The season finale of “When Calls the Heart” aired on Hallmark on Mother’s Day, but when will the show return? With a season 9 renewal already announced, here’s everything we know so far about what to expect, including clues shared by “When Calls the Heart” execs.
The Show Is Renewed for Season 9
— Hallmark Channel (@hallmarkchannel) May 10, 2021
Last year, Erin Krakow (who plays the lead character Elizabeth) announced at the end of the season 7 finale that the show had been renewed for another season. The same thing happened again this year.
Brian Bird, the show’s creator, has been encouraging fans to tag Hallmark in tweets and include the hashtag #Season9WouldBeDivine when asking for the show to be renewed. Last year, the hashtag was #Season8WouldBeGreat.
#Hearties thank you once again for your loyal patronage of #WhenCallstheHeart and #HopeValley all these years. You know a secret: the best way to get more of what you want is to love what you’ve been given. #Season9WouldBeDivine See you next week! pic.twitter.com/ySqsxmtb52
— Brian Bird (@brbird) April 5, 2021
As a result, fans were frequently tweeting the hashtag, requesting a new season.
— Nicolina Pavek (@NickiPavek) May 3, 2021
“When Calls the Heart” has enjoyed great ratings this season, including live viewership that sometimes surpassed the viewership for “The Walking Dead” or “Fear the Walking Dead.” This no doubt helped with the decision to renew the series.
#Hearties, congrats for doing it again! Sunday night, 2.649 million of you made #WhenCallstheHeart THE MOST-VIEWED show on cable TV. In fact, you also beat out 12 big network shows. So now is your chance to set our all-time viewership record in Eps 11/12. Can we count on you? pic.twitter.com/wfNmbPSmll
— Brian Bird (@brbird) April 27, 2021
On March 16, “When Calls the Heart” beat “The Walking Dead” in live viewers for the first time, and then continued to do so on additional occasions. Bird shared the announcement in a When Calls the Heart Facebook group, celebrating the big numbers and the show’s first time to defeat the behemoth zombie series.
#Hearties, you were the queens of all of cable TV Sunday night! In the Live+Same Day ratings, 2,396m of you watched When Calls the Heart on Hallmark Channel USA… and for the FIRST TIME EVER, you beat the Zombies on that other network… by a whopping 200k! Who’s next… Godzilla… King Kong? Congrats and well done!!!
Season 7 ratings averaged from .18 to a high of .39 in the 18-49 demo this season. In terms of total viewers, that season brought in between 1.959 million to 2.446 million. The finale brought in 2.672 million viewers. So the show had a slightly higher viewership total and in the 18-49 demographic this season than in Season 6. Now it’s looking like the show is seeing even more viewers for Season 8. The premiere of both seasons averaged almost the same number of viewers. But Episode 4 of Season 8 had 2.369 million compared to Season 7 Episode 4 enjoying 2.156 million viewers.
The Show Will Likely Return in February 2022
The show typically returns in February when it’s maintaining a normal schedule. This season, it premiered on February 21 despite filming during a pandemic. So when the show does return for season 9, it will likely premiere in mid-to-late February 2022.
Season 1, which was 12 episodes long, debuted on January 11, 2014. Season 2, which was seven episodes long, debuted on April 25, 2015, which was a departure from Hallmark’s typical schedule for this series. Then things got back to normal for season 3, which was eight episodes long and debuted on February 21, 2016. Season 4, which was 10 episodes long, debuted on February 19, 2017. Season 5, which was also 10 episodes long, debuted on February 18, 2018. And season 6 debuted February 24, 2019. Season 7 premiered in February 2020. This is a long history of February debuts, which the show will likely continue for season 9.
The Showrunner Dropped Hints About What to Expect in Season 9
While showrunner John Tinker was clear that they don’t know if the show is renewed yet at the time he recorded this video, he did drop hints about what storylines they would cover in season 9. He shared these thoughts during a Facebook Live with his wife, Ronda Rich, on May 6.
At about 14 minutes into the video, he revealed that he would prefer to bring back old characters next season rather than new characters.
“There’s so many characters we have already. I suppose we could (bring in new characters), but I would prefer — as would the other writers — to bring some of those folks back,” he said. “So, we’ll see. We need a season 9 first.”
He also said, around 22 minutes into the video, that he hopes to have more scenes with the schoolchildren in season 9.
“It was a choice because of COVID. Should we have a ninth season, we’re hoping to … I don’t think the restrictions will ease up necessarily, but that we’ll find a way to include the children more. They’re very important to the show,” he said.
He also revealed that we may learn more about who Fiona reached out to when she called San Francisco.
Tinker said around 24:16 into the video: “If there’s a season 9, probably (we’ll learn who Fiona was calling)… Well, she did talk about … that she went home and made sure she didn’t miss out on her old boyfriend. But that’s another person. In fact, Kayla Wallace didn’t want those two people to be the same: the person to whom she reaches out, and her ex-boyfriend. So possibly, if there’s a nine.”
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