Here's How Lori Loughlin's 'When Calls the Heart' Character Exited the Show
Hallmark cut ties with Lori Loughlin in March after she was named in the college admissions scandal, and as of Sunday's episode of "When Calls the Heart," her character on the TV series is officially gone.
If you haven't watched the May 5 episode, there are spoilers ahead.
The show briefly went on creative hiatus after the scandal came to light, giving producers a chance to "do some retooling" on the season's remaining episodes, as Executive Producer Brian Bird announced in March. What they decided to do was write Abigail out of the story in a poignant way. The character had to head "back east" to take care of her mother, as Deadline reports, and her friend Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) shared kind words that may be meant to refer to Loughlin as much as Abigail and be for both the people of Hope Valley and the show's fans.
"Abigail is much more than a friend, she's family," Elizabeth said. "I will miss her and Cody deeply -- we all will, but we must get by as best we can. In her absence, we must soldier on and we will. We are a community, we are strong, we are Hope Valley."
Loughlin has been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, as CNN reports. She and husband Mossimo Giannulli allegedly paid $500,000 to help their two daughters get into the University of Southern California as crew recruits even though they did not row. Both Loughlin and Giannulli have pleaded not guilty.
In the absence of Loughlin, "When Calls the Heart" continues. Sunday's episode was the first in a two-night special, the second half of which airs Monday. Episodes will resume on Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The Hallmark Channel.