In this era of Peak TV there are more than 1400 series vying for viewers' attention throughout the year. Faced with such mounting competition, how do television programmers cut through the clutter, especially during the frigid winter season when viewing levels tend to be at their highest? Building strategies around holidays helps. "Emotional connections are key drivers in decision-making,” explains Michelle Vicary, Crown Media Family Networks’ Executive Vice President of Programming and Network Program Publicity. She's talking specifically about two of Hallmark Channel's annual programming events: Countdown to Christmas (October 30 – January 1) and Countdown to Valentine’s Day (January 30 – February 14), which deliver on the two big sentiments of the winter season -- connectivity and relationships.