The Hallmark Movie Channel was launched in January 2004 as an outlet for additional movies and series available to the Hallmark Channel (HC) that the station did not have the airtime to run. Two series were initially picked up, with Magnum, P.I. available at launch and Diagnosis Murder available in January 2005. Crown Media shifted showing their Mystery Movie film series in 2008 from Hallmark Channel to this channel as they were having more success with lighter romances. On April 2, 2008, the channel was switched over to HD format.
The first original movie to premiere on the channel was Son of the Dragon on April 2, 2008, and a handful of movies have since premiered on the channel. In July 2010, the channel begin airing scripted television series to its schedule. These series currently include Murder, She Wrote, Matlock, The Good Wife, Hart to Hart, and Perry Mason.
In March 2009, the network announced that it is partnering with the NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and TV to showcase short films by the school’s students and alumni. The shorts will begin airing in October, and will also be available for viewing online at the network website www.hallmarkmoviechannel.com. Actor Alec Baldwin is a Tisch alum who will be one of the judges to determine which films appear on the network.
AT&T U-verse dropped Hallmark Channel and sister channel Hallmark Movie Channel on September 1, 2010 due to a carriage dispute. As of July 23, 2015, both channels have returned to U-verse. In July 2012 during a retransmission consent dispute with Hearst Television, the network was slotted by Time Warner Cable in place of Hearst's broadcast television stations as a 'free preview' and make-good for viewers until the dispute was settled.
On March 14, 2014, Crown Media Holdings announced that Hallmark Movie Channel would be rebranded as Hallmark Movies & Mysteries in October 2014. In rebranding, the company was trying to differentiate between the two channels, which feature different programming. With the new name, Hallmark reestablished a mystery wheel series under the name "Original Mystery Wheel" in 2015, having previously had one on the Hallmark Channel from 2004 to 2008.
After running several repeats of the Jesse Stone films in 2015, the channel agreed to pick up the next two films in the series from Sony Pictures Television. On Monday, November 11, 2015, Hallmark Movie Channel started its first "The Most Wonderful Movies of Christmas" seasonal programming.
On July 28, 2017, it was reported that Crown Media would add a brand new cable network titled Hallmark Drama, which launched on October 1, 2017, and a subscription video on demand streaming service titled Hallmark Movies Now on October 3 of the same year.