Lori Loughlin may be coming back to the world of “When Calls the Heart” — but she won’t be returning to Hallmark in any sense of the word.

Deadline reported in late September that Loughlin will make her return to acting in the new “When Calls the Heart” spinoff show “When Hope Calls.

  • The show will air on the GAC Family network (formerly the Great American Country Network), which is not associated with the Hallmark Channel.
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Loughlin will return as Abigail Stanton, a character previously seen on “When Calls the Heart”. She will make her debut in Season 2 of “When Hope Calls,” per TV Line. Her return will happen in the premiere episode of Season 2 on Saturday, Dec. 18, which will be a Christmas special titled “When Hope Calls: A Country Christmas.”

But this doesn’t mean Loughlin will appear on Hallmark again. The Hallmark Channel recently said in a statement to Showbiz Cheat Sheet that Loughlin’s return will not be connected to Hallmark.

  • “Hallmark Channel has not cast Lori Loughlin in any current projects, including ‘When Calls the Heart,’ nor do we have any plans to cast her in the future. She was cast by GAC Family, a wholly separate cable network not affiliated with Hallmark Channel or Crown Media Family Networks,” Hallmark said in a statement.

The Hallmark Channel originally cut ties with Loughlin after she was named in the college admissions scandal, as I wrote for the Deseret News. She and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, were accused of paying $500,000 for their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose, to be crew recruits for the University of Southern California. Loughlin and Giannulli pleaded guilty, served time and completed community service after the scandal.

  • Since then, there have been rumors that Loughlin would return to “When Calls the Heart.” Those rumors heated up when Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton approved Loughlin’s request to receive a passport so she could travel to Canada, where “When Calls the Heart” films its episodes, as I wrote for the Deseret News.