When Calls The Heart Boss on Season 10 Finale & ‘Unexpected’ Season 11 Changes! – WATCH

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'WCTH' Boss on Season 10 Finale and 'Unexpected' Season 11 Changes

Elizabeth Thornton’s had a change of heart — and is Lucas in danger?! Season 10 of When Calls the Heart proved to be a rollercoaster, just as series star and co-executive producer Erin Krakow promised. In episode 11, the beloved school teacher was in tears as she came to terms with her true feelings, and respectfully broke off her engagement to Lucas just as they were set to hit the campaign trail in Capital City. Then, during Sunday’s season 10 finale, Lucas was elected governor but found himself in a bit of danger when an unknown figure unexpectedly approached him. Word travels fast, and just as it appeared Elizabeth and Nathan were about to connect, they were interrupted by Bill, who urgently called upon them to aid Lucas. So – much – drama!

Season 11 of When Calls the Heart is set to premiere on Sunday, April 7, at 9/8c and will run for 12 episodes.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead! Do not proceed if you haven’t watched Sunday’s season 10 finale of When Calls the Heart!

When Calls The Heart Boss on Season 10 Finale & ‘Unexpected’ Season 11 Changes!

ET spoke exclusively with WCTH showrunner and executive producer Lindsay Sturman via e-mail, who dished on everything from Lucas and Elizabeth growing in separation directions, to the possibility of a romance blossoming with Nathan in season 11. Plus, more on Bill’s love life, Rosemary and Lee’s next chapter as parents, Hickam and Mei Sou finally admitting feelings for one another and much more about what’s next for our favorite friends in Hope Valley.

We just watched the season 10 finale of When Calls the Heart and it was packed with major moments! Let’s start with the final moments of the episode: Bill wrangles Elizabeth and Nathan for help because something has happened to Lucas. What happened? Who flashed their car lights at him? Is the new governor OK?

Lindsay Sturman: We can assure everyone that Lucas is back for season 11. He’s a huge part of Hope Valley and always will be. But there’s definitely a cliffhanger and a few mysteries packed in there, and it will all be revealed next season.  

Before Bill came rushing in, it seemed like Nathan and Elizabeth were going to admit feelings for one another. After a lot of back and forth in episodes 11 and 12, are these two giving romance a go? What does their next chapter look like?

They are friends, and good friends have frank talks with each other. Additionally, Elizabeth is still processing everything that happened with her engagement, which was an echo of processing all the loss that followed her first wedding. Elizabeth and Nathan have each found their way back to that spot, which hearties know is significant from their past. They’re confused, and in a stew of emotion, but when Bill comes rushing in, all of their energy is focused on Lucas. 

Ultimately, why did Lucas and Elizabeth’s engagement not work out?

Everything we saw was real. The love between Elizabeth and Lucas was always real and authentic. But as the wedding drew closer, Elizabeth started to face down what this momentous step would mean for her, and as the threat to Hope Valley became more and more real, what it would mean for Little Jack?

All this is happening as Hope Valley is in peril and the world is crashing down around Lucas, Elizabeth and the rest of the town, forcing Lucas to step up to save the town. Elizabeth always knew deep down that Lucas had the capacity to be a hero, even before he saw it in himself. Their paths start to diverge as he is forced to step up onto a bigger stage to save Hope Valley, and Elizabeth realizes that the life she wants is very different. Her whole world has been, and perhaps always will be, Hope Valley.

When Calls The Heart Boss on Season 10 Finale & ‘Unexpected’ Season 11 Changes!
If Nathan and Elizabeth pursue a romance in season 11, how does that impact their individual relationships with Lucas?

Whether or not that happens in the future is hard to tell at this point, and would be in spoiler land. But no matter what, their friendship now means more to them than they ever realized.

If Lucas isn’t with Elizabeth, and he’s the newly elected governor in Capital City, does he move away, or can he remain in Hope Valley?

All we can say is Lucas is a huge part of season 11. 

