Loughlin is currently embroiled in a college bribery and tax evasion investigation involving the alleged bogus admission of her daughters to USC as athletes. When the scandal broke, the scheduled When Calls The Heart series was delayed, with Loughlin edited out of the remaining episodes.
Cast members Erin Krakow, Jack Wagner, Martin Cummins, Pascale Hutton and Kavan Smith return to the show for the seventh season. After this year’s Christmas special, the regular series will resume in February.
In this year’s Christmas edition, Elizabeth and her friends from Hope Valley confront baby Jack’s first Christmas.
The Hallmark Channel’s synopsis: “As Christmas approaches in Hope Valley, Elizabeth (Krakow) prepares for Little Jack’s first Christmas and birthday, surrounded by her closest friends. Despite the friends that want to give Baby Jack a special Christmas, she misses Jack more than ever.
Nathan (Kevin McGarry) receives a prestigious job offer in Union City but weighs the promotion against the downside of leaving Elizabeth and taking his niece away from Hope Valley. Lucas (McNally) holds a Christmas festival to bring some of his family’s traditions to Hope Valley…and to impress Elizabeth. Carson (Greene) and Faith (Andrea Brooks) face obstacles when they try to reconnect for Christmas, which leads Carson (Greene) to a stranger in need of his help. Meanwhile, Rosemary (Hutton) and Lee (Smith) search for the perfect gift for Little Jack, while Bill (Wagner) turns Hope Valley upside looking for a special gift that he misplaced.”