Click HERE to see full blog. Only part included below.
However, this is what I’ve learned so far:
1) The Heartland production office opens in Calgary next Monday, at which time they’ll begin a 3-week prep before the first day of principal photography on May 12. As we have in the past, we will have tweets, photos and news from set to keep Hard Core Heartlanders up to speed over the period before season 8 premieres.
2) Episode 801 - the season premiere - will be broadcast in late September or early October. CBC has yet to announce when their fall programs will air, and as soon as I know I’ll let you know. Of course the day and time remain the same - Sunday at 7:00pm (7:30pm in Newfoundland).
3) In the season eight premiere, a few months will have passed since the season seven finale. Even though there is snow on the ground at this very moment in Calgary (which is how it looks when Ty watched Amy fly off in that helicopter), spring will be in full bloom in mid-May when production is underway. Therefore, in this first season eight episode, which will be written by Heather Conkie and directed by Stefan Scaini, we’ll be several weeks down the road from when Ty “let her go.”
4) Stefan Scaini has directed Heartland episodes in past seasons and everyone is excited to have him direct the first two episodes of the upcoming seasons. The following four episodes will be directed by two well known artists who will be helming their first episodes of Heartland. Bruce McDonald (known for his films “Hard Core Logo,” “The Tracey Fragments” and directing on"Cracked"
) will direct episodes 803 and 804 while Anne Wheeler (“Bye Bye Blues,” “When Calls the Heart” and directing on "Arctic Air"
) will direct episodes 805 and 806.
5) Besides Showrunner Heather Conkie, the returning writers from last year will be David Preston, Mark Haroun and Pamela Pinch. Also returning is Ken Craw, who worked on a different series in BC last year, but still wrote one episode for season seven (the great one with the RCMP Musical Ride). Sadly, leaving Heartland to work on a new series in BC is Leila Basin, who had been with Heartland from the start. We are sorry to see her go and wish her well. She is not completely gone, as - like Ken last year - she is writing one Heartland episode (805).
6) All the main cast are returning for Season 8. Online there was some concern about Amber Marshall returning, based on her character’s departure for Europe. Well don’t be alarmed; Amy Fleming is back front and centre this upcoming season, just as she has always has.
7) Some cast we have not seen for a while will be returning as well. But I’m sworn to secrecy on this. I often write that unless a character has passed away on the series (RIP: Brad Borden, Mr. Hanley, Pegasus) there is always a chance they could return. This season you’ll see how true that is!