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‘When Calls the Heart’ creator speaks out on Lori Loughlin’s return

Brian Bird, ‘When Calls the Heart’ creator and ‘When Hope Calls’ executive producer, has something to say about Lori Loughlin’s return

Lori Loughlin in Season 5 of “When Calls the Heart.”
Lori Loughlin appears in Season 5 of “When Calls the Heart.” New theories about the future of Loughlin’s character on the show have filtered in.
Ricardo Hubbs, Crown Media

Brian Bird, “When Calls the Heart” creator and “When Hope Calls” executive producer, has made a comment that teased Lori Loughlin’s return to the show.

Reports surfaced that Loughlin will return to acting as Abigail Stanton, the former mayor of Hope Valley in “When Calls the Heart,” on the show’s spinoff series, “When Hope Calls.”

  • Loughlin will make her return to acting after being arrested and serving time in the college admissions scandal.

“When Hope Calls,” though a spinoff to “When Calls the Heart,” is on the GAC Family network (formerly the Great American Country Network), which is not associated with the Hallmark Channel, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • “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.

But Bird makes it clear — this is still one universe.

“Hope Valley and Brookfield,” he wrote. “Both from the heart and soul of author Janette Oke. So... two towns... two shows... and one #Hearties Nation. (That’s how this Heartie is going to roll),” he tweeted.

Bird said that the modern American entertainment culture needs more television shows centered around family and faith, so people should check out both productions.

  • “I’m encouraging viewers get past their unhappiness and watch both shows because the culture needs more faith & family content like this, not less. And #hearties will realize just how much they took them for granted when they are no longer there,” he said.

Loughlin’s character, Abigail Stanton, was previously seen on “When Calls the Heart” before her exit from the show due to the college admissions scandal.

Loughlin will make her debut on “When Hope Calls” in Season 2, per TV Line. She will debut in the premiere episode of Season 2, which will be a Christmas special titled “When Hope Calls: A Country Christmas.” That episode airs on Saturday, Dec. 18.