Hallmark's Erin Krakow Credits 'Hearties' For Keeping When Calls The Heart On The Air

The Hallmark Channel — and its sister channels, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries and Hallmark Drama — may be best known for its Christmas made-for-TV movies. After all, the network's Countdown to Christmas begins mid-October and many of the most popular Hallmark movies are holiday themed. However, the network sees high ratings for its other offerings year-round, including a growing list of television shows. One of these is the long-running series "When Calls the Heart," which is based on the acclaimed novels by Janette Oke.

"When Calls the Heart" follows Elizabeth Thornton, a 1910s schoolteacher in the small Canadian town of Hope Valley. Thornton navigates love and loss with the help of the townspeople. These themes and the show's overall positivity is what resonates with fans, who are lovingly called "Hearties." Erin Krakow plays the show's lead, and she does not take this fanbase for granted. In fact, she credits them for keeping the show on the air.

Erin Krakow is proud to be a part of When Calls the Heart

As the premier of season 10 of "When Calls the Heart" approaches, Krakow shared her gratitude for the fans and for Hallmark itself in an interview with TV Insider. "I continue to feel so proud to be a part of 'When Calls the Heart' and grateful that the Hearties have kept us on the air all these years, that Hallmark continues to believe in our show. Season one, I think, we filmed in 2013; it aired in 2014. It was a long time ago. And the show has changed and grown a lot since then. But looking back, I just feel a lot of pride to be a part of it," she stated.

Krakow definitely has a right to be proud of the immense success of "When Calls the Heart." In 2022, the show had 8.6 million viewers over the span of season nine's 12 episodes, making it the most-watched scripted show on cable television (per Deadline). The "Hearties" Facebook group alone has nearly 90,000 members.

Hallmark renewed When Calls the Heart for an 11th season

The Hearties are not just a devoted fanbase. They are a vocal one as well. After a long lead-up surrounding the characters Lucas and Nathan as they vie for Elizabeth's love, Elizabeth chooses Lucas over Nathan at the end of season eight. And Hearties took to social media to express their thoughts on the outcome, with some even threatening to stop watching the series. However, it is clear that plenty of fans stuck around. When there was no news about a tenth season for the show in 2022, Hearties again took to social media to spread the hashtag #AllInforSeason10. 

Fast-forward to 2023, and season 10 of "When Calls the Heart" will premiere on July 30th. Ahead of this premiere, Hallmark renewed the show for an eleventh season as well. Krakow again shared her love for the show's fans upon the announcement "Having the Hearties continue this journey with us has meant the world and we are thrilled to share what's in store these next two seasons!" she told Variety in February of 2023.