On September 28, Deadline confirmed that Loughlin, who was released in December 2020 from prison after serving nearly two months for her role in the college admissions scandal, would be returning as Abigail for season 2 of the WCTH spinoff, When Hope Calls.
The two-part premiere, called When Hope Calls: A Country Christmas, is slated for Saturday, December 18, and no one is more excited than Lori’s castmate, Erin Krakow. Krakow shared a photo of herself hugging Loughlin on Thursday, September 30 after the big news was announced. She captioned it with a standalone double pink heart emoji.
Reactions about Loughlin's return have been mixed since she and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, pleaded guilty to charges filed against them in the 2019 nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. According to The New York Times, the two plotted for their daughters to be admitted to the University of Southern California as rowing recruits, even though they had no history with the sport. Neither of their daughters currently attend the college.
Once this news broke in March 2019, Hallmark cut ties with Loughlin, who was starring as Abigail in the sixth season of When Calls the Heart, and she has yet to make any appearances or give an interview about what happened.
However, Krakow, along with the show's creator, Brian Bird, have been outspoken about wanting Loughlin to return to her Hallmark family. "Some of the fans have asked what will happen to Abigail’s character, and shared their opinion that Hope Valley should be an example of forgiveness and grace. As Lori’s friend, I could not agree more," Bird told From the Desk in 2019.
"I love Lori and would be so happy to see her back in Hope Valley sooner than later. She’s obviously always in my heart, so that would bring me a lot of joy," Erin told Good Housekeeping in April.
According to Us Weekly, Loughlin "can’t wait to get back to work," and is looking forward to what's next.
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