Finally, some merry news for your 2020: On Monday, Lifetime announced plans to release a holiday movie 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—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.
"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.
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 that featured a lesbian wedding. (Hallmark later reversed its decision and apologized; its parent company CEO Bill Abbott stepped down 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...