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On March 21, 2018, Hallmark renewed the series for a sixth season. The season premiered with a two-hour Christmas special that was broadcast as part of Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas event, and was to continue for a 10-episode run starting in February 2019. However, due to the 2019 college admissions bribery scandal involving Loughlin and her subsequent removal from all Hallmark properties, the season was put on a "retooling" hiatus and resumed in May to conclude in June, with Loughlin's scenes edited out.
On April 13, 2019, the series was renewed for a seventh season to air in 2020.
A spin-off of the show, When Hope Calls, was announced at Hallmark's Television Critics Association summer press tour on July 26, 2018. The series debuted on August 30, 2019, as the initial offering of the Hallmark Movies Now streaming service.
When Calls the Heart tells the story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young teacher accustomed to her high-society life. She receives her first classroom assignment in Coal Valley, a small coal-mining town in Western Canada which is located just south of Robb, Alberta. There, life is simple, but often fraught with challenges. Elizabeth charms most everyone in Coal Valley, except Royal North West Mounted Police Constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing). He believes Thatcher's wealthy father has doomed the lawman's career by insisting he be assigned in town to protect the shipping magnate's daughter. Wishing to thrive in this 1910 coal town, Elizabeth must learn the ways of the Canadian frontier.
Abigail Stanton's (Lori Loughlin) husband, the foreman of the mine, and her only son--along with 45 other miners, were killed in an explosion, due to the mining-company site manager's irresponsible management and lack of due care in his management of the mine. The newly widowed women find their faith tested when they must go to work in the mine to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table, and help pay the wage for the town's teacher. The town of Coal Valley was renamed Hope Valley in first episode of the second season after the coal mine was closed.
Elizabeth Thatcher Thornton is an independent, strong-minded, passionate and dedicated young teacher from the city. The middle daughter of William and Grace Thatcher, Elizabeth has two sisters, older sister Viola and younger sister Julie. Elizabeth was in her mid-20's when she found herself in Coal Valley, a small community on the Canadian frontier in need of a teacher, and quickly discovers it is not an easy place to live, lacking the creature comforts and luxuries of her privileged life with her family. She soon meets the newly appointed and charismatic Mountie Jack Thornton and develops an immediate dislike for him. However, over time they become good friends, and develop an obvious attraction to one another. In the season 1 finale, "Prelude to a Kiss" (also titled as "Final Adieu"), after overcoming many obstacles throughout the season, Jack tells Elizabeth "You're the one, you're the only one" and they share a kiss. Throughout season 2, Elizabeth's feelings for Jack are high at times as well as low. Finally, in the season 2 finale, she admits that his job as a Mountie scares her. After being comforted both admitting that they love each other, Jack and Elizabeth kiss. Season 3 continues the love story of Jack and Elizabeth, all leading up to Jack's marriage proposal in season 4 "My Heart Will Go On." The two wed in season 5's "My Heart Is Yours." Just days into their marriage, Jack is given a new assignment and leaves. He is killed (offscreen) in season 5's "In My Dreams." In the season 5 finale, "Close to My Heart," Elizabeth finds out she is pregnant with Jack's baby.
