WHEN CALLS THE HEART Co-Creator Calls Show ‘A Good Force In The World’

WHEN CALLS THE HEART airs on the Hallmark Channel. ©2020 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ricardo Hubbs

WHEN CALLS THE HEART Co-Creator Calls Show ‘A Good Force In The World’

By Movieguide® Contributor

WHEN CALLS THE HEART co-creator Brian Bird recently discussed the impact the show has on viewers and why he’s not afraid to tell stories that don’t always make the audience feel good.

“We think that it’s a good force in the world that this show is here,” Bird said during an interview with the Daily Planet. “In a culture [and] a world with so few shows that do what this show does, it would be horrible not to have it.”

He continued, “I love what we’ve done with the show. I love what the show is. We’re not perfect, but I think we’re pretty good at it. It truly is a show that had to struggle to survive, and the origin story of this show [is] harrowing…it was never really supposed to be here, but it is. The fact that there is now this massive community of people that call themselves Hearties and ten seasons plus of the show — for me, it’s like a big miracle, and I don’t take that for granted.”

Bird also talked about not being afraid to take risks with the stories they tell on WHEN CALLS THE HEART, especially if it’s something the fans might not want to see. 

“I don’t want to offer people what they want,” he explained. “We want to give them — and we do give them — what they want most of the time…but we also want to give them what they need. We want to give people what could be good for them, and if they would stop to consider, ‘What can I take away from this? What can I learn about my own life through these storylines?’”

Bird continued, “For me, that’s more important than just the light and fluffy…escapism. It can’t all be escapism, and I understand why. People nowadays, with all that’s going on in our world, just want to sit and watch something that makes them feel good [but]….sometimes we have to do the right thing and take them through a bit of a crucible.”

Bird is continuing to tell complicated, feel-good stories through his new partnership with UPtv. 

“During these very cynical and divided times, when most other platforms are offering their audiences a diet of razor blades and broken glass, we are committed to offering uplifting and values-based ‘soul food’ to UPtv’s loyal audience,” Bird said of his relationship with UPtv. “In this age of a thousand TV shows all clamoring for attention, it’s impossible to break through the noise without passionate fans to help spread the love. When everywhere else on TV there are only zombies and vampires and crystal meth dealers 24-7/365, it leaves a massively undeserved audience starved for uplifting content. And when you bring them what they are hungry for, it’s a very simple exchange: they love you back.”

Bird has also spoken about how long he wants WHEN CALLS THE HEART to run, telling fans at the 2023 “Hearties Family Reunion” event, “As I’ve said many times over the last decade, you Hearties are the reason for the show. I think one of the big reasons that the show is still going strong is all of you, and I believe that long after the show has ended its run—which we hope is many, many seasons from now; we’re going to try to catch up with THE SIMPSONS, which is in season 42 or something like that, so you got a ways to go (but) we’re going to try…you will still be here.”

Movieguide® previously reported on WHEN CALLS THE HEART’s 10-year anniversary:

We’re celebrating the tenth anniversary of WHEN CALLS THE HEART with some fun facts about the popular show.

It might surprise some fans to know that WHEN CALLS THE HEART was originally a movie. The 2013 movie starred Maggie Grace, Jean Smart and Stephen Amell, with Lori Loughlin playing Abigail in both the movie and the show. 

WHEN CALLS THE HEART was initially meant to film in Colorado but switched locations to Vancouver after it “outgrew the state of Colorado’s film incentive program,” per the Denver Business Journal. 

When it comes to the beloved characters on WHEN CALLS THE HEART, no one knows them better than the cast, which is why Daniel Lissing and Erin Krakow asked the showrunners if they could write Jack Thornton and Elizabeth Thatcher’s wedding vows. 

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