After first being announced just over a year ago, Hallmark’s “When Calls the Heart” spinoff, “When Hope Calls,” is finally getting ready to premiere its first (and second) episode.

Instead of airing on Hallmark Channel, as “WCTH” does, the new show will release on the company’s streaming service, Hallmark Movies Now, as the platform’s first original series.

A new episode of the period drama, starring “From Friend to Fiancé” actress Jocelyn Hudon (Grace Bennett) and Morgan Kohan (Lillian Walsh), who were first introduced to Hearties in the 2018 “WCTH” Christmas special, will be released every Friday, with the first two dropping tomorrow (Aug. 30).

The Season 1 premiere of “When Hope Calls,” titled “New Hope,” finds sisters Lillian and Grace setting up their orphanage in the town of Brookfield while having to deal with some unwelcoming neighbors.

“Especially cold to the pair is Tess Stewart (Wendy Crewson), who has unresolved issues with Lillian’s family,” the episode 1 synopsis reveals. “Constable Gabriel Kinslow (Ryan-James Hatanaka) reacquaints himself with his neighbors after returning to town and is charmed by his first encounter with Lillian. Meanwhile, Chuck (Greg Hovanessian) – the town’s veterinarian and Tess’s son – helps Grace when the cow she purchased from his mother fails to produce milk, and is impressed by Grace’s tenacity.”

when hope calls cast
“When Hope Calls” stars Jocelyn Hudon and Morgan Kohan. Crown Media / Shane Mahood

The synopsis continues: “Despite their disagreements, the town bands together when a crisis strikes during the grand opening of a new hotel and puts lives – including Lillian’s – at risk. This disaster helps Lillian and Grace make headway toward acceptance but creates a mystery for Gabriel to solve.”

The first episode was directed by Mike Rohl and written by Alfonso Moreno.

Hearties might recognize Crewson from her time on “Saving Hope” and in “Christmas Festival of Ice,” Hovanessian from “On the Twelfth Day of Christmas” and “The Mist” and Hatanaka from “Eye Candy” and “Chicago P.D.”

The show’s cast also includes Jefferson Brown (Joe Moody), Neil Crone (Ronnie Stewart), Elizabeth Saunders (Eleanor Winters), Kelly Boegel (Ruth), Michael Copeman (Ken Newsome), Drew Nelson (Daniel Olsen), Liam MacDonald (Vincent), Isaak Bailey (Christian), Simon Webster (Fred), Riley O’Donnell (Helen), Kate Moyer (Sofia), Ava Weiss (Mary Louise), Kim Roberts (Pearl Mayfair), Jonathan Potts (Ben Mendelson), Josh Reich (Ben’s son) and Laurie Murdoch (Dr. Carl Wilson).

when hope calls hallmark cast
Ryan-James Hatanaka, Morgan Kohan, Jocelyn Hudon and Greg Hovanessian star in Hallmark Movie Now’s “When Hope Calls.” Crown Media

Hearties can also expect to see some fan-favorite “When Calls the Heart” characters to show up on “When Hope Calls,” including Pascale Hutton’s Rosemary and Kavan Smith’s Lee, both of whom appear in episode 2, which also arrives on Friday.

Here’s why the “When Calls the Heart” characters arrive in town and what else episode 2, titled “From the Ashes” and directed by Mike Rohl and written by Larry Bambrick, is about.

“The town of Brookfield rebuilds after a devastating fire…and special visitors from Hope Valley lend a hand,” the synopsis shares. “Lillian and Grace welcome Rosemary and Lee Coulter, who bring lumber and support for their friends and the town. Gabriel investigates the cause of the fire and when evidence points to two orphans, Lillian begins to doubt her qualifications to run an orphanage.

“Tess’s tumultuous history with Lillian’s family complicates the mutual attraction between Grace and Chuck. Having lost his store in the fire, Joe considers moving. Meanwhile, Nurse Maggie Parsons (Hanneke Talbot) arrives to town, and Tess continues to feud with one of her neighbors over missing livestock.”

Catch the first two episodes of “When Hope Calls” Season 1 when they debut on Hallmark Movies Now on Friday.

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