Erin Krakow is already known for her warm and caring ways of communicating with faithful fans of “When Calls the Heart.” The lovely brunette unabashedly refers to herself as a “Heartie,” the moniker proudly taken by the millions of regular viewers who have made the drama the undisputed most watched hit created in Hallmark Channel. The beloved star displayed a special glow in the gratitude that she offered in her March 1 post to social media—mostly from her heart but also from the glimmer of the utterly golden rating numbers reported By Deadline for the “When Calls the Heart” Season 6 premiere.

Credit where credit is due

It soon became clear on February 24’s Oscar night that no one really missed having a host, and for millions of other viewers, no one missed giving up the Oscars. Nothing takes the place of the weekly Sunday night stay in Hope Valley for faithful Hearties, and that includes the little golden guys so prized by the honored recipients by the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Even going head-to-head against the 91st Oscars ceremony, “When Calls the Heart” pulled in 3.1 million viewers, a 2.9 rating share, and spearheaded the Hallmark Channel in becoming the most-watched cable network during weekend prime among the coveted L +3 Nielsen demographic. The surge made “When Calls the Heart” cable’s No.

2 scripted original series, trailing only AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and sparking the series to become the third highest in 2019 so far on cable as ranked by households and viewers. There’s quite a contrast in themes between the apocalyptic horror drama and the rustic family-friendly saga, but very little difference lately in the sizes of their audience.

The episode, titled “Phone Rings and Heartstrings, centered around Erin Krakow’s character, Elizabeth Thornton, juggling the emotional and practical aspects of returning to work and being a devoted mother. Simultaneously, the community was about to celebrate the arrival of telephone service, until the issues of plugging into the then-new technology delayed the leap into the future.

As with any advancement, some welcomed the device excitedly, while a few preferred sticking to familiar methods. What was abundantly clear was that the whole community, along with her best friends, was standing ready to support Elizabeth, and take care of baby Jack with open arms. After reinforcement from a female technician was sent from the telephone company, the inaugural phone call came through loud and clear.

Erin Krakow laid her heart wide open with gratitude to faithful fans, declaring “Wow #Hearties!!” in her opening words.

She closed in grateful appreciation for their unmatched loyalty. “It means so much to us,” she wrote, adding another “#Hearties.”

The Oscar night showing was not the only time that “When Calls the Heart” loyalists proved their love for the show and its cast in a dramatic way. The viewership on Christmas Day night for the 2018 movie feature, “When Calls the Heart: The Greatest Christmas Blessing” also broke records.

Lori Loughlin noted the Hearties as “a force of nature” in an interview with Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest on “Live.” On the day when many families may not even turn on the television, Hope Valley still keeps its fan base. “Who does that?” Loughlin lovingly marveled to Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb on the same morning.

Saloon competitors and stirring things up

Sheriff Bill Avery (Jack Wagner)and the disgraced former mine owner, Henry Gowen (Martin Cummins) , who often proves his good heart, were competing for the purchase of Hope Valley’s only saloon at the close of the Season 6 premiere, only to be told that they were both outbid by “an out-of-town buyer” who is sure to be Lucas Bouchard, portrayed by Chris McNally. McNally will make his first appearance in Hope Valley in the March 3 Episode 2, “The Queen of Hearts.”

Chris McNally has already described how his character is captivated by Elizabeth very early, but he only hopes to “plant a seed” for the possible future. In a preview clip, however, Rosemary (Pascale Hutton) seems to be up to some matchmaking meddling.

She tells Faith (Andrea Brooks), who is sprouting a bud of romance with Dr. Carson Shepherd (Paul Greene) that they “are perfect for each other” and the push is probably a bit too hard. Elizabeth and Abigail “don't know what to make” of the dashing new business proprietor.

Love, business, and new beginnings seem to all be floating in the air on “When Calls the Heart” and Erin Krakow always makes time to let fans know that she knows they are watching, and waiting to see how the future unfolds.