Jack Thornton is a laid back country boy. Jack is the son of Mountie Thomas Thornton and his wife Charlotte Thornton. Jack has a younger brother, Tom (named after his father). As a Mountie and a man of stout character and integrity, he often finds himself protecting and saving people. In season 1's "A Telling Silence," Jack finds a basset hound whom he names Rip (after Rip Van Winkle) and takes home with him. A source of comfort and companion in the small town, Jack often goes to Rip when times in his life are difficult. In season 2's "With All My Heart," Rip, who's afraid of thunder, hides in the mine shafts during a storm. Jack and Elizabeth search for him; in their search, their relationship grows stronger. Upon his first meeting of Elizabeth, Jack developed an instant dislike and it appeared she irritated him. However, he grew to like and then fall madly and completely in love with her over time. In "Rules of Engagement" (S.1), it is revealed that Jack was briefly engaged to Rosemary LeVeaux when she comes looking for him. However, they have both changed and realize that they cannot have a relationship as they once did ever again. In "Prelude to a Kiss" (S.1), Jack found out that Elizabeth may be leaving Coal Valley. Taking her on a walk and giving her a framed picture of them that he had sketched, he asks her not to leave Coal Valley and tells her, "You're the one, you're the only one." She replied that she was "not going anywhere", Coal Valley was where she belonged before they share a kiss. In season 2, Elizabeth and Jack share a hot-and-cold relationship until the finale, "With All My Heart." They both admit that they love each other and share another kiss. Jack's brother, Tom, is introduced season 2's "Trials of the Heart," and their rocky relationship continues until "Coming Together, Coming Apart." Jack gently reminds his younger brother how their father was so proud of him, but he wouldn't be proud of the way he was currently living. Both in tears, Jack tells his younger brother that he believes in him and that he can turn his life around. More recently, Jack has become good friends with the sawmill operator, Lee Coulter. In season 3, Jack begins the new year knowing that Elizabeth only has eyes for him and that her relationship with Charles is over for good. In "Hearts In Question," Jack's mother Charlotte shows up unexpectedly. She meets Elizabeth and is suspicious of her, but through staying her sees Elizabeth for who she really is: a trustworthy, dedicated teacher. In the season finale, "Prayers From The Heart," Jack is injured in a flood. But he miraculously recovers in time to serve as Lee's best man at his wedding. Jack proposes to Elizabeth in season 4's "My Heart Will Go On," the night before he leaves for a new Mountie assignment. In season 5's "My Heart Is Yours," Jack and Elizabeth finally wed. Days into their new marriage, Jack receives a new assignment and leaves. He is killed (offscreen) in season 5's "In My Dreams," but his legacy will live on in his wife and their unborn child.
Abigail Stanton is a Coal Valley woman whose husband and son died in the mining accident. Abigail is a very kind woman, and she stands strongly for the things she believes in. She is one of the first women to welcome Elizabeth and the two women quickly become friends. When Elizabeth accidentally burns down the little teacherage, Abigail gladly welcomes her into her home to live. After being complimented on her cooking, Abigail decides to open a cafe in Coal Valley. Together, Abigail and Elizabeth move into the rooms above the cafe. At the end of season 1, Abigail enjoys the company of Bill Avery, a Mountie, serving as a Forensic Investigator and friend of Jack Thornton's. In season 2, Abigail takes in her daughter-in-law, Clara, the wife of her late son Peter whom Abigail sees as the daughter she never had. With Bill's past being revealed, Abigail ends their friendship and spends more time with the new pastor, Frank Hogan. Also, she is a strong independent woman that is set on doing the things that are right and tries to help Elizabeth. In season 3, Abigail takes in two orphans, Becky Hastings, and her younger brother Cody. In season 4's "Heart of A Fighter," Abigail legally adopts Becky and Cody. Abigail serves as one of Elizabeth's matrons of honor in season 5's "My Heart Is Yours."
Bill Avery is a mysterious, quiet man. He first appears in season 1's "Rules of Engagement," in order to help Jack expose Mr. Gowen's wrongdoings. Bill is immediately attracted to widow Abigail Stanton. Things are going well until Abigail discovers a picture of Bill's family and his wedding ring. He later tells her that his son died, as well as his wife. However, his wife, Nora, comes to confront him in season 2's "Heart's Desire."
Henry Gowen is a cold, cynical man who formerly managed the coal mine. After the mine was shut down, Henry became the mayor of Hope Valley and still creates a cold, cynical presence whenever people are around him. Henry is highly disliked and feared in the town. He frequently uses bribery to get what he wants, which is never for the good of the town. In season 5, however, Henry seems to be turning into a new man, coming to the aid of the town often and actually helping Bill catch a criminal red-handed in season 5's "In My Dreams."
