The return date for the Hallmark Channel's When Calls the Heart has officially been revealed, with the series set to return to screens sans Lori Loughlin, who was recently indicted on multiple charges in the college admissions scandal.
According to TVLine, the show will resume airing new episodes on Sunday, May 5 and Monday, May 6 before resuming its regular airtime of Sundays at 8 p.m. The episodes will be the first since the show went on a sudden hiatus after the scandal was reported.
Executive producer Brian Bird announced the return in a message on Wednesday, April 10.
"#Hearties, thanks for sticking with us through this challenging time," the message began. "As you now know… the show not only must go on, but will go on, starting Sunday night, May 5th and Monday night, May 6th, and then in our regular Sunday night time slot after that through the remainder of Season 6."
"Life throws all of us painful curveballs, and the only way to survive is to walk right through them with courage, grace, a forgiving spirit, and most of all, hope," Bird continued. "Many of you have wondered what the future holds for our cast and crew, and for the citizens of Hope Valley. Your care and concern means the world to us, and the best way we can thank you is to encourage you the way you encourage us because… Hope always lives here."
The Hallmark Channel announced in March that it is severing ties with Loughlin, who has also starred in a number of made-for-television movies on the network.
"We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations. We are no longer working with Lori Loughlin and have stopped development of all productions that air on the Crown Media Family Network channels involving Lori Loughlin including 'Garage Sale Mysteries,' an independent third party production," the Hallmark parent company said in a statement, via Variety.
While Loughlin has been fired from the network, it's unclear what will happen to her character on the show, Abigail Stanton, and whether she will be written out of the show or recast.
Loughlin was shooting When Calls the Heart in Canada when she was indicted, forcing her to return to the United States as soon as possible on a flight. She was then arrested and released on a $1 million bond. The 54-year-old has since been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
According to the indictment, Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, "agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC." They also reportedly sent photoshopped pictures of their daughters on rowing machines to convince admissions officers.
Photo Credit: Getty / Paul Archuleta