Kathie Lee Gifford says Hallmark is 'genius' for realizing people are 'not offended by faith'

Kathie Lee Gifford told Fox & Friends that America is hungry for faith-based entertainment while promoting her new Hallmark movie.

On Thursday, the former Today anchor made an appearance to dish on Nashville, where she moved from Greenwich, Connecticut earlier this year after an 11-year career at NBC. The 66-year-old is also set to star in Hallmark’s A Godwink Christmas: Meant for Love which airs on Sunday.

Kathie Lee Gifford told Fox & Friends that Hallmark isn't afraid to make faith-based movies. (Photo: Erika Goldring/Getty Images for Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival)
Kathie Lee Gifford told Fox & Friends that Hallmark isn't afraid to make faith-based movies. (Photo: Erika Goldring/Getty Images for Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival)

“Godwink is when some people say, ‘Well, that’s a coincidence.’ But when you’re a person of faith and you believe in a sovereign God, there is no coincidence,” Gifford said of the books from which the movie is based. “In fact, there’s no word in the Hebrew [language] for coincidence, they don't exist. God is either sovereign or he’s not. And so Godwink is when the divine and the human connect.”

“Hallmark, they’re just geniuses over there,” continued Gifford. “They know what America is missing and they’re missing out on wholesome, beautiful stories. Well, the difference in our movies is that our movies are true. These things really happened to real people. And so, we’re grateful that Hallmark came to understand that there’s a huge demographic out there that is not offended by faith. They embrace it, they’ve been waiting for it.”

Gifford made a big lifestyle change when she quit the fourth hour of Today to pursue other interests. "It’s not that I wanted to leave the Today show," Gifford told USA TODAY in March. "I just had to leave if I wanted to actually fulfill lifetime dreams I have that I’m running out of time for."

She added, "I’ve wanted to be in writing and producing and starring in movies since I was a small girl when I wrote a letter to Walt Disney and said, 'I want to make movies with you.'"

The former Live with Regis and Kathie Lee co-host had promised herself that she wouldn’t “bawl like baby,” adding, "I’ve been in this business too long, and it’s not like I’m dying, and it’s not like I’m never gonna see these lovely people ever again. I’m leaving one particular job and one particular building for something that I’ve been wanting to do my whole life, and I have so much to look forward to. So it’s not a sad thing for me."

According to the Washington Post, on her last day at Today, Gifford quoted the Bible: “Jeremiah 29 says, ‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.’ That’s not just true for me,” she added. “That’s true for everybody watching. Trust Him, let Him love you like He wants to love you, like I am loved by all of you. Thank you.”

On Fox & Friends, Gifford said the move has been a positive change. “I adore Nashville, I’m in the outskirts of it,” she explained. “But it’s the most fun place. There’s a culture of kindness down there that is … Oh my gosh, I’m loving it.”

During Tuesday’s visit to Today with Hoda & Jenna (Jenna Bush Hager replaced Gifford as co-host Hoda Kotb’s partner in crime), Gifford revealed that she went on her first date since the 2015 death of her NFL Hall of Fame husband Frank.

“I went out on a couple of dates,” she reportedly said. “I just went out with friends to a club to hear my favorite band down there. This sweet guy asked me to dance and I said OK. It was fun because I hadn’t been on a date in 33 years. It’s surreal. The world has changed so much. He was a gentleman. It was fine, it was fun.”

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