Kavan Smith Reveals ‘Perfect’ Final WCTH Christmas Movie That Was Never Made

"When Calls the Heart" almost had another Christmas movie.

Hallmark/Heavy "When Calls the Heart" almost had another Christmas movie.

Kavan Smith, who plays Lee on “When Calls the Heart,” sat down for a podcast interview with Suspenders Unbuttoned and shared a number of behind-the-scenes stories about the series. He revealed that one final Christmas movie had been written, but it never made it into production.

The Christmas Movie Was ‘Perfect’ But ‘Too on the Nose’

When Calls the Heart” used to air a movie every Christmas night, but the special episode hasn’t been part of the lineup for years now. In a podcast interview with Suspenders Unbuttoned Media, Smith revealed that they almost made one  final movie, but it was never actually filmed.

His revelation comes around 48 minutes into the interview. First, he explains that the movies had to fit within the series, but also serve as standalone films.

“We all love doing them [the Christmas movies]…” he began. “[But] we were really limited by what you could shoot because it had to fit within the context of the show.”

He said a script was written for one last movie that he thought was the best script for the show he’d read. It wasn’t related to any season’s plot development, so it was a true standalone film.

“There was one version that we never ended up shooting, but it was a script that I won’t go into…” he began. “It was the best idea for any script I’d ever seen on ‘When Calls,’ bar none… And it was perfect in that it could be injected, we could make a Christmas movie and it had nothing to do with seasons. It could be completely outside the universe… And in the end, my understanding was that the network thought that it was too on the nose I guess. I forget exactly why they turned it down. And that was going to be the last Christmas show.”

So yes, Hearties almost got one last Christmas movie.

“So the last one we did, we were going to do one more which was going to be this,” he recalled. “And I’ll keep it quiet because it might still be something that could be resurrected… But it was a great idea. I read the idea, I read the bullet points of how they were going to shoot it, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is a great idea.’ Sadly it didn’t happen.”

The Christmas movies that have aired in the past for “When Calls the Heart” included “Home for Christmas,” “The Christmas Wishing Tree,” and “When Calls the Heart Christmas.” Between season 2 and season 3, Hallmark aired a New Year’s themed “When Calls the Heart” movie called “New Year’s Wish.” In 20198, Hallmark aired its last holiday special, “The Greatest Christmas Blessing,” which introduced characters for the “When Hope Calls” spinoff. It was also the movie where Little Jack was born.

Although it’s not a Hearties movie, Daniel Lissing and Erin Krakow will star in a Hallmark Christmas movie during this 2024 holiday season.

Smith Also Thinks the Show Should Have More Episodes in a Season

Since the Christmas films stopped being made, Hallmark has increased the number of episodes in a season of “When Calls the Heart” to 12. The network also has sometimes hosted Hearties specials on Christmas Day that showed sneak peeks of the upcoming season.

Smith said he’s advocated for having four more episodes in each season. He thinks the current number of 12 just isn’t quite enough.

“If they did four more episodes, that would be another month and a half of shows,” he said. “And that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is…”

A ‘When Hope Calls’ Christmas Special Aired in 2021

Brian Bird, co-creator and executive producer for “When Calls the Heart,” made a Hearties Christmas movie in 2021 that aired on Great American Family rather than Hallmark. The special aired on December 18. Lori Loughlin revived her role as Abigail for the spinoff, and Daniel Lissing revived his role as Jack, but in the form of a ghost. He had a bittersweet message for Abigail that he wanted passed on to Elizabeth.

The movie (which technically aired as back-to-back episodes called “A Country Christmas,”) was part of the When Calls the Heart spinoff, “When Hope Calls,” which was picked up by Great American Family. A second season of the spinoff has yet to air.

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