This holiday season, HGTV will be offering more than just the most over-the-top Christmas decorations. For the first time ever, the network will be rolling out two of its very own scripted made-for-TV Christmas movies, complete with appearances from beloved design personalities including Home Town hosts Ben and Erin Napier and Love It Or List It host Hilary Farr.
Both films premiere on Discovery+ on November 11, and clearly take cues from another network under the streaming behemoth’s umbrella, Lifetime, and its biggest holiday movie competitor, The Hallmark Channel. In A Christmas Open House, the Napiers will play a couple named Henry and Sarah Wright, a woodworker who builds custom furniture and an artist, respectively. They are enlisted to help the main character—a woman who returns to her hometown to renovate and sell her mother’s dated home with help from a high school crush turned current love interest. In Designing Christmas, Farr takes on the role of Freddy, the mentor of a renovation show host who is supposed to get married on Christmas Eve but may have romantic feelings for her co-star. In both cases, the design pros will be acting alongside more experienced thespians.
Another Discovery+ brand, Food Network, will also be rolling out two original films, A Gingerbread Christmas and One Delicious Christmas, with cameos from chef Bobby Flay and baker Duff Goldman. (That channel got a taste of scripted content with last year’s Candy Coated Christmas starring Ree Drummond.) The move toward movies was no doubt inspired by the massive success of holiday content on these channels as well as the cult following that Lifetime, Hallmark, and now Netflix have garnered with their more-is-more approach to made-for-TV holiday movies. In 2021, Hallmark alone premiered 41 new Christmas films.
When asked by Variety why Farr and the Napiers were chosen for these roles, Discovery executive Kathleen Finch told the publication, “Ben and Erin Napier told us how much they love Christmas and Christmas movies, and how excited they would be to participate, so we developed an opportunity for them. Long before HGTV fans met Hilary Farr, she was an actress, so stars aligned for her to return to something she loves.” (Believe it or not, you may have seen Farr in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.)
We only have one question: When will Chip and Joanna Gaines get in on this?