Hallmark Channel pink-slipped Lori Loughlin and pulled the plug on Garage Sales Mysteries earlier today, and now the Crown Media-owned outlet is putting the actor’s other series When Calls the Heart on ice, for a bit.
The March 17 primetime episode of the western drama has been taken off the schedule by Hallmark as producers try to come up with “creative solutions” for Loughlin’s Abigail Station character. While the actress who is indicted in the elite college bribery scheme is fired from the show, the series developed by Michael Landon Jr. based on Janette Oake’s books is absolutely not canceled, I hear.
However, all options are being explored on how to take the already-filmed episodes of Heart forward without Loughlin, one source says.
The impetus to keep Heart going makes absolute sense when you consider that last week’s Season 6 debut of the small-town drama was the highest-rated premiere in the series’ history.
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.
“We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations,” a Crown Media spokesperson told Deadline earlier today. “We are no longer working with Lori 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.”
Netflix has remained quiet about whether it plans to drop Loughlin or not from Fuller House. It might be a moot point as writing on the fifth and final season of the Full House sequel of sorts hasn’t even started and the once busy actor was a recurring guest in her famed Aunty Becky role.
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.