For everyone out there eager to learn about the return date for When Calls the Heart, we are here to deliver some fantastic news!
Today, Hallmark Channel announced via star Erin Krakow (see the video below) that their long-running series is going to be returning to the air on Sunday, May 5 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. It will then return the following day for a special airing before resuming its normal timeslot Sunday nights at 8:00. This long delay for new episodes follows the exit of star Lori Loughlin, who is one of many people at the center of a college cheating scandal. While another actress involved in the investigation in Felicity Huffman has entered a guilty plea, Loughlin has opted instead for a different strategy.
Here’s where things get a little bit more intriguing. According to a report from Entertainment Weekly, Hallmark Channel is taking the highly unusual move of editing Loughlin’s character of Abigail out from the upcoming episodes. Because of that, what was originally meant to be seven episodes coming up will now be six. There were some minor reshoots required in order to make the story work without her, but a lot of the creative changes were worked out behind the scenes already.
New When Calls the Heart video – At the bottom of this article, we discuss all of these things further. Remember to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube so you don’t miss out on any of our upcoming videos all about the show. You can also check out our playlist all about the show for any videos you may have missed.
Is this the right move for When Calls the Heart to make? We still have our suspicions about it, just because it is so perilous to try and remove a main character when the footage has already been filmed — the last thing that we would’ve wanted was for some of the other cast members or the show itself to be punished because of the individual actions of one person. The solution that we would’ve employed here instead was to simply air out the remaining season 6 episodes as is (with a title card explaining that these were filmed prior to the scandal), and then shift the show moving into the next season — yet, we understand that Hallmark is likely trying to be super-protective of their brand, and also to a certain extent this overall franchise given that When Calls the Heart has already inspired an upcoming spin-off via their Hallmark Movies Now service.
In a statement via Instagram, here is what show executive producer Brian Bird had to say on the subject of the series’ overall future:
#Hearties, thanks for sticking with us through this challenging time. As you now know… the show not only must go on, but will go on, starting Sunday night, May 5th and Monday night, May 6th, and then in our regular Sunday night time slot after that through the remainder of Season 6.
Life throws all of us painful curveballs, and the only way to survive is to walk right through them with courage, grace, a forgiving spirit, and most of all, hope. Many of you have wondered what the future holds for our cast and crew, and for the citizens of Hope Valley. Your care and concern means the world to us, and the best way we can thank you is to encourage you the way you encourage us because… Hope always lives here.
What do you think about the When Calls the Heart season 6 return date, and about the decision to edit out Loughlin from any upcoming episodes? Share right away in the comments. (Photo: Hallmark Channel.)