Heartland’s fans - simply the best

Posted on Mar 30, 2017

Well, now that we have wrapped up another season in Canada with the good news that there will be an 11th season this fall on CBC (late Sept or early Oct; when I know you will know), we enter the period known as the doldrums of inactivity. No new episodes are being broadcast and no new episodes are being shot.

Of course that all changes in forty (40, count 'em) days when on May 9 the cameras will once again start rolling. Those cameras will be active through late in the fall, capturing eighteen (yup, 18 again) new episodes to continue the saga of television's favourite family drama.

For those keeping count with us, the eighteen episodes will mean that by season 11's end there will be 193 episodes of the longest running one-hour drama in Canadian television history. I think that's pretty impressive, don't you?

But I've said this before and I hope to be saying it again - no amount of great scriptwriting, acting, directing, effects, horses and scenery can make a series last as long as Heartland has. For longevity a series needs a following of dedicated fans, and that's who I am going to tip my hat to in today's blog.

The series' over half-million followers on social media (1/3 of a million plus on Facebook, soon to be 100,000 on both Twitter and Instagram) are the greatest group of fans a series like Heartland could ask for. Every day we read and hear of fans turning more people on to Heartland. Yes, eleven years on this series is still a growing concern.

Everyone gets asked what the secret is to the show's success. First and foremost it has to be great stories which are well told. And Heartland's stories are ones that families can relate to. When "Coming Home," the very first episode aired, Amy Fleming was 15-years old, and Ty Borden was not much older. Now they are married with a baby and Georgie will be 15 this year during season 11.

New stories will always be told, but at the core is family. Many fans lament that there are not enough good and decent family series out there. Everyone at Heartland is happy to be filling that need.

Heartland's tales are multi generational ones that allow the characters to grow and mature as the seasons pass. For many fans there is a magic in this. It's been a long road and one that so many fans continue to travel along with the cast & crew who are so proud to be producing the international hit which Heartland has become.

Personally I hope it continues for a long time, but the reality of television dictates that each season is renewed one year at a time. So again the challenge is on. But as sure as I know everyone will strive to make Heartland the best it can be I know the fans will be there to follow the characters - both the people and the horses as they continue this epic journey.

So, on behalf of everyone associated with Heartland, from the producers, the directors, the writers, the cast and all the talented craftspeople who work hard behind the scenes, as well as the CBC who make it possible for all these seasons, a huge THANK YOU to all our fans.

The series cannot shine without you and thanks to all of you, it continues to shine brightly.

Most of you will know that in the last week of September 800 fans turned up to be extras as an audience in an episode (1012 - "Sound of Silence"). Heartland's intrepid photographer - Andrew Bako - took some photos of the crowd which were never used, but I thought if you were there on the day with the crew you might want to see if you can see yourself, so crowd scenes it is today!

There are also three photos of lead actor Amber Marshall talking to the crowd while on Spartan. Amber was wrapped on the day, but happily entertained the fans in between the takes. Also the last photo shows director Norma Bailey checking out a shot from the stands.

Now a brief note to our fans in the United States. Netflix has permission to add seasons 8 and 9 in two days, on April 1. If they are not up then, feel free to hound them. And season 10 will broadcast in the U.S.A. on UP starting Sunday, April 23. There will be two new episodes every Sunday for nine weeks.

Back in Canada expect the season 10 DVDs to go on sale around the time season 11 begins airing on CBC.

And you horse lovers in the Toronto area - I'm sure you know there is a Can-Am All Breed Equine Expo Horse Fair and Country Lifestyle Show at the Markham Fairgrounds on March 31, April 1 & 2. That starts tomorrow. What you might not know is that Heartland's Georgie - Alisha Newton - will be there for an hour-long live Q & A on Sunday, April 2 at 12:30pm in the main arena. Alisha will also be co-hosting the Saturday Evening Extravaganza, starting at 7:00pm. Click here for more information.

So that's it for me, friends and fans. I'm just happy to be your friendly Blog Whisperer for yet another season, meaning I'll be posting new stuff every single Thursday this year. I mean really, why should 2017 be any different than 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013...etc?

You won't want to miss my future ramblings. You'll be entertained, will learn stuff and who knows... one of you might have a hand in giving a certain nugget a first name.

I'll be back one week from today. In the meanwhile I shall remain, as I always am, obediently yours.