Hallmark Channel has renewed the popular family-friendly drama series for a ninth season, series star Erin Krakow announced Sunday night in a video message that played during the season 8 finale. The new season will premiere in 2022.
“We are proud to have When Calls the Heart as a central part of our programming, it continues to captivate audiences with its amazing cast and storylines of love, community, and optimism and we are excited to continue the journey in Hope Valley for season 9,” said Michelle Vicary, Executive Vice President of Programming at Crown Media Family Networks in a statement. “The series has become appointment viewing on a highly competitive Sunday night, it continues to climb in ratings year-after-year and is one of the top-rated shows in cable!”
To celebrate the pickup, the When Calls the Heart cast expressed their gratitude and enthusiasm for another year of adventures and romance in Hope Valley.
"I'm feeling very happy and very proud of what we have built over the past however many years it's been," Krakow told ET's Deidre Behar of the show's renewal. "I love my job so much. I love the people I work with. I love our sweet little town of Hope Valley and I just feel very grateful every day that I go to work. I feel very grateful that I get to do this thing that I love with people I love. So, I'm very happy."
"We are very lucky. I'm sure I've said this before and others have too, but we're very lucky with our cast and crew, but specifically our cast, that we all get along really well and we're all great friends. I'm thrilled that we get to go back to hang out again and work together for another four-and-a-half or five months, and that we get to tell more stories within Hope Valley and explore what's going to happen next and then get to share that with the audience and have them experience more," co-star Chris McNally said. "There's no downside. It's all great. It's all very happy."
"There are lots of stories to tell," Kevin McGarry agreed. "The way that we ended season 8 opens up for multiple stories and taking the show in an exciting new direction and yeah, I'm pumped."
As for the stories they're looking forward to telling in season 9, Krakow and McNally said they're intrigued by the prospect of where Elizabeth and Lucas go with their new official romance.
"I'm looking forward to exploring the relationship further with Lucas and Elizabeth. Now that they've made a mutual decision to move forward together in a more solid capacity, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens there and what that looks like," McNally said. "I have not talked to [showrunner] John [Tinker] yet about season 9, so I have no idea what's in store and also not sure what I should say or shouldn't say. But think that it might be fun on a personal level for Lucas who has always done quite well financially to run into some trouble and see what it looks like when everything is taken away."
"And there are a lot of fans who have requested that we get to see Lucas a bit more dressed down. So it might be an opportunity for you to get out of those fancy duds for a minute and wear something a little more casual," Krakow chimed in.
And what about Nathan's journey now that the love triangle is over for now?
"I'm excited to see how this relationship's going to go forward because it's just something different. We don't see the guy that got rejected or not chosen still in the light, still there and still part of a community. That's going to be fun to play because it's new and different," McGarry said of Elizabeth and Nathan's status moving forward. "It's going to be interesting to move forward with the relationship with Allie that Nathan has as a single dad. She's becoming a woman, which is going to be weird for him. She'll be 14, 15. I mean, weird as in she's not a little girl. I'm interested to see what they're going to do with getting back to what crimes he's going to solve."