When Calls the Heart resumed Season 6 on Sunday without original cast member Lori Loughlin, who was fired in the wake of her indictment in the college cheating scandal. So how did the Hallmark Channel drama address the absence of her character, Abigail Stanton?
As previously reported, the plan was for WCTH to remove any and all scenes featuring Abigail from the remainder of Season 6, which had already completed production ahead of Loughlin’s arrest. Accounting for Hope Valley’s M.I.A. mayor, Elizabeth (played by Erin Krakow) revealed in the opening scene that Abigail had left town to take care of her sickly mother out East. With her, Abigail took adopted son Cody, signaling that fellow series regular Carter Ryan Evancic has also been written out of the show.
In a recent TVLine poll, 60 percent of Hearties wanted to see the role of Abigail recast, with just 27 percent preferring that the role be written out entirely. (Oh well!)
In March, Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli were indicted for allegedly taking part in a large scheme involving parents who paid substantial bribes to get their kids into elite universities. Loughlin and Giannulli are said to have paid a total of $500,000 to get their two daughters designated as recruits to the University of Southern California’s crew team, though neither girl participated in the sport. On April 15, Loughlin and Giannulli appeared in court and entered a not guilty plea.
Ahead of When Calls the Heart‘s return on Sunday, Hallmark renewed the period piece for a seventh season, which is set to debut in 2020.
Hearties, what did you think of the first episode back without Loughlin? Weigh in via the following polls, then hit the comments to flesh out your thoughts!