We’ve entered the 5 weeks of Nothing

Posted on Apr 11, 2013

The wait it on

Well Heartlanders, for 47 weeks of the year, Heartland is either being filmed, or is airing on Sunday nights... but for the next 5 weeks or so, I call it the "Month of Nothing." For now, all we have is each other. [Click through for news on what to expect from our friends at Heartland over the next little while]

Until the cameras start rolling on Monday, May 13 on episodes 701 and 702, things on the Heartland set are pretty quiet. This year, production will last until December with fans catching the first episodes of season 7 in the fall. When I have the exact date, I'll let everyone know, along with posting news and answering questions every Thursday, right through the year.

For the last two years I've also put up Timekiller Mondays, which contained trivia, puzzles and challenges for you to tackle. I think I'll do that again this year, except on Tuesdays, so come back and take a look then!

Now before I get into Season 7 (and because I haven't seen any scripts I can only come up with generalities), let's talk a little about the season 6 finale.

I warned you that we were going to have quite the cliffhanger, and Tim cradling Jack as fireworks went off behind them at the ranch was certainly that.

When he first received the script for 618, Director Dean Bennett sketched this drawing, envisioning how he wanted the last shot of the episode to look --

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And of course this is how it wound up looking --

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Let no one say that Dean Bennett does not have vision!

Now having read the hundreds of comments that have appeared on Heartland on CBC's Facebook page as well on the blog and community pages on this site... the first thing that jumps out is how much everyone loves Jack Bartlett. The thought of the patriarch leaving the series has some of you downright upset to the point of frightening your humble servant. But let me tell you, there is nothing I love reading more than comments from passionate fans, and much of the time I share your views.

Interestingly, some of you have wondered if the fight between Jack and Tim, as depicted in these never before seen photos -

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-- contributed to this --

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We'll have to see what the writers come up with... I'm sure it'll be worth the wait.

Speaking of being worth the wait, at this time last year everyone was up in arms that Ty never got around to popping the question before the end of the season, but from the glowing reviews episodes 609 and 610 received, I think that too was worth the wait, no?

The amazing thing I'm noting is that the "Will we be seeing Amy & Ty get married in Season 7" questions have vanished in light of the groundswell of concern for Jack. It's nice to see that everyone realizes how Heartland is made for the whole family, and it's not just about Amy & Ty.

As most of you are aware, the big change to Heartland this past season was the addition of Alisha Newton as Georgie --

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Being a family show, Heartland had to add someone as Amy and even Mallory had grown up over the past 6 years and a new character was needed to engage younger viewers. Georgie has done that, and we can look forward to more of her in Heartland's new season.

Speaking of Alisha, I am happy to report that her performance as Georgie Crawley in Heartland has earned her a prestigious Young Artist Award Nomination in the category of Supporting Young Actress, Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama). She is up against Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams from HBO's "Game of Thrones," Madison Lintz from AMC's "The Walking Dead," Isabella Cramp from ABC's "The Neighbors" and Taylor Blackwell from Starz Network's "Magic City."

It was nine years ago that Amber Marshall received a Young Artist nomination for her portrayal of the title character in "The Elizabeth Smart Story." Because that was pre-Heartland I couldn't encourage all of you to wish Amber good luck, but I can speak for all of us and we can all wish Alisha good luck when the awards are handed out on May 5 in Studio City, California.

And now on to Season 7!

Heather Conkie and her writing team - Leila Basen, David Preston, Mark Haroun and Ken Craw have been writing up a storm. The scripts are now being written for the first half of the season and I'm told there are many interesting things happening. Of course there'll be horse stories and things will happen that none of us ever expected.

A couple of things I want to prepare you for without going into too much detail (Remember I'm still doing great at my New Year's resolution to not reveal too much!).

If you're a painter you can take a blank canvas and - assuming you have a full set of colours - paint whatever you want. If you want to add more red you can. If you want it all to be bathed in green that is entirely up to the painter.

If you're writing a television series, your scripts are like the canvas, but your choice of colours are not always yours to make. Sometimes actors become unavailable for various reasons, and even though you may have wanted to have a certain actor hang around, circumstances may force changes in the story lines upon you. That's all I'm going to write on that.

I know Heather and her team will come up with the best stories they can, and come September we'll all be rejoicing once the new season starts.

The cliffhanger at the end of 609 - Georgie trapped in the barn and Phoenix on the loose - was carried on right where it left off when 610 aired.

Just to give you a heads up, 701 will be filmed in May, so there'll be no snow on the ground and which means there will have to have been some time that has passed between the end of 618 and the start of 701. Prepare yourself for some interesting goings on!

However, don't expect me to answer everyone's most asked question. We're all going to have to wait until the Season premiere in the fall.

Incidentally, I'm told eOne will be releasing the DVD sets for Season 6 of Heartland to coincide with Season 7's launch on CBC. Dare I say synergy? :)

If you're a US fan of Heartland, GMCtv is the exclusive broadcaster of Heartland and right now they're playing Season 4 and they plan to follow that up by directly going into Season 5. In the US Heartland is aired by GMCtv on Wednesday evenings.

I said a lot and I didn't get around to specific questions, although I'm sure I addressed many questions in all that I have written above.

So no new Heartland this Sunday, but in under 5 weeks the cameras will start rolling at the ranch. We will be getting sneak peeks through photographs, short videos, 6 second Vine posts and of course Twitter. In some ways it'll be like you are there, but of course not TOO much will be revealed, for the Blog Whisperer has a reputation to protect. Heh, heh.

Speaking of being on set, congratulations to Carmen Baum, who'll be flying out sometime over the next few months and meeting the cast and spending a day on the set of Heartland and enjoy a visit that she'll never forget.

That's it for this week. Be good, and have fun and we'll keep in touch... A LOT over the next few months!

I remain, obediently yours,