Self-described influencer Olivia Jade won’t be the only member of the Loughlin family who will be taking over television screens this year. The Dancing with the Star contestant’s mother Lori Loughlin will return to acting in Season 2 of When Hope Calls, reprising her role as Abigail Stanton from When Calls the Heart in that series’ GAC Family spinoff. This marks Loughlin’s first onscreen performance since serving two months in prison in late 2020 after she and her husband Mossimo Giannulli pled guilty in the 2019 college admissions bribery scandal.
The Hallmark Channel program When Calls The Heart is set during 1916 and centers on the inhabitants of a small Western Canadian town called Brookfield. In Season 6, Loughlin’s character was written off the show after she was dropped by the Hallmark in March 2019 due the scandal. Shortly after the announcement, the show went on a “creative hiatus” to address Loughlin’s departure. It returned without Loughlin under the guise that her character had moved “back east” to take care of her mother, and she was edited out of the season’s remaining episodes.
“As for the show itself, we know millions of fans are on pins and needles wondering what will happen now. Let us reassure you, When Calls the Heart has always been bigger than the sum of its parts and it has not been cancelled,” the show’s producers said in a statement on Instagram. “With the full support of the network, we have gone on a creative hiatus to do some retooling on the remaining Season 6 episodes. That process has already begun. Hope Valley will return to your TV screens as soon as we can bring the episodes to you.”
Now, it appears Abigail Stanton will return to Brookfield once again. Fans of the show — called Hearties — and its spinoff series received their first glimmer of hope that Loughlin may be returning to her role after it was reported that she had filed for an “expedited permission to travel” to Canada as part of an undisclosed “filming production project.”
Loughlin is currently on a two-year probation after her two-month federal prison sentence, and as a result, she required permission from a federal judge in Boston in order to fly and film the show. Per reports, she was granted permission to travel to an unspecified location in Canada in late September or early October.
According to Deadline, Loughlin will make her first appearance in When Hope Calls: A Country Christmas, the show’s two-part Season 2 premiere, which will air on Dec. 18. It will feature characters coming together to prepare a Christmas festival grand enough to win the town the title of “America’s No. 1 Country Christmas Town.”