Is Netflix Following the Lifetime and Hallmark Formula For Holiday Success?

Netflix has become one of the top streaming services and creators of beloved movies and shows. They have created big hits such as the 1980s-inspired, sci-fi show “Stranger Things,” the adaptation of the psychological thriller “You” of the same name, along with so much more. Now they treat us with holiday romantic comedies, such as “The Princess Switch” trilogy, “A Christmas Prince” and many more. This niche of movies is similar to the ones put out by film production companies such as Lifetime and Hallmark.

This year, Netflix released the holiday romantic comedy, “Falling for Christmas.” The film follows heiress Sierra (Lindsay Lohan) who literally falls and gets amnesia, then figuratively falls for Jake (Chord Overstreet) who helps her. “Falling for Christmas” is just one of many films made by Netflix within the genre that follow a similar formula.

Courtesy of Netflix.

Lifetime is a channel owned by A+E Networks that is notably known for making films such as the thriller “Girl in the Basement” and “The Wrong Boy Next Door.” They are also known for making holiday movies around this time of year for It’s a Wonderful Lifetime. According to a 2022 Lifetime holiday movies list, nine films of that genre are coming out. Eight of those films are also romantic comedies, one of them being “Merry Swissmass,” which follows Alex (Jodie Sweetin) who goes to her mother’s inn in Switzerland while falling for the inn’s manager, Liam (Tim Rozon).

Hallmark is specifically known for their holiday movies such as “The Holiday Sitter,” which was released on Dec. 11 and follows Sam (Jonathan Bennett) who has to babysit his niece Dania (Mila Morgan) and nephew Declan (Nathan Parrott), then recruits help from his neighbor and love interest, Jason (George Krissa). Another new movie similar to this one is “Christmas Class Reunion,” which came out Dec. 10 and follows Elle (Aimee Teegarden) who reunites with her high school class, including bad boy Devin (Tanner Novlan) who she unexpectedly finds support in.

Courtesy of Hallmark Channel.

While Netflix is making movies that are similar to the ones put out by Lifetime and Hallmark, it does not mean that they are particularly following the latter companies’ success. Netflix tends to make creative decisions that they know will bring in viewers.

For instance, Netflix is a company that puts a lot of effort into its true-crime section. Eight true crime films and series came out in Nov. 2022; the list does not include the popular and controversial biopic “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” starring Evan Peters as the real-life serial killer.

Whenever Netflix sees an opportunity to cash in on a particular genre’s success, it will commit to it. Holiday romantic comedies that are the calling card for Lifetime and Hallmark this time of year also happen to be what Netflix will pay attention to in Nov. and Dec.

By Presley DePugh

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