Rosemary "Rosie" LeVeaux Coulter is a flamboyant, enthusiastic actress from New York. She was briefly engaged to Jack Thornton, but they both realized that it wouldn't work out. Rosie immediately disliked Elizabeth and viewed her as "the competition," but eventually came to really care about Elizabeth, even if she has a hard time showing it. At the beginning of season 2, Rosemary began working at the cafe with Abigail and the two quickly became friends. Spending time with Abigail helped tone down some of Rosemary's enthusiasm and made her a more likable person. She can also often be found somewhere writing her weekly advice column for Hope Valley's newspaper. Rosemary also shares a mutual attraction with Lee. Throughout season 3, their relationship becomes more romantic. In "Heart Of A Hero," seeing that Lee needs to spend more time at the sawmill to help the new settlers find jobs, Rosemary tells Lee that the theater doesn't have to be built. He insists, but she says how important his job is. He smiles and tells her he will one day build her theatre, telling her that she is "the best part of his life." The couple shares in their first kiss. In "A Gentle Heart," Lee is injured. Thinking he is asleep, Rosemary pours out her heart to him, telling how much she loves him. In "Heartbreak," Rosemary is offered a job in Hollywood filming. This has always been her dream, to be an actress. Lee unselfishly tells her to do whatever she feels best, but the thought of her leaving Hope Valley hurts him. She considers her options and realizes that her place is in Hope Valley, with him. He then tells her that he has another "role" that he thinks would be perfect for her and proposes marriage; she happily accepts. In "Hearts In Question," she enthusiastically plans for their wedding. The couple weds in the season 3 finale "Prayers From The Heart," with Elizabeth and Abigail as her maids of honor. Rosemary is one of Elizabeth's matrons of honor in season 5's "My Heart Is Yours."
Lee Coulter is a kind, laid-back, patient man who opens a sawmill in Hope Valley. When timber becomes Coal Valley's major source of natural resources, the town is renamed Hope Valley. He shares a mutual attraction to Rosemary and proves to be one of the few people who can outwit her. When she declines his romantic intentions, Lee recruits his friend, Molly Sullivan, to make Rosemary jealous; the ploy succeeds and Rosemary accepts his suit, appreciating Lee's good qualities. Despite her dramatic and occasionally prickly personality, Lee's compassion and patience never fails with her. With Rosemary's help, Lee beat Mr. Gowen at his own game in "Heart and Home." When not at work, Lee enjoys being with friends, including Jack Thornton, who shares Lee's simple and laid back outlook, allowing the men to discuss their lives and exchange romantic advice. In season 3, Lee's mill is sabotaged by a man inside. Through Bill and Jack's investigation, they find the culprit. In season 3's "Heart Of A Hero," Rosemary unselfishly gives up the theater that Lee promised to build her. Lee promises that one day, he will build her the theater at a time when he isn't so involved with the sawmill and finding people jobs. In "A Gentle Heart," Lee is injured. Thinking Lee is asleep, Rosemary pours out her heart to him, telling him how afraid she was when she heard he had been injured. He however hears every word. She tells him how much she loves him and to never leave her. In the episode "Heartbreak," Lee thinks Rosemary may leave Hope Valley when she is offered a movie role in Hollywood. When she gives up the movie, seeing her future in Hope Valley with him, he asks her to marry him. The couple weds in the season 3 finale, "Prayers From The Heart." Jack serves the role of Lee's best man. Lee returns the honor for Jack in season 5's "My Heart Is Yours." In season 4's "Heart of A Fighter," we learn that Lee lost his brother Patrick at a young age.
Julie Thatcher is Elizabeth's hopeless romantic younger sister. She often gets herself into sticky situations by falling head over heels for men who aren't quite what they seem. In season 2 she gets involved with Jack's brother Tom, which causes trouble with her family and for Jack and Elizabeth's relationship.
