When Calls the Heart will continue on without Lori Loughlin.
The Hallmark Channel television drama has been renewed for season 8, a little over a year after the actress was fired by the network in light of her alleged role in the college admissions cheating scandal.
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When Calls the Heart star Erin Krakow made the announcement on Sunday, April 26, during the season 7 finale of the series.
“From my heart and home to yours, I’m thrilled to announce the all-new season 8 of When Calls the Heart, coming next year,” she said. “We can’t wait to see you back in Hope Valley!”
The Hallmark Channel decided to let go of Loughlin after she and her husband Mossimo Giannulli were charged in the college admissions cheating scandal. The couple are facing felony charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud after they allegedly paid $500,000 to have daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose recruited to the University of Southern California crew team, despite the fact that neither rowed. Loughlin and her husband have both pleaded not guilty.
Last year, the network dropped the actress, halting the development of future projects and claiming it would not air any past content that featured Loughlin. On When Calls the Heart, Loughlin starred as Abigail Stanton.
“We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations. 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,” Hallmark said in a statement.
Loughlin’s character departure was explained last May during a special two-night event. The episode opened up a narration: “We never know how life will turn. It’s been a week since Abigail got word that her mother had taken ill back east. True to her nature, Abigail wasted no time in rushing off to care for her. Abigail is much more than a friend, she’s family. I will miss her and Cody deeply, we all will, but we must get by as best we can. … We all keep Abigail and her family in our prayers in her absence and wish her godspeed. In her absence we must soldier on and we will. We are a community, we are strong, we are Hope Valley.”
When Calls the Heart is slated to return next year.