Did Paul Greene Leave 'When Calls the Heart' As Dr. Carson and Will He Return?

When Calls the Heart Season 8 ended with an emotional episode that saw Elizabeth Thornton (played by Erin Krakow) embarking on a romantic relationship with Lucas Bouchard (Chris McNally). While two characters got closer, one got further away as Dr. Carson Shepherd (Paul Greene) said goodbye to Hope Valley and headed to Baltimore.

In the previous episode of the Hallmark Channel hit, which has now been renewed for Season 9, Carson had been debating whether to accept the fellowship at Johns Hopkins and follow his dream of becoming a surgeon, or to propose to Faith (Andrea Brooks). Faith has been left without the man she loves, and When Calls the Heart fans have been left wondering whether they will also say goodbye to Paul Greene.

Has Paul Greene left When Calls the Heart for good?

Though there has been no official confirmation from Hallmark that Dr. Carson will be back, Greene has been dropping some hints that his character is only temporarily gone and will be back in time for Season 9.

For one, the actor has not posted any goodbye message to the show on his social media accounts or released a statement about exiting the series. This has become a pretty standard occurrence for people leaving shows (see recent examples from Anna Faris and Jesse Williams), so the fact that he has not done so is a good sign for Carson fans.

paul greene leaving when calls the heart
The "When Calls the Heart" Season 8 finale saw Paul Greene leave as Dr. Carson—but the actor has been dropping hints he will be back next season. Hallmark Channel

He has also been hinting on Twitter that his character is set to return. In reply to a fan tweeting, "PAUL GREENE. YOU GET BACK HERE RIGHT NOW!!!!!," he simply replied, "Ok."

On the Bubbly Sesh podcast, the actor hinted at his return. "It's hard to say [whether Carson will be back]," he said. "A lot can happen in the off-season. There's a big-time jump in between seasons. Faith's character became a doctor in the off-season. There's so much that can happen."

Deadline's announcement of When Calls the Heart Season 9 may also confirm that Dr. Carson will be back. Talking about the renewal, Deadline notes: "[Erin] Krakow, Jack Wagner, Pascale Hutton, Kavan Smith, Paul Greene, Andrea Brooks, Chris McNally, and Kevin McGarry star in the series." The mention that Paul Greene stars on the show is in the present tense and suggests he has not left the series.

The reason that Hallmark has not announced the character's future may be that it is planning a spinoff that would follow Carson to Baltimore. Previously, the show birthed the spinoff When Hope Calls, which ran in 2019 on streaming service Hallmark Movies Now. This might also give the show a chance to bring back Lori Loughlin to the franchise after she was written off When Calls The Heart prior to her prison sentence.

Filming on Season 8 of When Calls The Heart ran from July to November 2020. If Season 9 continues the trend, the cast will soon be back on set, meaning fans will soon know whether Greene is back, or whether he is set for his own spinoff exploring surgery at the start of the 20th century,

When Calls the Heart Season 9 is coming in 2022 to the Hallmark Channel. The current season is streaming on Hallmark Movies Now.