Hallmark Hall of Fame is an anthology program on American television, sponsored by Hallmark Cards, a Kansas City based greeting card company. The longest-running primetime series in the history of television, it has a historically long run, beginning during 1951 and continuing into 2013. From 1954 onward, all of its productions have been shown in color, although color television video productions were extremely rare in 1954. Many television movies have been shown on the program since its debut, though the program began with live telecasts of dramas and then changed to videotaped productions before finally changing to filmed ones. The series has received eighty Emmy Awards, twenty-four Christopher Awards, eleven Peabody Awards, nine Golden Globes, and four Humanitas Prizes. Once a common practice in American television, it is the last remaining television program such that the title includes the name of the sponsor. Unlike other long-running TV series still on the air, it differs in that it broadcasts only occasionally and not on a weekly broadcast programming schedule.
Loving Leah is a television movie that aired on CBS as a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie on January 25, 2009. The film is directed by Jeff Bleckner and stars Adam Kaufman as an unobservant Jewish bachelor who feels compelled to marry his observant rabbi brother's widow, Leah to honor him via the ancient Jewish custom of yibbum. Loving Leah began as a play by Pnenah Goldstein and was brought to Hallmark by Ricki Lake, who also appears in a minor role in the film. Goldstein also wrote the screenplay and "saw it in a way like Moonstruck or Crossing Delancey. To prepare for her role of widow in the Hasidic community, lead actress Lauren Ambrose spent time with women of the close-knit community.
The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler is a 2009 television film directed by John Kent Harrison. The film is a co-production between United States and Poland companies. The teleplay by Harrison and Lawrence John Spagnola, based on the 2005 biography The Mother of the Holocaust Children by Anna Mieszkowska, focuses on Irena Sendler, a Polish social worker who smuggled approximately 2,500 Jewish children to safety during World War II. The Hallmark Hall of Fame production, which was filmed on location in Riga, Latvia, was broadcast by CBS on April 19, 2009, and released to DVD in Hallmark Gold Crown stores in early June of that year.