Hallmark has renewed When Calls the Heart for a ninth season. Airing on the network since 2014, the series follows Erin Krakow as young teacher Elizabeth Thatcher Thornton as the main star of an ensemble cast. Its eighth season just concluded on Sunday with Elizabeth finally realizing who it is that she's supposed to be with, and fans wanting to know what happens next will be happy to know the show has been officially renewed.
"Who knew even an extra-long season would fly by so quickly?" Krakow said in a video posted to Twitter. "But don't worry: When Calls the Heart will return next year for another all new season at Hallmark Channel. I can't wait."
In the caption, Krakow added: "I'm so grateful for you #Hearties! Thank you for all of your support. Your passion for WCTH allows me to continue doing a job I LOVE! Thank you @hallmarkchannel for believing in us and bringing us back to Hope Valley! Season 9 here we come!"
"We are proud to have When Calls the Heart as a central part of our programming," Michelle Vicary, EVP of Programming at Crown Media Family Networks, also said in a statement. "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... The series has become appointment viewing on a highly competitive Sunday night [and] continues to climb in ratings year-after-year and is one of the top-rated shows in cable!"
During the show's sixth season, When Calls the Heart was put on hold to remove scenes featuring actress Lori Loughlin. After appearing on the show since season 1, Loughlin was fired by Hallmark from her role because of her involvement in 2019's college admissions bribery scandal. Loughlin's character has since been written out of the series, which continues to please its network despite the absence of what was one of the main characters.
"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," executive producer Brian Bird said at the time. "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."
In season 6, it is revealed that Loughlin's character, Abigail Stanton, had travelled "back east" to take care of her sick mother. Following Loughlin's release from prison, there have been rumors that she's looking to make a comeback to acting. It remains to be seen if and when Loughlin pursues these endeavors, but with When Calls the Heart still going strong, the possibility is always there for Loughlin to return. Felicity Huffman, another actress involved in the scandal, has since picked up a starring role in a baseball series in the works at ABC.
When Calls the Heart will return to the Hallmark Channel with new episodes in 2022. This news comes to us from TVLine.