Heartland - the family drama that made it big

Posted on Jul 3, 2014

A couple days ago, I got an email from a friend of mine. Apparently he had friends in Namibia and he saw on one of their Facebook pages that a quote and photo from Heartland was posted. He thought the producers of this series would be fascinated that Heartland was being watched halfway around the world... and I agree!!

In a way it still gives everyone who works on the series pause for thought that there's ardent Heartland fans in places like Latvia, Finland, Japan, New Zealand, Israel and Iran. And of course Namibia, in Africa.

But really it's fitting that a show as good as Heartland - one of the rare dramas being made today that can be watched by families without having to be pre-screened - has caught on internationally. Now watched in over half of the world’s countries (and counting) the series strikes a chord with families around the globe who want to watch good family entertainment.

Heartland has become television’s favourite family series.

Seven years ago one of the actors on the series - who shall go unnamed - when told a US broadcaster was being sought, said no American network will touch the series, because Americans don’t want to watch anything other than what they themselves produce. It took a while, but now UPtv - one of the few growing television networks in the US - is exclusively broadcasting the series in the US and is turning fans on to Heartland every week when they air on Wednesday evenings.

And as for our American fans, the only complaint I see regularly in here, and via Twitter and Facebook is when they lament the fact that there’s no show like it made in the US.

So as the cast and crew take a well earned week off, enabling the out-of-town residents to return home and spend some time with friends and loved ones, I just thought I’d reflect on the accomplishments of the series:

  • 8 seasons, totalling 139 episodes, making it the longest running one-hour drama in Canadian television history ("Street Legal" had 124 episodes over 8 seasons)
  • The series is licensed in 119 countries
  • In October Heartland will celebrate its 1,000th day of production

Not bad for what a producer (no one on Heartland!) - once referred to as “your little horsey show.”

To borrow a phrase from a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, “Some horsey. Some show!”

Heartland is fortunate to be filmed in and around Calgary, Alberta, where you don’t have to travel far to see some beautiful horses. So because so many of you love horses, I thought I'd share a photo of one. The other photos are of an eagle and a wolf-dog cross that will appear in a season 8 episode. And the Canada goose? No, it does not appear in the series, but it was Canada Day this past Tuesday, so I thought I’d tip my hat to a bird with our country’s name in it.

Next Thursday I’ll be back with more information on production, which will resume on Monday. And of course on Tuesday I’ll have another Time Killer to tax your brain power. It’s what your favourite Blog Whisperer does… year round.

Until then I remain, as always - obediently yours.

BW