Cat Montgomery is a kind, encouraging woman in Coal Valley. She is a widow and mother of three: Gabe, Miles, and Emily. Cat was one of the first mothers to show kindness to Elizabeth when she first came. She desperately wants her children to remember the good memories of their father as seen by her self-sacrificing acts in "Secrets and Lies." Possessing a great sense of teamwork and encouragement, Cat supports the women of Coal Valley while working in the mines in "Cease and Desist." She is good friends with Elizabeth and Abigail. In "These Games," she also helps Jack catch a thief.
Florence Blakeley is a feisty gossip in Hope Valley. She often has a pessimistic perspective and always seems to find the negative, even in a very positive situation. In "Heart and Home," Abigail told Florence what she really thought about her, which causes Florence to rein in her negativity somewhat, though she remains fairly outspoken. While not always likable, Florence adds spice to life in Hope Valley.
Molly Sullivan is a friend of Lee Coulter and Elizabeth Thatcher. Molly's husband was killed in the mine disaster. She has a daughter Rosaleen. In season 1's "A Telling Silence," Rosaleen has trouble in school because she misses her father so much. When she runs away, Elizabeth finds her in the mine, feeling guilty that she didn't bring her father his lunch the day of the disaster because she wanted to play with a friend instead. She fears her mother will blame her, but Elizabeth convinces her that Molly will "say that she loves her more than life itself." Molly is reunited with her daughter, to the joy of the town's people. In season 2's "With All My Heart," Lee feels it's time to "play hard to get" with Rosemary, so he enlists help from Molly. She pretends to be interested in him romantically. This ploy works and Rosemary admits that she does in fact like him. Molly is a kind woman and was among the first to welcome Elizabeth to town.
Clara Stanton is the wife of Abigail's late son Peter, and is a sweet, quiet, and sensitive young woman. Abigail never knew she had a daughter-in-law until season 2's "Trials of the Heart;" with Peter having married Clara only three days before he was killed. In "Heart's Desire," Abigail invites Clara to come live with her in Hope Valley, an offer that Clara accepts.
Charles Kensington III is an old friend of Elizabeth with whom she reconnects while in Hamilton. He is interested in her, though her feelings for Jack get in the way of their relationship.
The series, originally planned to be filmed in Colorado, is filmed south of Vancouver, British Columbia, on a farm surrounded by vineyards. The fictional frontier town of Coal Valley (later, Hope Valley) was erected in late 2013. Some of the set trimmings and a stage coach came from the Hell on Wheels set. The Thatcher home is the University Women's Club of Vancouver.
The series was renewed for a second season, which aired from April 25 to June 13, 2015. Hallmark Channel announced in July 2015 that the series had been renewed for a third season, which aired from February 21 to April 10, 2016, with a sneak peek airing during the 2015 Christmas season.
In mid-2016, it was announced that Season 4 would premiere on the Hallmark Channel Christmas Day with a two-hour special. On April 11, 2016, Lissing and Krakow announced via the series' Facebook page that Hallmark Channel had renewed the series for a fourth season, which aired from February 19 to April 23, 2017.
On April 24, 2017, series star Erin Krakow announced via the Hallmark Channel website that the show would return for a fifth season, which premiered in February 2018 and ended in April. Filming for season five began in Vancouver on August 22, 2017, and ended on December 21, 2017.
On March 14. 2019, Hallmark announced it had dropped Loughlin from future company projects due to her role in the 2019 college admissions bribery scandal. On April 10, 2019, it was announced that season six will resume on May 5, 2019, with Loughlin's scenes edited out.
On April 13, 2019, the series was renewed for a seventh season.
The first season of the series was subsequently picked up by CBC Television for rebroadcast as a summer series in 2015. The network has since aired all five seasons. The series became available internationally on Netflix in August 2017.