All Of The Holiday Movies You Can Expect To See Soap Stars Pop Up In This Year

Across the various cable networks, 2023 looks to be a banner year for soap stars appearing in holiday films. Hallmark Channel, Great American Family (GAC), Netflix, and BET all have an incredible amount of movies premiering in late 2023, all of which promise to spread holiday cheer. Mainstays such as Ryan Paevey (ex-Nathan, "General Hospital") and Jen Lilley (ex-Theresa Donovan, "Days of Our Lives) among others will grace our screens for more Christmas fun. 

Hallmark has already led the pack with its 2023 Christmas in July slate, whetting our appetites for soap stars in Christmas-themed films with "All My Children" alum Lacey Chabert (Bianca Montgomery) in "Haul Out the Holly: Lit Up," the sequel to 2022's well-received, "Haul Out the Holly." The WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes didn't wipe out the network's Christmas movie season, as they had mostly been filmed earlier in the year. It seems that many of the other networks also had similar foresight, as numerous films have been announced.

Let's take a look at the cavalcade of holiday movies premiering this season.

'Ladies of the '80s: A Divas Christmas'

Lifetime has already announced that our favorite 1980s soap divas will team up for "Ladies of the '80s: A Divas Christmas," which will be included in the channel's "It's a Wonderful Lifetime" lineup. The film brings together such legends as Morgan Fairchild (Haven de Havilland, "GH"), Linda Gray (ex-Priscilla Kelly, "The Bold and the Beautiful"), and Donna Mills (Madeline Reeves, "GH"), among others. They all play former soap actresses who must come together for one last soapy holiday special, and to help their producer and director become romantically involved. Predictably, they also must learn the true meaning of the holiday spirit themselves.

'A Paris Christmas Waltz'

Michael Damian, who became a superstar from playing Danny Romalotti on "The Young and the Restless" directs "A Paris Christmas Waltz" for GAC. He's produced, written, and directed a handful of holiday films, including 2020's successful "The Christmas Waltz." His follow-up effort features soap opera star Jen Lilley as a dancer-in-training who must team up with a professional dancer played by Matthew Morrison ("As the World Turns"). He's become disillusioned with dancing, and Lilley must get him motivated for a major competition in Paris. Can their fancy footwork also bloom into romance?

'Under the Christmas Sky'

Hallmark has several holiday films coming up, and premiering on Sunday, October 22, 2023, at 8 p.m., Jessica Parker Kennedy — who became a fan favorite as Nora West-Allen on the CW's "The Flash" — stars as an astrophysicist whose aspirations of flying into space are dashed after an accident. Acclimating to her grounded life, she becomes a volunteer for a planetarium and meets the straight-laced David, played by Hallmark mainstay, Ryan Paevey. The two must prepare an exhibit in time for Christmas, and they may become starry-eyed for each other.

'A Biltmore Christmas'

Nostalgia for classic Hollywood abounds on November 26, 2023, at 8 p.m., when Hallmark premieres "A Biltmore Christmas." Former "Guiding Light" star Bethany Joy Lenz plays a screenwriter working on a remake of a 1940s film and goes to its location for inspiration. She accidentally destroys an hourglass, hurtling her back in time to when the movie, "His Merry Wife!" is being made, and her very presence may screw up the time stream and prevent it from ever being made. Co-starring Kristoffer Polaha and "Star Trek" alums Jonathan Frakes and Robert Picardo, this film will surely be fun!

'Checkin' It Twice'

A proficient hockey player who can't seem to move up in his career ends up renting a cottage from a family full of hockey enthusiasts in "Checkin' It Twice," which debuts on Hallmark on Friday, October 20, 2023, at 8 p.m. Kim Matula, who previously played Hope Logan on "The Bold and the Beautiful" and Kevin McGarry, who plays Nathan Grant on "When Calls the Heart," star in this cute romantic holiday tale. Will they also find out who's naughty or nice? We'll definitely tune in to find out!

