Hours after cutting all ties with Lori Loughlin, Hallmark Channel has pulled a new episode of her drama When Calls the Heart from the schedule.
The network announced Thursday that it will not air a new episode of the heartland family drama that was slated for Sunday while it evaluates “all creative options.” According to a source close to the show, a likely option being explored is to edit out Loughlin’s character. None of the scenarios currently being discussed have Hallmark canceling When Calls the Heart, which is the network’s highest-rated original series.
Loughlin, who is also known for her work on Full House and Fuller House, was implicated in the college cheating scandal that has dominated headlines this week. She and fellow actress Felicity Huffman were among those charged in the far-reaching case, which alleges that students were admitted to universities by posing as athletic department recruits or cheating on entrance tests. Loughlin is facing charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud. She and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying $500,000 so their daughters, Olivia Jade, 19, and Isabella Rose, 20, would be classified as recruits to University of Southern California’s crew team, which assisted them in the admissions process, though neither daughters rowed crew. Loughlin surrendered to authorities Wednesday and was later released after posting a $1 million bond.
Loughlin has a deep imprint at Hallmark, also starring in Hallmark Christmas movies and anchoring the Garage Sale Mysteries movie franchise. “We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations,” said Crown Media, which owns Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, in a statement 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.”
Season 6 of When Calls the Heart launched last month, and three of this season’s 10 episodes have already aired.
Loughlin, who is one of the original cast members, stars as Abigail Stanton, a coal miner’s widow who becomes mayor of Hope Valley.