Lori Loughlin's Show When Calls the Heart Renewed by Hallmark Amid Her College Admissions Scandal
When Calls the Heart is moving on without Lori Loughlin.
The Hallmark Channel drama has been renewed for a seventh season, a little over a month after the actress was dropped by the network in light of her alleged role in the college admissions cheating scandal.
Series star Erin Krakow made the announcement Saturday during the premiere of the Hallmark Channel movie Bottled with Love.
“You’ve already heard When Calls the Heart will returning with a special two-night event Sunday, May 5 and Monday, May 6,” Krakow said. “I’m also thrilled to announce When Calls the Heart season 7 coming next year! We can’t wait to get back to Hope Valley.”
The Hallmark Channel cut ties with Loughlin after she and husband Mossimo Giannulli were charged in the college admissions cheating scandal involving elite colleges and universities including Yale, Georgetown, the University of Southern California and Stanford.
The network dropped Loughlin on March 14, halting the development of future projects and claiming it would not air any past content featuring the actress.
“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,” a statement from Hallmark read.
Shortly after Loughlin was ousted, When Calls the Heart producer Brian Bird issued a lengthy statement informing fans that the show had not been canceled, and would return with new episodes after a “retooling” hiatus.
“#Hearties, thank you for your love, support, and patience these last several days as we have all been preoccupied with the news about Lori Loughlin and her family, and the decisions our colleagues at the Hallmark Channel USA needed to make,” he and his fellow producers said in a statement on March 16. “As you can imagine, everyone involved with When Calls the Heart was surprised by these developments, so we hope you can forgive us for initially staying silent while we sorted through how to respond.”
Loughlin, 54, and Giannulli, 55, 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 USC crew team, despite the fact that neither rowed. (It is unclear whether or not Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose are believed to have known about the alleged scheme.)
The couple appeared before a judge for the first time earlier this month, but did not enter pleas in the cases against them.
On Tuesday, Loughlin and Giannulli were among 16 parents indicted on an additional felony charge of money laundering conspiracy. They now face up to 20 years in prison for each charge.
A source recently told PEOPLE Loughlin is reluctant to plead guilty because she’s worried about her daughters.
“She is very concerned about what a guilty plea would do to her daughters, who may not have grasped everything that was going on,” the source said. “Yes, she can think about the public perception of her, but that’s nothing compared to what her daughters think of her. So that is something that has understandably made her less likely to enter a plea.”
Meanwhile, Loughlin has been receiving support from costars including Krakow, who broke her social media silence last week to share a cryptic message seemingly dedicated to the actress.
Krakow, who hadn’t tweeted since the day before Loughlin’s indictment, shared a picture of a blooming pink flower April 8, writing, “’You are always there for me’ ‘And I always will be.’ ”
Though it’s unclear just who the tweet was referring to, the quote was lifted from a When Calls the Heart scene between Loughlin and Krakow’s characters.