The Hallmark Channel has confirmed that its series When Calls The Heart is not being canceled, despite the parent company’s firing of key player Lori Loughlin for her alleged role in a college bribery scandal.
In an Instagram post sent Friday on its official account, the channel assured fans the series isn’t going away, despite being placed on hiatus in the wake of Loughlin’s legal troubles. “Hope Valley has many more stories left to share and we will let you know the details soon,” the post said.
Hallmark parent Crown Media earlier said it was no longer working with Loughlin and “have stopped development of all productions that air on the Crown Media Family Network channels involving Lori Loughlin, including Garage Sale Mysteries, an independent third party production.”
Tonight’s primetime episode of western drama When Calls The Heart was taken off the schedule by Hallmark as producers try to come up with “creative solutions” for Loughlin’s Abigail Station character. However, all options are being explored on how to take the already-filmed episodes of Heart forward without Loughlin, one source says.
Last week’s Season 6 debut of the small-town drama was the highest-rated premiere in the series’ history. The series is based on the Janette Oake books and is produced by Michael Landon Jr.
Having flown in on March 12 from filming for Hallmark in Vancouver, Loughin surrendered to the FBI and was arraigned Wednesday in federal court in Los Angeles. She was released on $1 million bail bond, like her husband fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli was the day before.
The still-UTA-repped Loughlin and Giannulli were part of a yearlong investigation that also snared American Crime star Felicity Huffman and more than 30 other parents. The couple are accused of paying “bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC,” according to the 200-page indictment announced Tuesday.
Like the other parents, Huffman, Loughlin, Giannulli and now ex-STX board member Bill McGlashan are being charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud, according to the unsealed March 6 “Operation Varsity Blues” indictment.