discovery+ Press

Food Network Wraps Production on First-ever Scripted Movie Candy Coated Christmas

August 25, 2021

The Network’s Pioneer Woman is Making her Feature Debut, Joining Stars Molly Mccook and Aaron O’Connell

 Premiering on discovery+ this Holiday Season 

 NEW YORK – Aug 25, 2021 Candy Coated Christmas has wrapped production. The film is a discovery+ entry into original scripted content and built on Food Network’s exponential popularity during the holiday season. It stars Molly McCook (Last Man Standing), Aaron O’Connell (The Haves and The Have Nots), Jae Suh Park (The Big Short), John McCook (The Bold and the Beautiful), with the network’s own Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman) making her feature debut. The fictional story takes place during the holidays, set in the picturesque Peppermint Hollow, the Peppermint Capital of the world. Candy Coated Christmas will deliver on the food-centric content that Food Network fans love and it will bring in audiences that enjoy the feel-good stories associated with the holiday season. Directed by Ellie Kanner (Love and Sunshine) and written by Alex Yonks, Kanner and Joey Plager, Candy Coated Christmas is produced by MarVista Entertainment in association with Go Films. Executive producers are Ellie Kanner, Joey Plager and Larry Grimaldi, Hannah Pillemer and Fernando Szew for MarVista Entertainment. 

Food Network’s unscripted series attracted more than 55.4 million P2+ viewers during 2Q21 while during the same time, Ree Drummond’s popular series, The Pioneer Woman drew more than 13.1 million P2+ viewers. 

“Last year, nearly 60 million viewers watched Food Network between Halloween and New Year’s Day,” said Kathleen Finch, Chief Lifestyle Brands Officer, Discovery, Inc. “Food Network fans live for the holidays, so creating a Christmas movie featuring one of our biggest stars is an exciting way to expand our offerings and to showcase an incredibly popular talent like Ree. We’ve created the kind of Christmas movie that only we can — it’s a perfect gift for our passionate fans.” 

Drummond, known for her long-running Food Network series The Pioneer Woman and her role as co-host of Christmas Cookie Challenge, makes her feature debut, bringing her down-to-earth appeal and real-life experiences as a proprietor to her role as the owner of a bakery who warmly befriends a newcomer to town. 

Candy Coated Christmas was so much fun to be part of; it had all the magical elements that make holiday movies so special,” said Drummond. “Any initial nerves I felt about joining this project completely melted away when I stepped into the sweet, charming world of Peppermint Hollow!” 

Adds Larry Grimaldi, SVP Creative Affairs, MarVista Entertainment, “We are thrilled to collaborate with Food Network and discovery+ on their first scripted holiday movie. Combining MarVista’s long-standing expertise in telling quality, feel-good holiday stories with Food Network’s promise of providing entertaining lifestyle content is a perfect recipe to bring joy to the world.” 

About Candy Coated Christmas 

Molly Gallant (Molly McCook), a Los Angeles-based marketing executive on top of the world, is planning a new business venture with her best friend and heading to the airport for her annual holiday father-daughter trip to Hawaii when she learns that the seed money she was counting on for her business has disappeared. Molly’s father (John McCook) suggests she visit the small town where her late mother grew up, as an old family home may be the key to the start-up money she needs. Packed for the beach, Molly arrives in snowy Peppermint Hollow, where the first person she meets is the owner of Bee’s Bakery, Bee (Ree Drummond), giving her a warm introduction to the friendly denizens that reside in the Peppermint Capital of the world. The Winters family, Noah (Aaron O’Connell), Kim (Lee Garlington) and Dakota (Landry Townsend), currently renting the house Molly’s mother grew up in, invite her to stay with them and offer her a lost connection to her own childhood memories and the possibility for a newly ‘minted’ business begins to take shape. 

About discovery+ 

discovery+ is the definitive non-fiction, real life subscription streaming service. discovery+ features a landmark partnership with Verizon that gives their customers with select plans up to 12 months of discovery+ on Verizon. discovery+ has the largest-ever content offering of any new streaming service at launch, featuring a wide range of exclusive, original series across popular, passion verticals in which Discovery brands have a strong leadership position, including lifestyle and relationships; home and food; true crime; paranormal; adventure and natural history; as well as science, tech and the environment, and a slate of high-quality documentaries. For more, visit or find it on a variety of platforms and devices, including ones from Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Roku and Samsung. 

FOOD NETWORK ( is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers’ best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring, empowering and entertaining through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to nearly 100 million U.S. households and draws over 46 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine’s rate base has grown 13 times and is the No. 2 best-selling monthly magazine on the newsstand, with 13.5 million readers. Food Network is owned by Discovery, Inc., a global leader in real life entertainment serving a passionate audience of superfans around the world and spanning 220 countries and territories; the portfolio also includes direct-to-consumer streaming services such as discovery+ and Food Network Kitchen, along with premium brands Discovery Channel, HGTV, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, Science Channel, and the multi-platform JV with Chip and Joanna Gaines, Magnolia Network as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport. 

About MarVista Entertainment 

Los Angeles-based MarVista Entertainment is a leading global independent studio that produces and distributes a variety of content across the world. With a library showcasing nearly 2,500 hours of content, and with approximately 60 new movies per year added to the company’s development and distribution pipeline, MarVista has become one of the largest suppliers of movies to the worldwide marketplace. MarVista has an expansive distribution footprint spanning more than 125 global territories and is a pre-eminent programming partner to major streamers and cable networks including Netflix, Hulu, Discovery+, Tubi, Disney Networks, Lifetime, Hallmark Channel, NBC Universal, OWN, Nickelodeon, BET and other Viacom Networks, as well as key international platforms. 

Press Contacts

Irika Slavin

Danielle McLaughlin