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Hallmark: Could Erin Krakow Leave When Calls The Heart?

Hallmark star Erin Krakow on When Calls the Heart season 10
Photo: Erin Krakow Credit: ©2022 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: David Dolsen

A new interview with the co-creator and executive producer of When Calls the Heart hints at a possible future on the show without Erin Krakow. As one of the most popular characters in the series, the thought of Krakow leaving would be heartbreaking. Could the Hallmark Channel show continue without its lead character?

Is Erin Krakow leaving When Calls the Heart?

A recent interview with When Calls the Heart’s co-creator and executive producer, Brian Bird, hints at what the show would be like without Erin Krakow.

As fans know, her role in the series is partly the reason why the series is one of Hallmark’s favorites. It is hard to imagine the series without her strong lead character. However, speaking to, Bird hints at a possible future of the show should Krakow leave. Could the series survive should Elizabeth Thornton leave Hope Valley?

When Calls the Heart Season 10
Photo: Erin Krakow, Hyland Goodrich, Chris McNally  Credit: ©2022 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: David Dolsen

“I do [think it could survive],” Bird said. “Not that I would ever want to have to do that or that any of us would ever want to have to do that. 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’s history on WCTH

Krakow first became popular on the Lifetime TV drama series, Army Wives, where she played Specialist Tanya Gabriel from 2010 to 2012. In 2014, she joined When Calls the Heart in the role as Elizabeth Thornton, a role played by Poppy Drayton in the original movie on which the series is based.

Erin Krakow and Brendan Penny in The Wedding Cottage on Hallmark
The Wedding Cottage Photo: Erin Krakow, Brendan Penny Credit: ©2023 Hallmark Media/Photographer: David Strongman

However, besides When Calls the Heart, Erin has grown in popularity with roles in Hallmark movies. Among the romance movies, fans have watched Krakow in Sense, Sensibility & Snowmen, The Wedding Cottage and It Was Always You.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, the subject of Krakow came up in Hallmark Media’s presentation at the Television Critics Association’s winter session. An announcement was made that the actress will reunite with her former When Calls the Heart co-star, Daniel Lissing, in a new Christmas movie, Santa Tell Me.

Knowing how popular Krakow is becoming, Bird did hint at what When Calls the Heart would be like without its female lead. He did emphasize that “the biggest star of the show is the community,” adding:

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. And I do believe that the show could continue if we had to by morphing, if necessary.

The producer referred to Lissing’s exit after season 5 to show that the series can move forward and continue without a major character. Hearties will recall that Lissing played Elizabeth’s lover and husband, Jack Thornton on the show before his character was killed off-screen in 2015 in a Mountie training camp.

WCTH alum Daniel Lissing
Photo: Daniel Lissing  Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Eike Schroter

Bird explained that Daniel wanted to move on after season 5 and how hard it was for them. However, he said it was a “God bless you, Dan. We want you to thrive. We want you to pursue all the dreams of your heart.”

The When Calls the Heart producer said that they would never hold anyone back if they felt there were other things they wanted or needed to do, adding:

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.

When Calls the Heart returns for season 11, with Erin Krakow, on Sunday, April 7, at 9 pm ET on Hallmark Channel.


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