Niall Matter’s Role on ‘When Calls the Heart’ Was Cut Short Before Season 5

Crown Media Niall Matter in Country at Heart.

Niall Matter, who co-stars with Candace Cameron Bure in the Aurora Teagarden series, once starred in another Hallmark series too. He had a role on Season 4 of When Calls the Heart, but was mysteriously dropped from the show.

Matter Said He Had Planned to be on the Show Longer, But Was Dropped Before Season 5


Matter’s played Shane Cantrell, who was added to the lineup in Season 4 and then mysteriously dropped before Season 5 premiered. Shane Cantrell ended up being a love interest for Faith, who had been added to the cast two seasons earlier. He was a widower with a young son and a tough past that he was trying to get over.

Matter spoke with My Devotional Thoughts in November 2017 about how his character had been dropped from the series. He said he was disappointed that he wasn’t brought back on to the show too, adding that he had planned to be on the show for quite some time.

I was signed on to do the show, and I planned on being around for awhile, but for whatever reason, my character was no longer needed on the show. At least at this point. But I will say I’m not opposed to ever returning to the show if they need me. I would love to do it again. I’m not sure why this happens with shows sometimes, but I will say I loved my time on When Calls the Heart.

He Joined ‘Aurora Teagarden’ the Next Year

Matter said in his 2017 interview with My Devotional Thoughts: “I wish I was going to be there for season five, but I will say I still love doing these movies with Hallmark, and hopefully we can work together more in the future.”

Matter’s wish was certainly granted, since he’s been on numerous projects with Hallmark since his character was dropped.

In fact, the next year in 2018, he starred in his first Aurora Teagarden movie series.

The Actor Who Played His Son Stayed on the Show After He Left


Even though Matter left, the actor who played his character’s son stayed on the show for quite some time. Matter’s last episode was in 2017, Heart of a Secret. Liam Hughes, who played his son Philip Cantrell, stayed on the show for seven more episodes. His last episode was in 2018, Love and Marriage. Many fans have said that his storyline was left unresolved.

In Matter’s Last Episode, His Character Shared a Kiss with Faith


On Matter’s last When Calls the Heart episode, his character shared a kiss with Faith. My Devotional Thoughts shared that some viewers thought their romance had moved too fast as compared to other characters, like Jack and Elizabeth.

Matter said:

When I asked, I was told that Shane had begun showing interest in her, and even though he had a few episodes off right before, I just went for it. So I don’t know what the plans were for this romance, but since I’m not back, I can say that romance is no more. Andrea (Brooks) and I were both excited about exploring where the romance was going to go, but at this point, it’s not going anywhere. And that’s just the way things happen sometimes.

In October, Lauralyn of Heartstrings and Hallmark Things wrote a purely speculative piece where she posited that perhaps Shane’s character was brought on right before Jack left to test the waters with Elizabeth. She surmised that Faith would ultimately realize Carson was her one true love, leaving Shane single again. She pointed out that Matter and Erin Krakow starred in the Father Christmas series together and had great chemistry. Since one of Elizabeth’s current love interests is a man raising a child as a single “dad” (much like Shane), she’s wondering if Shane’s storyline was ultimately turned into Nathan’s storyline. It’s an intriguing theory, to be sure.

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