'A Wine Country Christmas'

ESX Productions has had several successful Christmas films. Soap Opera Network quoted its creator Ali Afshar on March 21, 2023, who stated, "We're so excited to have such an amazing cast for 'A Wine Country Christmas' bringing this uplifting story to life. For audiences, it'll be another warm holiday with a wine country feel." The film premieres on Netflix during the holiday season and is chock full of soap stars, including Annika Noelle ("The Bold and the Beautiful"), Eileen Davidson ("The Young and the Restless"), and its headliner, Josh Swickard ("General Hospital"). 

'A Wesley Christmas Wedding'

BET has several Christmas-themed films coming up in 2023, and the network hits the ground running with "A Wesley Christmas Wedding" that features soap stars Aaron Spears (Justin Barber, "The Bold and the Beautiful") and Loren Lott (ex-Ana Hamilton, "The Young and the Restless)." A Christmas wedding is planned as part of Wesley's family reunion, but conflicts arise as a meddling mom, unwelcome guests, and out-of-control exes create chaos and mayhem, threatening to upend the nuptials. Hilarity and joy must prevail! The film premieres on November 2, 2023.

'Heart for the Holidays'

Also on BET on November 2, 2023, is "Heart for the Holidays," which falls more on the dramatic end of the spectrum, as Erica Peeples is a businesswoman who must go to Cheverly, Maryland to receive a heart transplant. When she eventually recovers, she tries to leave but has become enamored with the town, as well as one of its residents: Scott Marshall, played by "Days of Our Lives" star Kyle Lowder (Rex Brady). Your heart will literally be warmed by this wonderful romantic drama.

'Sworn Justice: Taken Before Christmas'

The holiday films take a detour from heartwarming tales on BET with the tense action film, "Sworn Justice: Taken Before Christmas," which debuts on November 16, 2023. Mishael Morgan (Amanda Sinclair, "The Young and the Restless") and Leland B. Martin play a couple, one is a detective, and the other a district attorney respectively, who get abducted on Christmas Eve. With a strange voice giving them orders and no means of communication, the two must use their wits to battle this villain and escape. Vivica A. Fox (ex-Stephanie Simmons, "Y&R") co-stars in this thrilling tale.

'So Fly Christmas'

What would you do if you were left at the altar on your Christmas Eve wedding? That's unfortunately what Wyvetta, played by "All My Children" alum Tichina Arnold (Sharla Valentine), must face in BET's "So Fly Christmas," premiering November 23, 2023. She and her friend Dione (Tami Roman) commiserate and renounce love as a result. But when Dione starts to date the owner of a record store, she keeps it a secret, causing a rift between the friends. "Days of Our Lives" star Jackée Harry (Paulina Price) costars in this tale of friendship and broken promises.

'Favorite Son Christmas'

On December 14, 2023, Loren Lott appears again in the BET film, "Favorite Son Christmas." When Blaine (Durrell 'Tank' Babbs) inherits the role of Pastor at a church that's headed for financial ruin, his family must overcome their past feuds in order to make their fundraising jubilee a success. Lott plays Lady Rita, who comes up with the concept of revitalizing a play called "So Gifted" in order to generate interest in the jubilee. But if those involved can't let go of their grudges, it could be the end of the Graceway Church!

'Whatever It Takes'

As five women approach the holidays to deal with loss and wishes in "Whatever it Takes," they connect over romance issues. Premiering on December 21, 2023, on BET, the film takes place at Thanksgiving as the women look toward Christmas and the New Year. Featuring Tami Roman ("The Family Business") as Tracy, the film also includes Kandi Burruss, Brely Evans, AJ Johnson, Rayan Lawrence, Stevie Baggs Jr, and Zuri James. Kendrick Cross, who plays "General Hospital" newcomer Detective Bennet, also appears. The heartwarming film spreads romance this holiday season, so check it out!