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  • Writer's pictureThomas Bonifield

Great American Family is Again the Nation's Fastest Growing Network

The cable channel has now achieved that distinction for two consecutive quarters.

Great American Family headliner Candace Cameron Bure (center) appears in scene from "A Christmas...Present," which appeared on the channel in 2022.  Image:  Great American Family/from Facebook.
Great American Family headliner Candace Cameron Bure (center) appears in a scene from "A Christmas...Present." Great American Family/from Facebook.

The team at Great American Family must be pleased with the way the ratings are trending, having claimed the mantle of the fastest-growing television network from January through March, according to viewership numbers from Nielsen. That follows a similar first place finish in the final quarter of 2022, meaning the channel has momentum.

In a press release touting its success, Great American Family says it was number one in the first quarter of this year in both total-day ratings growth among households - up 121% - and total viewers - up 118%. It claimed the top spot in prime-time ratings growth as well: up 118% in households and 124% total viewers.

Though primarily focused on family-friendly programming, the channel also features periodic faith-based fare, like The Passion Play we reported on for Good Friday and last year's Yuletide flick A Christmas...Present. That latter production starred Christian actress Candace Cameron Bure, who is the channel's headline actress and Chief Creative Officer. She was lured away from Hallmark Channel in April of 2022 by Great American Family's CEO and President Bill Abbott, the man who previously held the same posts at the parent company of Hallmark Channel.

Danica McKellar appears in a scene from her 2022 television movie "Christmas at the Drive-In."
Danica McKellar appears in a scene from her 2022 television movie "Christmas at the Drive-In." Image: Great American Family/from Instagram.

Bure pointed out at the time that she was leaving to make "faith-filled content," and the 47-year-old wife and mother of three adult children is not the only Christian actress to follow Abbott: Danica McKeller, Jen Lilley and Jill Wagner are also onboard at Great American Family.

Founded in 2021, its programming feels similar to Hallmark Channel's, with the notable exceptions being the aforementioned faith-based movies and an absence of homosexual storylines; Bure even stated directly that her new network will "keep traditional marriage at the core" of its productions.

Back to the ratings, it is worth putting Great American Family's success in context vis-a-vis Hallmark Channel. According to Nielsen, the latter is the 16th most watched network in America, averaging 641,000 viewers per hour throughout the day. Great American Family, on the other hand, came in 80th place in the latest quarterly ratings, with an hourly average of 99,000 viewers, meaning it has a long way to go despite its genuine success over the last six months.

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