In 2009 the Hallmark Channel launched "Countdown to Christmas," which included four original movies made on a modest budget that follow a predictable formula. It was an immediate ratings hit, catapulting Hallmark to the top of the cable charts. Competitors start to take notice, most notably Lifetime, which caters to the same demographic. Three years later, Lifetime launches their own block of Christmas programming called “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” featuring similar original movies. It kicks off a Christmas movie rivalry that is big business.
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