It's been a wild time to be a Heartie.
Just months after the Internet erupted with passionate pleas for When Calls the Heart writers to change course (#TeamNathan fans know), Deadline revealed that Lori Loughlin is set to reprise her role as Abigail Stanton, the former mayor of Hope Valley. This announcement comes more than two years after Hallmark cut ties with the actress following her involvement in the college admissions scandal — some fans have been begging for her return to Hope Valley, others not so much.
After some initial confusion, Hallmark came out with a statement to clarify that Lori is actually joining season 2 of When Hope Calls on GAC Family, not When Calls the Heart. "Hallmark Channel has not cast Lori Loughlin in any current projects, including When Calls the Heart, nor do we have any plans to cast her in the future. She was cast by GAC Family, a wholly separate cable network not affiliated with Hallmark Channel or Crown Media Family Networks," they wrote in a statement shared by Showbiz Cheat Sheet.
With that, many are left wondering how the rest of the When Calls the Heart cast feels about the news, especially since Lori was such a fixture on the show until her sudden exit in season 6. From what we can tell, everyone seems to be in support of Lori's move to When Hope Calls, including Erin Krakow, who showed her support on Instagram shortly after news broke.
As more and more fans began to question GAC Family and Hallmark's decision, When Calls the Heart creator and When Hope Calls executive producer Brian Bird set the record straight on Twitter. First, while he understands that some people may be weary to watch another show (on another cable network, no less), he reminded fans of just how incredible it is to have "two towns... two shows... and one #Hearties Nation."
Hope Valley and Brookfield.
Both from the heart and soul of author Janette Oke.
So... two towns... two shows... and one #Hearties Nation.
(That's how this Heartie is going to roll) pic.twitter.com/DxOqbEvzzy
— Brian Bird (@brbird) October 10, 2021
But still, tons of Hearties who are struggling to get on board. One fan expressed their frustration with the last season of When Calls the Heart, telling Brian that they don't think they can get behind another show in the Hearties universe. He responded by giving one fan — and all the other naysayers — some perspective.
I’m encouraging viewers get past their unhappiness and watch both shows because the culture needs more faith & family content like this, not less. And #hearties will realize just how much they took them for granted when they are no longer there. https://t.co/wrt6RoO2Nd
— Brian Bird (@brbird) October 14, 2021
And while it might take some convincing to get Hearties to tune into not one, but two shows next year, we have a feeling that the excitement surrounding Abigail's return and Elizabeth's controversy is enough to do the trick. Only time will tell!
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