There’s a very heartfelt scene where Elizabeth visits Jack’s gravesite. She says both she and Lucas deserve to find a great love. Will either of them find that “great love” in season 11? Will we see the journey towards it?

When Calls the Heart will always be a romance, but nothing is for sure. 

Henry Gowen works up the courage to finally visit Abigail. How will that moment inspire Henry’s love life moving forward?

Henry is a complicated character. Maybe one of the most complicated in Hope Valley (and on TV). His search for redemption and peace is leading him to a better place, and everything else remains to be seen. For him, Abigail was the first to forgive him, and there has been a spiritual connection he has felt with her ever since. 

Many were optimistic this season that Bill finally found love – but that ultimately ended in disappointment. Will Bill have better luck with romance in season 11?

Bill and Madeline had a unique connection, and Bill will forge new and unexpected connections in season 11.  

Watching Lee and Rosemary become parents this season was a true joy. Now that little Goldie has been baptized, what other milestone moments can we look forward to?

Lots! For hearties who hate spoilers, feel free to stop reading. For those who don’t mind spoilers, Goldie’s first steps and her first birthday might come up. 

Joseph spoke beautifully, as always, at Goldie’s baptism – really speaking from the heart. How will his ministry and Minnie’s dedication to the café and community dinners evolve into season 11? 

Joseph and Minnie will continue to offer support and comfort to all – while being tested by a challenging situation within their own extended family.  

Hickam and Mei Sou finally admitted feelings for one another and looked so happy dancing together. Will we see more of their courtship in season 11? Are they on a fast track to love?

All I can say is… stay tuned for season 11!  

We’re still thinking about our other favorite roomies: Faith and Fiona! Will they remain career-focused in season 11, or will romance knock on their doors? 

There are lots of surprises ahead for both Faith and Fiona. They will each find new, unexpected passions.

The Hearties are such a dedicated and passionate fanbase. For any Hearties who may be in their feelings about Elizabeth’s journey to romance, what’s your message?

We know the last few episodes were tough for some fans, and we are grateful for the kind messages the Hearties are sharing with each other, and the thoughtful and insightful conversations they have sparked. Elizabeth has always followed her heart, even when it isn’t easy. She’s learning to overcome old fears and open her heart to new possibilities. Hearties wouldn’t let us know their feelings, whether for or against any of our storytelling, if they didn’t care so much about Hope Valley. Very few television shows ever experience that much passion, and we will be forever grateful for it and the Hearties.

‘When Calls the Heart’ Bosses Talk Season 11 Wedding, Lucas & Lori Loughlin Return

Showrunner Lindsay Sturman and co-creator Brian Bird joined the Heart to Hearties podcast to talk about the finale and also addressed McNally’s character’s fate. 

“Doing the cliffhanger was to set [Lucas] up for more stories,” Sturman explained. “Also so viewers know he’s coming back because he’s obviously such a huge part of the show, and you wouldn’t want to think, oh, he’s in Capital City and he’s not coming back. The multiple Lucas cliffhangers were to put the pieces on the board so we know something’s coming.”

Added (and teased!) Bird, “Some very good things, too, because I’ve read ahead.”

That means we can breathe a sigh of relief that Lucas won’t be dying as a result of whatever that cliffhanger means. We can’t help but still think that he’s been injured or something has happened to him, especially since at one point during the podcast, Bird says that Lucas is “in trouble.”

It did appear that When Calls the Heart might be pivoting back to Elizabeth and Nathan — or revisiting the love triangle — with the end of her and Lucas in Season 10.

However, both Bird and Sturman stress that there were no plans to return to the love triangle in Season 10 and that instead, in these recent episodes, Elizabeth and Nathan “had gotten past the awkwardness between them and were becoming friends,” according to the co-creator. “Now, whether there’s a future for Elizabeth and Nathan, that’s to come, potentially.” For both, the season was also about her figuring things out about herself and revisiting her unresolved grief. The Season 10 finale even saw her visiting her late husband’s grave.

The other surprise of the When Calls the Heart Season 10 finale was Henry showing up at Abigail’s door.

