Here's Why Danica McKellar Really Ditched Hallmark Channel

Danica McKellar was one of the first huge Hallmark stars to leave the network behind. Hallmark is known for producing films, with comforting, predictable plots, but its recent business dealings have been filled with conflict. Over the past few years, a gang of Hallmark's most famous stars have decided to move on from the popular channel. According to Decider, the most prevalent cause stems from the political and religious affiliations of some of its actors, who never got on board with Hallmark's recent attempt to embrace and create content for the LGBTQ community. On the other hand, Hilarie Burton left Hallmark because she felt the network's diversity efforts fell short.

McKellar also decided to leave Hallmark after appearing in a vast catalog of family-friendly films. According to QC Approved, McKellar previously starred in 16 Hallmark films, including "Wedding Bells," "Love In Design," and "Very, Very Valentine." In 2020, McKellar shared why she enjoyed working for Hallmark. "I love being a part of movies that make people feel so good, especially around the holidays," McKellar shared with E! News. "You know, I was a part of a lot of people's childhoods, and now I get to sort of continue that warm and fuzzy thing with these Hallmark Channel movies. And I just feel so grateful to be a part of them." Here's what changed.

GAC allowed Danica McKellar to spread her wings

The next year, Deadline reported that Danica McKellar had decided to move to GAC Media, a company that obviously wants a slice of Hallmark's viewing audience. The outlet touted McKellar's "four-picture" deal with GAC, which would allow for her to not only star in but also produce movies for the channel. 

In the Summer of 2022, McKellar spoke to Us Weekly and went more in-depth about her decision to leave Hallmark. "Part of it was because I had the opportunity to do a multi-picture deal, which I hadn't done at Hallmark, and also not just multi-picture, but also really being a producer, really helping to develop these stories from the beginning," McKellar shared. "And that's really exciting for me as a storyteller. I love that." McKellar also namedropped former Hallmark CEO, Bill Abbott, "who I adore and a lot of the executives moved over there honestly." She continued. "In some ways feels more like Hallmark than probably if I were still Hallmark. So all producers are all the same. All the actors, of course, were the same too."

How Danica McKellar is doing at GAC

Danica McKellar seems to be quite happy since moving to GAC. Since signing with GAC in 2021, McKellar has started production on three of her four contractually obligated movies. According to Deadline, "The Winter Palace" was McKellar's first project with GAC since signing her contract. Her second foray into GAC's Christmas lineup will be 2023's "Royal Christmas Ball." "This movie, Royal Christmas Ball, is extra special to me because it's the first one I helped to write the story for, and it's my first dance movie," shared McKellar via Instagram. "Coincidence? Nope! I've been wanting to do a dance movie ever since I was on @dancingwiththestars in 2014, so this is a dream come true!"

McKellar is also excited about "Swinging Into Romance," where she will play a dancer, for similar reasons. "I've been wanting to dance in a movie since I was on 'Dancing with the Stars' in 2014, but I've always loved dancing," McKellar recently shared with People in March. And while the film didn't have a choreographer at the time, McKellar was eager to get into shape. "I have been training anyway," said McKellar. "Not specific dance moves, but in general, with a coach. Because, let's face it, it's nine years after 'Dancing with the Stars' — so I'm nine years older — and it's not something I do every day. But I love it so much and I want to do a good job."