Hallmark Channel’s catstravaganza is no more.
The network has cancelled the annual Kitten Bowl, revealing on social media that it has no plans to revive the paw-some Super Bowl alternative in the near future.
“While we are not currently developing original animal-centric programming, Hallmark Channel is pleased to support partners like North Shore Animal League America as part of our commitment to social responsibility initiatives,” a network rep shared in a Facebook statement Saturday.
Our sister pub Variety, meanwhile, reports that Bill Abbott — former president/CEO of Hallmark parent company Crown Media and current man in charge at rival network GAC Family — is looking to bring the Kitten Bowl over to GAC in 2023.
“Kitten Bowl was a passion project that everyone involved will always be deeply proud to have been a part of,” Abbott wrote on Twitter. “Grateful we were able to find fur-ever homes for so many. Please continue to support Animal League in their mission to find all these animals loving homes. #GetYourRescueOn and #adopt a furry friend!”
As of press time, no such deal for GAC Family to revive the Kitten Bowl has been finalized — UPDATE: a deal has been struck! — but it wouldn’t be the first Hallmark production to make the leap to Abbott’s rival station. In December, When Calls the Heart spinoff When Hope Calls relocated from streaming service Hallmark Movies Now to GAC Family, where it returned with a two-hour Christmas special featuring ousted WCTH cast member Lori Loughlin.
In addition to Loughlin, former Home & Family hosts Cameron Mathison and Debbie Matenopoulos recently migrated to GAC Family, where they lorded over Welcome to the Great American Christmas, a Christmas special previewing the network’s inaugural slate of holiday films — a slate of originals headlined entirely by Hallmark grads, including Mathison, Susie Abromeit, Nick Bateman, Rukiya Bernard, Cindy Busby, Sara Canning, Dillon Casey, Torrance Coombs, Trevor Donovan, Brendan Fehr, Jennie Garth, Maggie Lawson, Jen Lilley, Sarah Lind, Daniel Lissing, Jessica Lowndes, Matthew MacCaull, Chad Michael Murray, Sam Page, Merritt Patterson, Christopher Russell, Becca Tobin, Jill Wagner and Dewshane Williams.
GAC Family also signed an exclusive pact with Hallmark Christmas movie queen Danica McKellar to write, produce and star in new made-for-TV films exclusively for the fledgling network, beginning with January’s The Winter Palace.
Are you sad that you won’t be able to watch the Kitten Bowl in 2022? Hit the comments with your reactions to the news.