We didn’t see her, but could we in Season 11? “This is a tricky question,” Bird acknowledged. “What I can say is that there are good conversations happening. We can’t guarantee anything, but there are good conversations happening around this topic.”

He added that Loughlin, who was written out of the Hallmark Channel series in Season 6 amidst the college admission scam for which she served two months in prison, “has assured us that she’s found some peace and she’s made it through her and her husband’s ordeal and she’s in a much better place than she was. Our attitude always has been, as the producing team around the writing team around When Calls the Heart, that what better place for second chances than Hope Valley? So in theory, it should work, right? But again, can’t fully promise it, but we’re working on it.”

Someone who will “definitely” be in Season 11 is Cummins, Sturman promised, for any fans worried he could be the next to leave.

As for what else is coming up next season, Bird teased a wedding, but added, “I’m not going to say what it is or who’s getting married.” With how much love there is in the air in Hope Valley, it could be anyone!

Navigating the Future Without Erin Krakow – Can the Community Shine Brighter?”

In the heartwarming landscape of Hope Valley, Hallmark Channel’s “When Calls the Heart” has captured the affection of audiences, largely credited to the stellar performance of Erin Krakow as the spirited Elizabeth Thornton. However, a recent revelation by the show’s co-creator and executive producer, Brian Bird, sparks curiosity about the show’s potential future without its leading lady.

In an exclusive interview with Soaps.com, Bird candidly discussed the possibility of the series surviving without Erin Krakow, emphasizing that while she is currently the linchpin of the show, the resilient community of Hope Valley could pave the way for a seamless transition. Bird stated, “We do think [Erin] is the absolute source of everything on When Calls the Heart, and we love her. We hope we don’t wear her out and tire her of this whole thing. She could be there forever as far as I’m concerned.”

Erin Krakow, who first gained recognition for her role as Specialist Tanya Gabriel in “Army Wives,” has been a vital part of the “When Calls the Heart” family since 2014, bringing Elizabeth to life. Despite her rising demand in the entertainment industry, Hallmark has managed to keep her within the family, featuring her in various romance movies like “Sense, Sensibility & Snowmen,” “It Was Always You,” and “The Wedding Cottage.”

The recent announcement of Krakow’s reunion with former co-star Daniel Lissing for the upcoming holiday movie, “Santa Tell Me,” adds a new layer to the discussion. As Bird addressed the potential absence of Krakow, he highlighted the strength of the show’s community, claiming, “the biggest star of the show is the community.”

“People have fallen in love with the community and then they have these focal points with specific characters that they’re deeply in love with,” Bird explained. “And I do believe that the show could continue if we had to by morphing, if necessary.”

Drawing parallels to Daniel Lissing’s departure after Season 5, Bird showcased the show’s adaptability, expressing support for Lissing’s decision to explore new opportunities. “This is the kind of town it is. But I do think there’s a life beyond — it’s bigger than any of the individual characters for the show.”

As “When Calls the Heart” approaches its milestone of a decade on television, the audience is left to ponder the possibility of a future without Erin Krakow. Will the enchanting community of Hope Valley be enough to carry the show forward, proving that the heart of the series is not confined to any single character? Only time will unveil the fate of this beloved Hallmark show, where love, community, and resilience take center stage.

ET INTERVIEW

“I have always liked Nathan and Elizabeth as a couple,” shared McGarry, who stars as Nathan, a Canadian Mountie with feelings for the beloved Hope Valley school teacher. “I think Nathan was created for Elizabeth.”

Nathan came to Hope Valley after the death of Elizabeth’s husband, fellow Mountie Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing). Nathan developed feelings for Elizabeth, which he expressed in season 8 — although the feelings were, at the time, unrequited. Nathan then largely remained untethered romantically, instead focusing on being a father figure to his young niece, Allie (Jaeda Lily Miller), whom he later adopted.

