(LOS ANGELES) — Hallmark Channel and its parent company, Crown Media Family Network, are delivering on their promise to diversify their holiday movies.

Mean Girls actor Jonathan Bennett will star in The Christmas House, which is about a gay couple looking to adopt their first child, according to Michelle Vicary, executive vice president of programming for Crown Media Family Network.

Bennett’s co-stars include One Tree Hill actor Robert Buckley, Ana Ayora of In the Dark, veteran actor Treat Williams, NYPD Blue star Sharon Lawrence and actor Brad Harder. The Christmas House premieres on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Amid criticism that none of the previously-announced holiday films featured an LGBTQ lead, a Hallmark Channel spokesperson told ABC’s Good Morning America in July that the company was “committed to creating a Hallmark experience where everyone feels welcome” and would be announcing “LGBTQ storylines, characters and actors” in the future.

Last month, Lifetime beat Hallmark to the punch and announced it would be debuting its first-ever Christmas movie featuring an LGBTQ romance.

By Tony Morrison and Lesley Messer
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