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‘When Calls the Heart’ Cocreator Is ‘Working On’ Lori Loughlin’s Return After Admissions Scandal

When Calls the Heart Cocreator Is Working on Lori Loughlins Return After Admissions Scandal
Lori Loughlin Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Lori Loughlin might be returning to When Calls the Heart sometime soon. The show’s cocreator Brian Bird admitted that there have been “good conversations” about getting the actress back on the show.

“Our attitude always has been, as the producing team around the writing team around When Calls the Heart, that what better place for second chances than Hope Valley?” Bird, 66, revealed on a “Heart to Hearties” podcast episode from earlier this month. “So, in theory, it should work, right? But again, can’t fully promise it, but we’re working on it.”

The Hallmark Channel cut ties with Loughlin, 59, after news of her involvement in the nationwide college admissions scandal broke in March 2019. She played widow Abigail Stanton for six seasons of the show before Crown Media Family Networks confirmed in a statement to Us Weekly that they were “no longer working” with the Full House alum.

Fans have long hoped for a return for her character. Bird couldn’t “guarantee” that she would be back, however, the showrunner was able to offer an update on Loughlin’s well-being.

“She’s doing really good,” Bird shared on the podcast. “She’s assured us that she’s found some peace, and she’s made it through her and her husband’s ordeal and she’s in a much better place than she was.”

College Admission Scandal

Related: College Admissions Scandal: Where Are They Now?

Loughlin was indicted in March 2019 alongside her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, after they allegedly “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters [Bella and Olivia Jade Giannulli] designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC.”

Initially, Loughlin and Giannulli pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. However, they eventually agreed to a plea deal in May 2020. Loughlin’s deal included two months in prison, two years of supervised release with 100 hours of community service and a $150,000 fine.

She reported to the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California, in October of that year and was released that December.

In February 2021, Us broke the news that Loughlin had officially completed her community service hours and was continuing her work with Project Angel Food. A judge returned her passport that same month.

Lori Loughlin Mossimo Giannulli Relationship Timeline

Related: Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli: A Timeline of Their Relationship

Following the scandal, Loughlin returned to work in late 2021, returning as Abigail in the When Calls the Heart spinoff series When Hope Calls.

Bill Abbott, CEO of Great American Media, said in September 2022 that he hopes Loughlin will continue her comeback on the network. (She starred in the network’s movie Fall Into Winter this past January.)

“She’s America’s sweetheart, regardless of whatever happened,” Abbott told Variety at the time. “At the end of the day, she represents all that is positive about entertainment, and has had a stellar career — not only on screen, but also the way she’s conducted herself personally, in terms of being someone who has a track record of doing the right thing in the world at large, aside from whatever happened. She’s beloved and for good reason. We’re very proud of our association with her and want to make her part of the fabric.”

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