Hallmark Channel has renewed hit period drama When Calls The Heart for a seventh season. The pick up comes shortly after the network set a May return date for the series. They had pulled it from the schedule amidst the college admissions scandal which saw series star Lori Loughlin indicted by the Department of Justice. The network also parted ways with Loughlin.
Based on the Janette Oke novel, When Calls The Heart is set in a 19th century coal town and follows Elizabeth, a young teacher accustomed to her high society life who receives her first classroom post in a small prairie town in the Western Frontier. She must deal with her restless students as well as the new Constable in town, Jack Thornton. Elizabeth will have to learn the ways of the frontier if she wishes to thrive in the rural west. The drama series stars Erin Krakow, Jack Wagner, Pascale Hutton and Kavan Smith.
“When Calls the Heart” has enjoyed year-over-year rating’s growth, quite a feat for a show in its’ sixth season,” said Michelle Vicary, Executive Vice President of Programming and Network Publicity for Crown Media Family Networks. “It is one of the top-rated shows in cable, premiering in the #2 position on Sundays, television’s most competitive night. The show’s themes of love, faith and community have resonated with millions upon millions of viewers, and we are delighted to deliver more uplifting, positive storytelling in season seven.”
Despite the scandal and the termination of Loughlin, Hallmark was always expected to renew When Calls The Heart. It is their top-rated scripted drama and they are set to launch a spin-off, titled When Hope Calls, on their streaming service Hallmark Movies Now later this year. Additionally, while Hallmark parent Crown Media moved quickly to cut ties with Lori Loughlin, they never considered a cancellation and instead looked for “creative options” to move forward – eventually settling on editing Loughlin out of the rest of season six.