For five seasons, Daniel Lissing played Jack Thornton, a member of Royal Canadian Mounted Police, on Hallmark Channel’s When Calls the Heart. This weekend, he will once again appear in the trademark red serge jacket of a mountie. But this time, it will be on a different show on a network.
Lissing will reprise the role of Jack on the Season 2 premiere of When Hope Calls, a spinoff of When Calls the Heart. Season 1 of the series aired on Hallmark Channel in 2019. But the second season will air on GAC Family, a network started by former Crown Media CEO Bill Abbott.
The show’s co-creator Brian Bird has been posting photos from the set of When Hope Calls since October. Last week, he shared a photo of Lissing in costume with the caption, “Now that the red serge is out of the bag, #Hearties… I was so pleased to be reunited with my old mate, @DLissing, for his appearance on #WhenHopeCalls.”
During a recent interview with ET Online, the Australian-born actor admitted to having “glassy eyes” when he put on his old costume. He said he was even more overwhelmed when he saw his old co-star Lori Loughlin, who was also making an appearance on the show.
“I walked on set and Lori saw me and she got emotional,” Lissing said. “I got emotional about it.”
Lissing and Loughlin were happy they got to work together again, but sad because they knew someone was missing. They ended up FaceTiming their former When Calls the Heart co-star Erin Krakow, who recently finished filming Season 9 of the show.
“The three of us had a moment together,” Lissing said.
Old show, new network
When Calls the Heart premiered on Hallmark Channel in 2014. Based on a series of books by Canadian author Janette Oke, the show followed a wealthy young woman named Elizabeth (played by Krakow), who moved to a small mining town to teach school.
Loughlin played her friend Abigail Stanton in the series. Lissing played her love interest, Jack Thornton. Elizabeth and Jack married in Season 5. Soon after, Lissing left the series citing personal reasons.
The show’s writers had Jack killed, not that it stopped fans from asking Lissing to return to the series.
“These fans are just the most loyal fans in the world,” he said.
Lissing said he has always been open to reprising the character of Jack as long as his appearance “made sense.”
Enter When Hope Calls
The characters for When Hope Calls initially appeared on When Calls the Heart during Season 6. The spinoff series then had its premiere in August 2019.
When GAC Family began working on a second season, Bird approached Loughlin about appearing on the series as her When Calls the Heart character Abigail Stanton. (Loughlin was written off When Calls the Heart in the middle of Season 6 when news broke of her involvement in a college admissions bribery scandal.)
According to Lissing, Loughlin began calling him about appearing on the show over the summer. When he read the script, he thought it was perfect.
“I felt like it was a really nice, poignant way to say goodbye to this character,” he said.
Though he couldn’t say whether Jack appears to Abigail in a flashback or a more supernatural form, he said being back on set was an emotional experience. It also had some physical challenges.
“I forgot how hard the boots were to put on,” he said.
When Hope Calls Christmas will premiere on Saturday, December 18 on GAC Family at 8/7c.More: GAC Family, Hallmark Channel, When Calls the Heart