This Christmas will be bittersweet for some #hearties.
After five consecutive years, the tradition of airing a When Calls the Heart movie on Christmas night is temporarily being put on pause. The network behind the hit drama series, Hallmark Channel, confirmed the news on their official Twitter account in a statement on Sept. 23 -- but also teased some exciting new developments!
While we weren’t able to complete a Christmas movie this year, we heard you and have added 2 new episodes this coming season and a special surprise on Christmas Day! 💜🤗
“While we weren’t able to complete a Christmas movie this year, we heard you and have added 2 new episodes this coming season and a special surprise on Christmas Day!”
Sorry you're bummed out... we are, too. But life's hard for everybody this year. We're doing our best under the circumstances. That won't be enough for some folks, so if you need to move on from Hope Valley, we get it. God bless. https://t.co/t9Qeoz0g4c
The news was also confirmed by series executive producer Brian Bird, who tweeted on Sept. 26 that, like the hearties, he too feels “bummed out.”
“Life's hard for everybody this year,” Bird explained. “We're doing our best under the circumstances. That won't be enough for some folks, so if you need to move on from Hope Valley, we get it. God bless.”
As for the “special surprise” that awaits on Christmas Day, hearties on social media are speculating a myriad of possibilities as to what it could be. However, the addition of two extra episodes for the upcoming season has fans feeling a deep sense of gratitude.
I am just grateful that we are getting 12 episodes! Whenever season 8 premieres, I am excited to see what amazing stories they bring to us. And thank you to the cast and crew of WCTH for sacrificing and working so hard to make season 8 happen!🙏
Not too disappointed, I'm grateful we are getting a season 8, considering how many tv shows have delayed theirs till next year. And hello 12 episodes at that! As long and cast and crew stays safe and healthy, I will look forward to whatever we get 🤷🏻♀️
While a Christmas special would have been a great ending to an otherwise not-so-pleasant year, it is completely understandable they had to make some changes. At least they are trying to make it up to us #Hearties in other ways. We will get through this together!! ❤️❤️
An elongated season 8 is a wish that both hearties and the cast have been quite vocal about.
“We’ve talked about it,” series star and co-executive producer Erin Krakowtold ET in April. “We usually stick to a 10-episode season with a two-hour Christmas movie, but if that's something that's important to the fans and our viewers, I would encourage everyone to reach out to Hallmark and let them know because they need to hear from the fans. They need to hear that that's something they want. But I think we'd be down for it.”
Krakow’s thoughts were echoed by Chris McNally, who said he’s “absolutely” interested in filming more episodes. So is Kevin McGarry, who thinks adding more episodes would be “great,” so the series can “continue on the stories, or to make them a bit more richer, in the storylines. I think it would be amazing.”
“The fan base is so loyal and so good, and such a positive fan base, that I don't want to disrespect them or mess with them and make them wait for such a long period of time and lose them,” Smith explained. “I think that such a giant gap between seasons we can lose some of this momentum that we've got going… I really think that there's some discussion to be had on this one.”
Looks like the hearties and the cast are receiving a very lovely holiday gift, after all!
When Calls the Heart returns for season 8 in 2021.