The Hallmark Channel is continuing its beloved tradition of bringing the characters of When Calls the Heart to the screen on Christmas Day with the announcement of the series' sixth annual extended-length holiday special, airing as part of the network's Countdown to Christmas 2020 event.
The plot for the film has yet to be released, but Hallmark confirms that When Calls the Heart actors Erin Krakow, Pascale Hutton, Kavan Smith, Chris McNally, Kevin McGarry, Paul Greene, Andrea Brooks, Martin Cummins, and Jack Wagner (ex-Frisco Jones, General Hospital; ex-Nick Morone, The Bold and the Beautiful) will all take part. The special is assumed to air on Christmas Day, as the last four When Calls the Heart Christmas specials have done.
Last year's special, titled When Calls the Heart: Home for Christmas, was the most-watched WCTH special ever, attracting nearly five million viewers. The film followed Elizabeth (Erin Krakow), who was excited to celebrate Christmas with her son, Little Jack, as well as his first birthday on Christmas Eve. But the holiday season wasn't all holly and jolly, as Elizabeth missed Jack Sr. (Daniel Lissing) as she tried to create a Christmas for her son that was as special as the holidays she experienced while growing up. Lucas put on a show for the town that transformed Main Street into a magical German Christmas Festival. Rosemary (Pascale Hutton) and Lee (Kavan Smith) were there to support Elizabeth at every turn but also obsessed over their own challenge of coming up with the perfect Christmas present for Little Jack. In contrast, Bill (Wagner) knew exactly what he intended to give his godson -- but anxiety abounded when he misplaced the gift. Meanwhile, Carson (Paul Greene) and Faith (Andrea Brooks) got their signals crossed as they tried to spend their first Christmas together as a couple.
July has been an exciting month for fans of When Calls the Heart. In addition to announcing the series' upcoming Christmas special, Hallmark also began production on the eighth season of the popular drama. When Calls the Heart normally films in the fall, but filming is taking place early this year due to COVID-19; starting production now, in the warmer months, allows most of the filming to take place outside.
Wagner took to Instagram earlier this week to share that he was flying to Vancouver to start work on the upcoming season.
"Heading to start S8 of 'When Calls the Heart' beyond Grateful," he wrote. "Please be safe & take care. Sending a Ton of Love to all!!"
WCTH star Erin Krakow recently spoke with ET and revealed some of the COVID-19 safety measures that the series has implemented.
"We're operating in pods, [meaning] teams of people generally in the same department, and will be working to avoid crossover between them as much as possible," she says. "We're aiming to film scenes outdoors as much as possible. And yes, masks for everyone but the actors in scenes."
Despite production shutdowns and quarantine, Krakow says When Calls the Heart has "managed to stay pretty well on track" when it comes to their shooting schedule.
"We're actually starting relatively early this year to take advantage of some of Vancouver's gorgeous summer weather," she shares. "As far as I know season eight will be back on your screens in early 2021."
What do you think about Hallmark scheduling its sixth annual When Calls the Heart Christmas special? What hopes do you have for the series' upcoming eighth season, which is currently in production with coronavirus safety measures in place? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.