A real-life drama has been shaking things up for some local TV productions due to one of its stars named in the U.S. admissions scandal.
U.S. actor Lori Loughlin portrays Abigail on the western family drama TV series When Calls the Heart, a Canadian-American coproduction filmed in the Metro Vancouver area.
Along with Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman, Louglin was one of two actors who were named among the numerous defendants accused of spending or laundering millions of dollars to falsify school records so that students would be guaranteed admission to top-notch post-secondary institutions.
Loughlin was filming in Vancouver on March 12 when FBI agents arrested her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, at their L.A. home. The couple is accused of paying $500,000 to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California. Both were indicted for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
Loughlin returned to L.A. from Vancouver on March 13 where she turned herself in and was subsequently released on a $1 million bond. She was permitted to retain her passport until December 1 in order to complete work in B.C.
However, on March 14, Hallmark Channel announced that it is no longer working with the actor and has halted the development of all productions that involved her.
In addition to When Calls the Heart, Loughlin also starred in several of Hallmark’s holiday TV movies (such as 2018’s Homegrown Christmas) and Garage Sale Mystery TV movies. The latest Garage Sale Mystery installment, subtitled Three Little Murders, was currently being filmed in Vancouver, having started on March 4 and was slated to wrap on March 21.
When Calls the Heart shot its latest season, Season 6, from July 9 to October 31, 2018, and the season premiered on February 24. Although the March 17 episode has been pulled off the schedule and the series has been put on hold, according to reports, the period drama is not cancelled.
Loughlin also stars as Aunt Becky in Fuller House, the revival series of the sitcom Full House (which originally ran from 1987 to 1995). Netflix has not yet released an official statement about her future on the series. The series was renewed for a fifth season, which was also announced to be its last.
Loughlin, Huffman, and other individuals charged in the admission scandal were also named in a $500-billion class-action lawsuit filed in a San Francisco court by Jennifer Kay Toy, a former school teacher and single mother. In the lawsuit, Toy claims that numerous legitimate college applicants, including her son, were denied access.
Loughlin is next scheduled to appear in federal court in Boston on March 29.More