s tapped to […]

  • Killing Eve Sandra Oh

    Emmys: Acting Categories Show Diversity, if Not Parity

    Hallmark Channel plans to hark back to the days of the “NBC Mystery Movie,” which rotated three different detectives and spawned such hits as “Columbo” and “Quincy.” Called “Mystery Movie,” the Hallmark series will encompass four crime-solving characters, featured in four two-hour movies apiece, for a 16-week season, beginning later this year. It’s tapped to […]

  • The Good Doctor

    ABC Expects Primetime Volume Gains in TV's Upfront Market

    Hallmark Channel plans to hark back to the days of the “NBC Mystery Movie,” which rotated three different detectives and spawned such hits as “Columbo” and “Quincy.” Called “Mystery Movie,” the Hallmark series will encompass four crime-solving characters, featured in four two-hour movies apiece, for a 16-week season, beginning later this year. It’s tapped to […]

  • Enter The Dragon Bruce Lee

    How Bruce Lee's Star Rose in the U.S. After His Death

    Hallmark Channel plans to hark back to the days of the “NBC Mystery Movie,” which rotated three different detectives and spawned such hits as “Columbo” and “Quincy.” Called “Mystery Movie,” the Hallmark series will encompass four crime-solving characters, featured in four two-hour movies apiece, for a 16-week season, beginning later this year. It’s tapped to […]

  • This is Us Westworld Handmaids Tale

    'This Is Us,' 'Westworld,' 'Handmaid's Tale' Emmy Strength Comes From Ensembles

    Hallmark Channel plans to hark back to the days of the “NBC Mystery Movie,” which rotated three different detectives and spawned such hits as “Columbo” and “Quincy.” Called “Mystery Movie,” the Hallmark series will encompass four crime-solving characters, featured in four two-hour movies apiece, for a 16-week season, beginning later this year. It’s tapped to […]

  • SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Donald Glover"

    Can Broadcast Pave a Road Back to Emmy Glory?

    Hallmark Channel plans to hark back to the days of the “NBC Mystery Movie,” which rotated three different detectives and spawned such hits as “Columbo” and “Quincy.” Called “Mystery Movie,” the Hallmark series will encompass four crime-solving characters, featured in four two-hour movies apiece, for a 16-week season, beginning later this year. It’s tapped to […]

  • A view of the headquarter of

    Sky Shares Dip as Investors Contemplate Potential End of the Bidding War

    Hallmark Channel plans to hark back to the days of the “NBC Mystery Movie,” which rotated three different detectives and spawned such hits as “Columbo” and “Quincy.” Called “Mystery Movie,” the Hallmark series will encompass four crime-solving characters, featured in four two-hour movies apiece, for a 16-week season, beginning later this year. It’s tapped to […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content