Why the ‘When Calls the Heart’ TV Series Almost Didn’t Happen

by Jeremy Spirogis
Maggie Grace in When Calls the Hear

When Calls the Heart has captivated TV viewers because it premiered in 2014. The present’s tales of romance and small-town life on Canada’s Western frontier within the early a part of the 20th century heat the hearts of followers, who’ve given themselves a nickname: Hearties. 

But what many Hearties could not notice is that their beloved present could by no means have come to be if issues had turned out a bit otherwise. 

‘When Calls the Heart’ began with a film 

Maggie Grace in When Calls the Hear
Stephen Amell and Maggie Grace in When Calls the Heart | Crown Media

Hallmark Channel followers have come to like the city of Hope Valley and the character of Elizabeth (Erin Krakow), a younger lady who moved west to work as a trainer. The city and the character had been launched to viewers in 2013, when the community aired the When Calls the Heart TV film. 

The movie, which was primarily based on the work of creator Janette Oke, adopted Elizabeth (then performed by English actress Poppy Drayton) as she journeyed from Toronto to Coal Valley (later to be renamed Hope Valley). Along the way in which, she learn her Aunt Elizabeth’s (Maggie Grace) journal, who had additionally moved to the frontier to work as a trainer. 

It took years to get the ‘When Calls the Heart’ film made 

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Though the When Calls the Heart film aired in 2013, it had truly been within the works for years. Creators Brian Bird and Michael Landon, Jr. met in 2003 and began working collectively on an adaptation of Oke’s novels just a few years later, in keeping with an article in Deseret News.  

By 2008, filming on the When Calls the Heart film was underway. Then the worldwide monetary disaster hit.

“The day Lehman Brothers went belly-up, so did our source of funding,” Bird defined to From the Desk of Kurt Manwaring. With no cash, manufacturing needed to shut down. Producers Bird and Landon had a “worthless” half-finished film and $1.four million in debt. 

Bird, who’d beforehand labored as a author and producer on exhibits resembling Step By Step and Touched By an Angel, described the state of affairs as “devastating” and stated he thought of quitting showbiz totally. Landon was equally discouraged by the setback, he instructed Deseret News. 

The timing was proper for ‘When Calls the Heart’

Pascale Hutton, Kavan Smith, Erin Krakow in When Calls the HeartPascale Hutton, Kavan Smith, Erin Krakow in When Calls the Heart
Pascale Hutton, Kavan Smith, and Erin Krakow in When Calls the Heart | ©2020 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ricardo Hubbs

For some time, it appeared just like the When Calls the Heart film may by no means see the sunshine of day. But after some encouragement from his pastor, Bird determined not to surrender. Four years later, he and Landon had a accomplished movie. The timing was good, it turned out. 

“Had we been able to finish it in 2008, it would have been a nice little ‘one-off’ movie,” Bird defined. But by the point the movie aired, Hallmark Channel was including authentic TV collection to its programming lineup.

“But as a result of we went by way of, and survived, that four-year crucible, by 2013 Hallmark was considering coming into the one-hour TV collection business, and When Calls the Heart the film examined so properly, they requested us if we’d be keen to do six episodes,” Bird defined.

The relaxation, as they are saying, is historical past. 

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