After news broke of actor Lori Loughlin’s involvement in the college admissions scandal, several Vancouver-filmed TV projects were impacted by the fallout. However, one series that Loughlin stars in announced that it is back on track and forging ahead without her.
On March 12, Lori Loughlin (who had been in Vancouver shooting the latest Garage Sale Mystery TV movie) and her husband, clothing designer Mossimo Giannulli, were among the 50 individuals charged with paying money to secure admission for their children to colleges.
Hallmark Channel announced on March 14 that it had severed ties with Loughlin and dropped her from their TV productions. The Alberta-set western drama When Calls the Heart, which was airing Season 6, suspended its March 17 episode and went on hiatus to explore “creative options” for the show. Hallmark did confirm that the show was not cancelled.
Then on April 10, Erin Krakow, who plays lead character Elizabeth Thatcher Thorton, announced that Season 6 of the series would return to the airwaves on with a special two-night event airing episodes on May 5 and 6.
Entertainment Weekly reported that Loughlin’s character, café owner Abigail Stanton who also becomes the mayor of Hope Valley, has been edited out of the show.
After that, Krakow announced on social media on April 13 that the series had been renewed for a seventh season.
Meanwhile, a spin-off series entitled When Hope Calls will premiere in August. This series will follow two characters, orphaned sisters Lillian (Morgan Kohan) and Grace (Jocelyn Hudon) who reunite as adults and open an orphanage in the early 1900s, who were introduced in the TV special When Calls the Heart: The Greatest Christmas Blessing.
The future of the Garage Sale Mystery series has not been confirmed yet.
Loughlin also stars in the TV series Full House and its sequel series Fuller House. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Loughlin won’t be returning for the fifth and final season of the series, which is shot in Los Angeles.
Prosecutors allege that Loughlin and Giannulli paid $500,000 to have their daughters, 19-year-old Olivia Jade (a YouTube star who was dropped by Sephora and TRESemme after the scandal) and 20-year-old Isabella Rose, accepted as fake crew recruits at the University of Southern California.
Unlike the 13 parents (including actor Felicity Huffman of Desperate Housewives), Loughlin and Giannulli were among the 15 parents who pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud. The parents who did not plead guilty were subsequently charged on April 9 with conspiracy to commit money laundering.
On April 15, Loughlin and Giannulli entered a not-guilty plea to both conspiracy charges.
For each of the charges, the accused could face up to 20 years in prison.