Halmis Buying Hallmark Movie Unit


Producers Robert Halmi Jr. and Robert Halmi Sr. are leading an investment group that will buy Hallmark Entertainment, the TV production division of Hallmark Cards.

The unit has produced a number of films and miniseries for broadcast networks and Crown Media’s Hallmark Channel.

The Halmis are quite familiar with the unit. In fact, they built it as RHI Inc. before selling it to Hallmark in 1994.

The Halmis are arguably (or perhaps inarguably) the kings of the TV miniseries and made-for, with dozens to their credit, from Lonesome Dove for CBS, to Dinotopia and Mitch Albom's: The Five People You Meet in Heaven for ABC,  to a host of minis for NBC--Merlin, Alice in Wonderland, Gulliver's Travels--that became staple sweeps fare. (For the whole nine-yards worth, spanning broadcast and cable nets, check out the library at  www.hallmarkent.com.)

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. It is separate from the ongoing auction of the Hallmark Channel by Crown, however, a public company of which Hallmark Cards is the controlling shareholder.

The Halmis are backed by private equity fund Kelso & Company. The company will be renamed RHI after the deal closes in January.