I love a good period drama, so it always makes me happy to see one of these kinds of series doing well. Hallmark Channel's When Calls the Heart is one of the latest period dramas that seems to be captivating audiences. But as the series approaches its Season 4 finale on Sunday, April 23 at 9 p.m. ET, I have to wonder if When Calls the Heart will return for Season 5.
UPDATE: Deadline reports that WCTH has officially been picked up for Season 5. The premiere date has not yet been announced.
EARLIER: I have to ask this question because Hallmark Channel has yet to announce whether or not it will be renewing When Calls the Heart for another season. However, I'm pretty confident that there will be more When Calls the Heart in the future.
First of all, When Calls the Heart's ratings have only continued to grow each season. The series' Season 3 finale had a 2.6 household rating and 3 million total viewers, making it the highest-rated episode in the show's history, according to Deadline. When Calls the Heart's 2016 Christmas special garnered a 2.9 household rating and 3.7 million total viewers. I think the numbers for When Calls the Heart's Season 4 finale are going to be big, and no network should want to cancel a series with this kind of showing.
Plus, When Calls the Heart seems to have cultivated a passionate fan base. There's even a name for this fandom: Hearties. That's when you know you've made it. Hallmark Channel wouldn't break the hearts of Hearties the world over by canceling When Calls the Heart, right?
Without an official greenlight from the Hallmark Channel, there's really no telling when this series will return for Season 5 if it is granted one. However, most new seasons of this series have premiered in January or February in the past, so I think it's likely that When Calls the Heart will return with new episodes in Winter 2018, if Hallmark Channel does, in fact, order more episodes.
What intrigues me the most about When Calls the Heart is that it's a period drama that's not set in the United Kingdom or in medieval Europe, where most series of this type seem to take place. No, When Calls the Heart is set in the fictional town of Hope Valley in Western Canada. So yes, there are Mounties in this series, and it is glorious. As much as I love British period dramas (Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife are two of my favorite TV shows of all time), When Calls the Heart proves that there are plenty of places around the world whose history deserves to be explored again.
The first three seasons of When Calls the Heart are available for your perusal on Netflix if you'd like. Or, if you're looking for something similar yet different, you can check out one of these period dramas not based in the U.K. currently streaming now.
One of the strongest period dramas set in the United States right now is Mercy Street, a series that explores the Civil War's effect on those living and working in and around the Mansion House Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. PBS has found a uniquely gripping way to tell the story of one of the most chaotic times in American history. You can stream Seasons 1 and 2 on Amazon now.
If you look just to the east of the U.K., you'll find a fascinating Irish period drama called Rebellion, whose first season is available to stream on Netflix. The series explores the creation of modern Ireland as three women and their families choose sides in the Easter Rising revolt against British rule in 1916. Rebellion is full of action, drama, and it really makes you think about what it means to be loyal.
'The Time In Between'
The Time in Between is so epic, it's hard to believe it's a TV series and not a movie. The Spanish series, whose first season is available to stream on Netflix, follows the journey of a dressmaker who moves from Madrid to Morocco for love, loses everything, and then becomes a spy for the Allies. This sweeping series is sure to enthrall you.
Juana Ines has everything I want in a period drama: gorgeous costumes and scenery, based on history, and loaded with scandal. This Mexican series, whose first season is available to stream on Netflix, depicts the life of real-life 17th-century feminist nun Juana Ines de la Cruz. Once you watch Juana Ines, you'll be dying to know even more about this historical figure.
Velvet, whose first three seasons are available to stream on Netflix, is a romantic period drama about an heir to a fashion house who falls in love with one of the company's seamstresses in 1950s Spain. But it's not all sunshine and lollipops for the couple. The heir's well-to-do family isn't so pleased that he's dating one of their employees. And the drama ensues!
Generation War, whose first season is available to stream on Netflix, is about how World War II impacts five friends from Berlin, turning their worlds upside down and tearing them apart. How could anything be the same for these friends after they experience the hardships and atrocities of war?
For a peek at what life was like for women on the North American homefront during World War II, look no further than Bomb Girls. The Canadian series' first three seasons are available to stream on Netflix, and they follow the trials and tribulations of a group of women working in a munitions plant. Their lives may not be as glamorous as those images of Rosie the Riveter make it seem, but Bomb Girls comes pretty close.
For a series that's a bit more rugged and a lot more Australian, might I suggest you check out Wild Boys, whose first season is available to stream on Hulu. The series follows a gang of bushrangers that stages hold-ups of carriages and the like. This show is wild in every sense of the word.
Hopefully, once you've finished checking out all of these series, a new season of When Calls the Heart will be waiting for you.