“I really feel like [Nathan] not finding a place, him not finding a partner, was deliberate. He was meant to kind of just wonder, while she was kind of moving forward with Lucas,” McGarry said. “I think it was always meant to be this and that they were meant to be endgame. And I really like how it’s been done.”

While Nathan has been serving as a single father to his daughter, Elizabeth has also been a single mother to her son, Jack Jr. (Hyland Goodrich), whom she welcomed after learning of her husband’s tragic death.

“I think that has always been kind of the thing that pulls them together, is that they’re on the journey with children by themselves,” McGarry shared. “And they’ve always leaned on each other to help out. We see now, in season 11, them kind of coming together and helping each other raise these kids.”

“Nothing is official. I think that would feel way too soon,” Krakow shared of the burgeoning romance. “We do want to be respectful of the fact that Elizabeth and Lucas had a very real and loving relationship. It just wasn’t, as it turns out, meant to be Elizabeth’s lifetime or Lucas’, so we are being respectful of that.”

“They’re waiting for their right moment,” Krakow teased. “And, of course, there are things that come up along the way to interrupt that. But yeah, it’s a slow burn. We’re taking our time… the first time Elizabeth and Nathan see each other [after the split], you do feel that sparks are flying. But even though those sparks are flying, they still are taking their time.”

“Nathan confessed his love in season 8. But Elizabeth doesn’t know for sure that he still has feelings for her,” she added, “and I think Nathan doesn’t want to assume that just because Elizabeth and Lucas broke up, she has feelings for him. So, it’s kind of a dance.”

With regards to Elizabeth’s relationship with Lucas, Krakow said that the split shows how much Elizabeth has come to learn about herself.

“As we’ve learned more about Elizabeth’s heart, as she has learned more about it, we’ve come to the realization that her relationship with Lucas — though beautiful and loving and respectful — it was Elizabeth choosing safe love over great love because she just couldn’t bring herself to risk losing a person that she felt like she could have that great love with,” said Krakow, who also serves as an executive producer on the long-running romantic drama. “I think she was really in denial about it for a long time, and so finally, she’s reached a point where she can be truly honest with how she’s feeling.”

“And that’s a real scary, exciting, authentic kinda love,” she added. “So I’m thrilled about it.”

As for Lucas’ take on the budding new romance between his ex and the handsome Mountie, Chris McNally tells ET, “He is still heartbroken from that separation, but I think Lucas has always maintained that he really wants the best for Elizabeth, and he really wants her to be at her happiest.”

“So if that dynamic wasn’t something that would cause her to be in her most happy state, then he doesn’t want to be a part of it,” McNally added. “He still wants her in his life. He said that, at one point, that he’d rather have her friendship than not have her around at all.”

Because of this, McNally said he doesn’t see it in Lucas’ future that he’ll try to win Elizabeth back or drive a wedge between her and Nathan.

“I think that Lucas has sort of reached the top of a mountain in his fight, and he sees, at this point, that no matter how hard he fights, you can’t change something that has something to do with the other person,” McNally shared. “So he takes a step back at this point and I think is internally struggling with being heartbroken, but at the same time, has so much empathy and compassion for Elizabeth.”

While many Hearties are looking forward to seeing how Nathan and Elizabeth develop their relationship, some were upset to see her romance with Lucas come to an end.

McGarry and Krakow, however, want fans to know that they understand that disappointment, but think that fans will like what is in store.

“Every character is inherently good on the show and just because somebody is not with somebody else, it doesn’t mean that they’re not an important character on the show,” McGarry said. “Lucas is a very big part of Hope Valley and I don’t think we’d have a show without him… [There are] multiple heartbeats on this show, you know? So, I’m sorry if anybody is hurt, but I really think the show is moving to a really beautiful place and I hope you stick around and watch it.”

“Though we are very much an ensemble show, I would encourage [fans] to think about how hard it must have been for Elizabeth to really listen to her heart and focus in on Elizabeth’s journey to finding her great love,” Krakow shared, echoing McGarry’s sentiments. “And really, I think we should be happy that she has been able to be that truthful with herself.”

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Source: ET Online / TV Insider

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