Monday December 25 8:00 PM / 7:00c
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Episode 3002 - Troubled Hearts
From the Production Journal of Brian Bird, Executive Producer of When Calls the Heart

Wow, I just finished giving my notes on Derek Thompson’s wonderful script, “Troubled Hearts,” which goes into production tomorrow, and I just keep pinching myself. How did we get here? Season 3… really? It’s something I could not have dreamed about years ago when Michael Landon Jr. and I were struggling to get “When Calls the Heart” off the ground. Derek’s script will be Episode 1 of the third season, and behind us we have a 2-hour pilot movie in 2013, 22 hours of episodes across the first two seasons, plus now a Holiday “New Year’s Wish” movie in the can, which I can’t wait for the fans to see. I have to say, this is all very humbling. This is such a competitive, cut-throat business, and to think we have a TV series on the verge of becoming a mainstream hit… well, I could just pass from this life a very happy, fulfilled man. (But I’m going to try not to for at least a few more years ).

The truth is, there is so much to be grateful for… our partners at Hallmark Channel who believed in us when nobody else did. Our amazing cast, including Lori Loughlin, Erin Krakow, Daniel Lissing, Jack Wagner and so many others. Our incredible, intrepid Vancouver crew who can work anybody under the table in every kind of weather (you hear that postmen?). Our gifted Season 3 writers, led by Robin Bernheim, Paul Jackson and Derek Thompson. And finally, the #Hearties, the most amazing fan group in the history of Television. My last name is Bird, so I can get away with using the cliché lyric that the Hearties are the wind beneath our wings. I am thrilled that many of them will soon be making a trek here to Hope Valley to have a reunion with us, to experience this fictional town which represents so many, very real values that they love and aspire to. In my mind, the 29,000 or so Hearties who have officially signed up to be our No. 1 fans on Facebook – and the hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) more “Hearties-to-be” are the reason for this show now. We are making it for them because we know there are many more like them in this culture of zombies and vampires who are starving for stories like the ones we are telling.

Which reminds me… thank you, thank you, thank you, Hearties, for speaking your mind about what you liked (and didn’t like) in Seasons 1 and 2. Your opinions matter. We heard you loud and clear, and I guarantee what we filmed in a “New Year’s Wish” and what I just read from Derek Thompson you are going to love, love, love. If you don’t, well, I hope you’ll watch anyway. And if you do, well, you are Hearties. You know what you have to do now. Season 4 anyone?

-- Brian Bird

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