Hallmark Channel and Trans-Siberian Orchestra [TSO] announced today that Hallmark Channel will serve as the exclusive presenter of TSO's 2012 tour, "The Lost Christmas Eve", a rock opera based on the group's multi-platinum-selling 2004 album of the same name.
As part of the partnership, which unites two beloved holiday traditions - the network's "Countdown to Christmas" franchise and TSO's annual tour featuring rock operas from their "Christmas Trilogy" - Hallmark Channel will have prominent on-site exposure at every one of the tour's 100 shows in 65 cities across North America. In addition to featuring Hallmark Channel on all signage, banners, and promotional, PR, and marketing materials, TSO will grant Hallmark Channel the rights to two classic TSO songs from the group's extensive library, as well as one track from their forthcoming album, "Dreams of Fireflies (on a Christmas Night)", which goes on-sale October 30. Hallmark Channel will use the songs in various capacities online and on-air, including as background music for "Countdown to Christmas" promotional spots.
Also central to the partnership, Hallmark Channel will promote the "Lost Christmas Eve" tour on-air and will be the exclusive 2012 broadcaster of TSO's classic holiday program, "The Ghosts of Christmas Eve", following the journey of a runaway girl who, seeking shelter from the cold on Christmas Eve, breaks into an abandoned vaudeville theater. The story is narrated by Ossie Davis and is moved along through music and poetry, with performances by Jewel and Michael Crawford of such traditional holiday classics as "O Holy Night" and "Hark! The Herald Angel Sing", along with TSO favorites including "Christmas Canon", "Good King Joy", "Christmas Eve / Sarajevo 12/24", "Music Box Blues", and many more.
"Every year, fans of all ages identify the launches of Hallmark Channel's 'Countdown to Christmas' programming and Trans-Siberian Orchestra's annual Christmas tour as the official start of the holiday season," said Bill Abbott, President and CEO, Crown Media Family Networks. "These two separate holiday traditions, which center on quality entertainment through storytelling, are a perfect match. We greatly look celebrating the season with TSO and bringing our respective audiences together."
"The band and I are excited to have a partnership with Hallmark Channel to premiere our rock opera "The Lost Christmas Eve" live in concert for the first time," said TSO writer /creator Paul O'Neill. "Whenever you create a work of art; be it a painting, a book, a song, a movie, or in our case a rock opera, you are competing with the best of your generation, but anything involving Christmas you are competing with the best art of the last two thousand years. We are also competing against art that has to get past the ultimate critic, the only critic that you cannot fool, which is time; for each century will only pass on to the future the very best. All this makes any undertaking in this field extremely intimidating to say the least. Working together with Hallmark Channel we hope to create a new tradition for the holidays that people can enjoy for years to come. "
Hallmark Channel's 2012 "Countdown to Christmas" programming initiative kicks off on Saturday, November 3 with the premiere of "The Christmas Song" and will include 14 new original movies airing throughout the holiday season.