With “When Calls the Heart” at Hallmark and “When Hope Calls” at Great American Family, Brian Bird is expanding his success with a partnership with UPtv. True Brand Entertainment, founded by Bird, Brandon Clark, Tai Truesdell and Darin Chavez, and the network have a multi-picture licensing agreement, creating a series of uplifting and values-friendly romantic comedies.
The partnership began with “The Engagement Plot,” starring Trevor Donovan and Rachel Boston, which debuted in summer 2022 to record-breaking ratings for UPtv and its streaming service, UP Faith & Family. “The Happy Camper,” starring real-life married couple Daniela Bobadilla and Beau Wirick, premiered to strong ratings on February 5.
The third film in the deal, “Just Jake” starring Brittany Bristow and Rob Mayes, is currently in post-production and is set to debut later this year. All three movies are directed by Clark and produced by Bird, Clark, Truesdell and Chavez. Additional films in the slate are currently in development.
“During these very cynical and divided times, when most other platforms are offering their audiences a diet of razor blades and broken glass, we are committed to offering uplifting and values-based ‘soul food’ to UPtv’s loyal audience,” Bird says. “In this age of a thousand TV shows all clamoring for attention, it’s impossible to break through the noise without passionate fans to help spread the love. When everywhere else on TV there are only zombies and vampires and crystal meth dealers 24-7/365, it leaves a massively undeserved audience starved for uplifting content. And when you bring them what they are hungry for, it’s a very simple exchange: they love you back. The Hearties will go wherever the good food is.”
Clark adds, “The goal for the stories we want to tell can be summed up in an acronym, ‘H.E.R.O.’ We work hard to make films that are filled with Humor, Emotion, Romance and Optimism that the whole family can enjoy.”
UPtv’s senior director of content strategy and planning is delighted to be working with True Brand in their feel-good titles, explaining, “We know our viewers will love these fun and uplifting films and want to come back for more.”