Lifetime Announces Its First Holiday Movie About an LGBTQ+ Couple

'The Christmas Set-Up' will be released this holiday season.

Xmas decorations
(Image credit: LILIBOASGETTY IMAGES)

Finally, some merry news for your 2020: On Monday, Lifetime announced plans to release a holiday movie  (opens in new tab)centered on a same-sex couple—the first LGBTQ+ Christmas film for the network. As part of its annual "It's a Wonderful Lifetime" holiday programming (opens in new tab)—which will include 30 new films this year—the network plans to release The Christmas Set-Up about Hugo, a New York corporate lawyer, who gets (surprise) set up by his mom, Kate, during some holiday festivities. (opens in new tab)

"Hugo and Patrick’s attraction to each other is undeniable and it looks as though Kate’s well-intentioned Santa-style matchmaking is a success," Lifetime's description reads, continuing, "But as Hugo receives word of a big promotion requiring a move to London, he must decide what is most important to him."

The film has just begun casting with plans to start production later this month, TVLine reports (opens in new tab).

The decision to green-light a holiday movie centered on LGBTQ characters comes after Lifetime made headlines last year for featuring its first same-sex kiss in the Christmas movie Twinkle All the Way. While it seems remarkable that it took until the past few years to realize, yes, even gay people like cheesy holiday content, we applaud the cabler's execs for finally making strides to be more inclusive.

“We are thrilled to continue our legacy of creating a holiday destination that is welcoming to all at Lifetime,” Lifetime and LMN programming EVP Amy Winter said in a statement, per TVLine. “With more new movies than any one cable network for streamer, I couldn’t be prouder of the incredible talent joining us in front of, and behind the camera, on these new holiday movies.”

Lifetime's decision is in stark contrast to its direct Christmas movie competitor, Hallmark Channel, which was denounced last holiday season for pulling a Zola ad (opens in new tab) that featured a lesbian wedding. (Hallmark later reversed (opens in new tab) its decision and apologized; its parent company CEO Bill Abbott stepped down (opens in new tab) following the backlash.)

And in further proof that Lifetime is committed to diversifying its content, its holiday slate includes a title, A Sugar & Spice Holiday, about a Chinese American family, and another film, Christmas Ever After, featuring disabled actress Ali Stroker.

A quarantined Christmas isn't sounding so bad now...

Neha Prakash
Neha Prakash

As Marie Claire’s Entertainment Director, Neha oversees pop culture, celebrity, and current events features with a focus on elevating diverse voices and stories in film and television. She also oversees the brand's print and digital covers as well as book and produces MC's video franchises. She loves a hot-take, hates TV reboots, and is always happy to discuss reality television. Before joining Marie Claire, she held positions at Glamour, Brides, Condé Nast, and Mashable, and is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.