Hallmark's When Calls The Heart Reveals Return Date, But What About Lori Loughlin?

Hallmark has finally revealed when When Calls the Heart will return to the airwave. In a tweet destined to fill Hearties' hearts with joy, Hallmark has announced that the wait is nearing its end. Furthering the good news is that the show will be returning in a major way. Check out the tweet below:

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That’s right! When Calls the Heart will return in less than a month! It has been a month since viewers last caught up with the denizens of Hope Valley. They will be able to check back in with them when the show returns via a two-night premiere in May. With its return date in place, that brings us to the next question. What about Lori Loughlin?

When the show returns, it will do so without original cast member Lori Loughlin, or her character Abigail Stanton. Following the college admissions scandal, Hallmark Channel cut ties with Loughlin in all professional endeavors. That, of course, included an end to her role on When Calls the Heart.

How is the show handling it? When Calls the Heart’s remaining episodes have been edited to remove the presence of Lori Loughlin, EW confirms. The decision means viewers will see no more of Loughlin’s Abigail in Season 6. Along with edits, minor reshoots happened for the retooling. There was another casualty of the cuts besides Abigail.

Season 6’s episode count has been reduced. Instead of having seven episodes of the original order for ten to look forward to, fans now have six of only a total of nine. So, while fans will get a double dose of When Calls the Heart when it returns, they will have fewer episodes long-term.

Lori Loughlin’s Abigail being edited out does not address how the character’s absence will get explained on-screen. Her sudden departure is something that fans will be blatantly aware of when they watch. How When Calls the Heart will handle her exit story-wise is another matter. Will Abigail be called away off-screen? Will the show just never mention her again? It remains to be seen.

The first option sort of finishes Abigail’s story without having to show her. Whereas, the second option would be abrupt and awkward. A recast should be a strong possibility as it would keep the character around. Editing Lori Loughlin out does not preclude that option in the future.

That will probably be dealt with as When Calls the Heart put its current season behind it. Resolving how to move forward required Season 6 to go on a hiatus as things got worked out behind-the-scenes. Late last month, When Calls the Heart’s executive producer provided a message to fans in the aftermath.

Now, When Calls the Heart has solved the issue. Its first episode back will bow on Sunday, May 5 at 8 p.m. ET and the excitement will not end then. On the very next night, a second episode will debut at the same time (8 p.m. ET) on Hallmark.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.