The episode titled “Phone Rings and Heartstrings” delivered a 2.9 household rating, 3.1 million total viewers, and 449,000 women 25-54 in Live+3, per Nielsen. It ranked as cable’s No. 2 original scripted series of the week, trailing only AMC’s The Walking Dead, and No. 3 in 2019 thus far in households and total viewers.
It also fueled Hallmark Channel to be the highest-rated and most-watched cable network during weekend prime among households and total viewers and during weekend total day among households in L+3, the network said. The episode aired against the Academy Awards in much of the country.
Based on the book by Janette Oke, When Calls the Heart centers on Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young woman from a wealthy family who moves to the small town of Hope Valley to be the new teacher. There, she is welcomed by the townsfolk. When she meets the local Mounted Police Officer Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing), she begins to fall in love — not only with him, but with her new lifestyle. Pascale Hutton, Lori Loughlin, Jack Wagner, Kavan Smith and Paul Greene also star.
In the season premiere, Elizabeth returns to teaching after taking time off to care for her new baby but soon realizes she needs more support than she could have imagined. Meanwhile, Abigail (Loughlin) prepares for the arrival of the telephone to Hope Valley, whose residents try to adjust to the changing times while still maintaining the small-town bonds that connect them.
A two-hour When Calls the Heart holiday special on Christmas Day was the most-watched scripted telecast on cable by a mile during the last week of 2018, drawing 4.8 million viewers in L+3.