SALT LAKE CITY — Lori Loughlin won’t appear on the Hallmark Channel’s “When Calls the Heart” anymore, despite being a regular since the first season.
But how will Hallmark handle her character’s exit?
Context: Loughlin was dismissed from her Hallmark projects, “When Calls the Heart” and “Garage Sale Mystery,” less than a week after she was named among dozens of others in a college admissions cheating scandal.
- Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes so that their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Giannulli, were admitted as team crew recruits for the University of Southern California, even though neither daughter competed in crew before.
- Hallmark dismissed Loughlin from the network. The channel announced that “When Calls the Heart”would go on a creative hiatus as they figure out how to handle the loss of Loughlin, who had already filmed scenes for the ongoing sixth season, which I wrote about for the Deseret News.
Theory: But what will happen to Loughlin’s character Abigail Stanton, the mayor of Hope Valley? The Quad-City Times has some theories:
- One theory posits that Abigail dies. “Certainly the most tragic option, this would give the show a fresh start as they mourn the loss of Abigail,” according to the Quad-City Times.
- Another theory suggests that “When Calls the Heart” could recast Loughlin. I wrote for the Deseret News about some options that fans have suggested as replacements for Loughlin’s character. This would allow the character’s storyline to continue without Loughlin.
- Abigail could leave the town, too, according to the Quad-City Times. She could receive some news that would send her somewhere else.
For now: It’s unclear what Hallmark plans to do with Loughlin’s character. And it’s unclear when the sixth season of “When Calls the Heart” will return. For now, check out this list from the International Business Times on alternatives to “When Calls the Heart” and details about the spinoff show “When Hope Calls.”