Why 'When Calls the Heart' Can Keep Filming Amid SAG-AFTRA Strike

The Hallmark Channel drama, led by Erin Krakow, is the latest TV show to get the green light to film amid the actors' strike.

Actors are currently on strike, which has halted the majority of Hollywood productions, but some are getting the green light to continue filming. The latest production to receive the go-ahead amid the SAG-AFTRA strike: Hallmark Channel's When Calls the Heart.

The popular drama, led by star/executive producer Erin Krakow, has received a waiver from the actors' union to move ahead with filming on season 11 in Vancouver, Deadline reports.

"Hallmark Media respects and is working within the rules and guidelines established by SAG-AFTRA around the strike and related to waivers. We do not have specifics to share at this time," a spokesperson for the Hallmark Channel told ET.

According to conditions of the SAG-AFTRA strike, which officially began July 13 after negotiations with the studios and streamers via the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) broke down, independent projects can apply for a waiver to keep working "without being in violation of the strike order." 

When Calls the Heart, which premieres its 10th season July 30, joins the faith-based streaming series, The Chosen, which also airs on The CW, and Apple TV+'s Israeli spy thriller, Tehran, as the few TV productions being granted interim SAG-AFTRA agreements allowing filming to commence.

All told, the actors' union has granted 68 waivers for TV and movie productions, the latter of which includes Mother Mary, starring Anne HathawayHunter Schafer and Michaela Coel, and Death of a Unicorn, with Jenna Ortega and Paul Rudd

The news that When Calls the Heart will be able to film is the latest development amid a turbulent few weeks as actors and writers continue to strike. Actors officially went on strike after negotiations with studios and streamers fell apart over several key issues. Among the actors' sticking points were improved compensation and benefits, residuals that reflect the value of their contributions amid the expansion of streaming services, regulated use of artificial intelligence and the issue of self-taped auditions.

Ahead of the season 10 premiere, Krakow spoke with ET about what Hope Valley will have in store for audiences when the season kicks off.

"Season 10 is packed. We are truly leveling up the When Calls the Heart experience," Krakow teased in June. "We are bringing in lots of exciting guest stars. We don't know if they are good guys or bad guys. We have family visits, we have musical episodes -- not a true musical episode, but there is music. There's some singing. There's a tourist destination -- this hot springs in town. There's a lot of romance. There's a new baby. It's a momentous season, as it should be in season 10."

The new season picks up following the events of the finale, which saw Elizabeth and Lucas (Chris McNally) getting engaged, and expectant couple Rosemary (Pascale Hutton) and Lee (Kavan Smith) preparing for the birth of their baby.

Viewers will get to experience Elizabeth and Lucas enjoying the early stages of their engagement as the couple dip their toe in wedding planning. "There is cake tasting and invitations and, you know, talk of dress designs," the actress hinted. "All the good stuff. We will see them on that journey."

When Calls the Heart premieres Sunday, July 30 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Hallmark Channel.