*Hallmark’s Mahogany card line is coming to television, with a quarterly slate of original movies targeted to Black audiences coming to Hallmark Movies & Mysteries in early 2022, reports Variety.
Crown Media Family Networks president and CEO Wonya Lucas says Hallmark was “uniquely positioned” for the endeavor thanks to the strong “emotional core” that exists between the company and its consumers.
“Mahogany is a 34-year-old brand that has been an important part of the portfolio since its existence,” Lucas tells Variety. “So for us, it’s not an initiative; it’s bringing something to life through storytelling.”
Talks to translate Mahogany to TV began in early 2021, as Lucas approached former TV One colleague Toni Judkins about spearheading the project.
“She had me at ‘Mahogany,’” says Judkins, now Crown Media’s senior VP of programming and development. “It was a brand that I love and have known for decades. It just seemed like the most natural, authentic thing to do, to translate and take the inspiration behind the Mahogany card brand and bring it to air.”
With the new Mahogany label, Hallmark aims to bring that same feeling of representation to the small screen. “We’re going to take every amazing rich, lush thing that the Mahogany card brand is, and use that as a jumping-off point to create great made-for-TV movies,” Judkins adds.
Announcements detailing the specific number of productions, casting, and projects are forthcoming, with plans to further expand the franchise to include podcasts and scripted series in the coming years. And while the goal is to create content that all of Hallmark’s viewers will enjoy, the new content is intended to speak directly to Black audiences, and especially Black women.
Lucas adds that bringing Mahogany to TV also builds upon the legacy of Black storytelling that already exists in the Hallmark brand, particularly with Hallmark Hall of Fame, which counts the late Cicely Tyson and Morgan Freeman among its alumni. Plus, the Mahogany brand has its own collaborations with Black superstars, including Jill Scott and the late Maya Angelou, who crafted exclusive card lines in the past.
Below, a behind the scenes look at Hallmark Mahogany’s Uplifted and Empowered line: