Inside the Wonderful World of the Hallmark Channel Fandom

A handsome shirtless man appeared and a roomful of women went absolutely wild.

No, this wasn’t an experience at a Magic Mike Las Vegas show. This was the scene at the opening night of RomaDrama Live! in West Palm Beach, Fla., a three-day convention dedicated to made-for-cable romantic comedies that took place June 24-26. (The shirtless man, by the way, was Ryan Paevey in the feel-good summer movie Two Tickets to Paradise.)

While talent from Lifetime and GAC Network projects were in attendance, the biggest draw were the stars from the Hallmark Channel, including popular actors like Andrew Walker and Tyler Hynes. What Comic-Con is to those who attend midnight screenings of every MCU installment, RomaDrama is for people whose TVs remain on Hallmark all year-long, whether to watch their “Countdown to Christmas” movies or their other seasonal offerings. (Fall Harvest and Spring Fling are just a few.)

While arguably not as large or vocal as The Lord of the Rings stans, the loyal following for Hallmark’s heartwarming programming is just as passionate—and for RomaDrama Live! co-founder Gabrielle Graf Palmer, who first conceived of the idea of a convention for romance lovers when she met the cast of Outlander at Wizard World Comic-Con in 2018, they were an underserved community.

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