Two Major Characters Won’t Be Returning to ‘When Calls the Heart’

Time really flies in Hope Valley.

Although season 8 of When Calls the Heart was longer than most, it still passed by in a blink of an eye. And now that the season finale has come and gone, Hearties are asking for more — more of Rosemary (Pascale Hutton) and Lee’s (Kavan Smith) adorable antics, Elizabeth’s (Erin Krakow) wistful glances, Nathan (Kevin McGarry) and Lucas’ (Chris McNally) unmatched devotion to the woman they love, all of it. The question at hand: Is When Calls the Heart is coming back for season 9?

Luckily, Hallmark isn’t making us wait to find out. Right after the season 8 finale aired, Erin Krakow appeared onscreen to announce some great news: “Who knew even an extra-long season would fly by so quickly, but don’t worry, When Calls the Heart will return next year for an all-new season,” she said, delighting Hearties everywhere.

That’s right, When Calls the Heart has been renewed for season 9! While we’re waiting for details about exactly what we can expect in Hope Valley, here’s what we know about a potential ninth season, including when we’ll finally see Elizabeth and Lucas’ romance on the silver screen.

When is the When Calls the Heart season 9 release date?

When Calls the Heart will return to Hallmark Channel on Sunday, March 6 at 8 p.m. ET. This is slightly later than previous years (in 2021, season 8 premiered in late February.), but it’ll be well worth the wait because we’re getting 12 brand-new episodes this time around.

Will the entire cast be returning for season 9?

For the most part, yes. Nearly all of your favorite characters are sticking around except for one of Hope Valley’s sweetest duos: Jesse (Aren Buchholz) and Clara (Eva Bourne) will be noticeably absent from the upcoming season. In a sneak peek on Hallmark Channel’s website, we learned that the couple moved to Montana — a surprising move given that there was so much emphasis on their relationship last season.

What has the cast, including Erin Krakow, said about season 9?

Erin has been very vocal about her desire to spend more time in Hope Valley. “There would be an awful lot to look forward to, so hopefully we have that opportunity,” she said in a recent interview with Good Housekeeping. Specifically, she wants to see Little Jack’s personality blossom, spend more time with the students and explore uncharted territory with her new beau. “I’m really excited to explore the courtship. Now that Elizabeth has decided on the man of her dreams, it’ll be really nice to see them explore that connection together,” she continued.

If the show is picked up, the entire cast is set to return, including Natasha Burnett, Eva Bourne, Andrea Brooks, Kayla Wallace, Loretta Walsh, Pascale Button, Johannah Newmarch and Erin Krakow (from left to right).

David Dolsen

By the sound of it, Erin is hopeful that the show will continue for future seasons — yes, plural. When discussing Elizabeth’s love triangle with Good Housekeeping, she confirmed that both suitors will continue on with the show, no matter who she picks. “This also isn’t a situation where only one guy gets the girl and the other one leaves town. We are so lucky to have both Kevin McGarry [plays Nathan] and Chris McNally [plays Lucas] on the show and intend to keep both of them, assuming that we get to have future seasons.”

Any season 9 spoilers?

Season 9 would presumably pick up right where the season 8 finale left off: We’ll finally get to see Elizabeth commit to a relationship, Rosemary explore a new business venture, the Canfields settle into Hope Valley and so much more.

In Hallmark’s official release, they gave a general idea of what’s to come: “Hope Valley is in a state of growth, with the foundry’s progress and the evolution of key relationships.The Mayoral race has the town buzzing with a few members of the town running against one another. Elizabeth and Lucas focus on their relationship beyond courtship, and as she gets to know Lucas better, she learns about his past which gives Elizabeth pause about their future.”

For the past few years, loyal fans have remained hopeful that Lori Loughlin would reprise her role as Abigail Stanton on the show, especially now that she’s served her time for her involvement in the college admissions scandal. Even the show’s creator Brian Bird seemed to be on board, telling From the Desk that some fans “shared their opinion that Hope Valley should be an example of forgiveness and grace. As Lori’s friend, I could not agree more.” But since it was announced that Lori is joining the cast of When Hope Calls on GAC Family, it’s safe to say that we won’t be seeing Abigail in Hope Valley anytime soon. Hallmark even released a statement, assuring fans that they don’t “have any plans to cast her in the future.”

How can I watch or stream When Calls the Heart?

Although the Hallmark drama isn’t available on Netflix or Hulu, there are several places that you can watch past episodes. Set on re-watching the show while you wait for season 9? Here’s how you can stream When Calls the Heart right this second:

  • Amazon: Buy individual episodes for $2.99 or get an entire season for $19.99.
  • iTunes: Although you can buy each season for $19.99, you’ll save big by picking up the season 1- 6 bundle for $59.99. Season 7 and 8 are slightly more expensive, priced at $21.99 each.
  • Google Play: Purchase individual episodes for $1.99 each, or get a whole season for anywhere from $12.99 to $18.99.
  • Hallmark Movies Now: If you just want to catch up on season 7 and 8, stream all 10 episodes on Hallmark’s very own streaming service for $4.99/month. Or try a free seven-day trial and plan a weekend of binge-watching.

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