The Hallmark Hall of Fame is one of the most prestigious programs in the history of television. Born in the era of sponsored TV programming, the Hallmark Hall of Fame debuted in 1951 on Christmas Eve with the sponsoring of “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” The program was so well received by audiences that encores were played in April and December the following year.
It was a year later, in 1953, that Hallmark decided to broadcast Shakespeare’s classic play “Hamlet.” This airing of “Hamlet” brought in more viewers in one airing than the play had seen in the past 350 years of live performances combined. Hallmark Hall of Fame has had more than 251 broadcasts earning a total of 132 awards, 80 of which are Emmys. This is more than twice as many as any other TV series.
This prestigious program is also well known for the famous actors that make appearances on screen. More than sixty Academy Award-winning actors, one-fourth of all actors who have ever won an Oscar, have been a part of the 251 programs broadcast on television.
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