The popular Hallmark Channel series When Calls the Heart had just begun its 6th season when the show was rocked by a scandal. One of their lead actresses Lori Loughlin, who played Hope Valley’s mayor Abigail Stanton, was indicted for her involvement in a high-profile college admissions scandal. And it was quickly followed by Hallmark firing Loughlin and pulling the rest of the season 6 episodes from their schedule. Which left fans fearing the worst – that When Calls the Heart has been quietly canceled and that there will be no new episodes of the beloved series.
When Calls The Heart has not been canceled
Luckily, the show’s executive producer Brian Bird quickly shot down the rumors that the show has been axed. And let the fans know via a heartfelt Instagram post that When Calls the Heart is just taking a creative hiatus to figure out how to handle Loughlin’s abrupt exit.
View this post on Instagram
Moreover, in the post Bird not only thanked fans for the continuing support they have shown to the series even after Hallmark made the decision to part ways with Loughlin. But also assured Hearties that season 6 of When Calls the Heart will resume as soon as they are able to make the necessary changes to the episodes. And even mentioned that the process of retooling the remaining 7 episodes of When Calls the Heart season 6 has begun.
Retooling of When Calls the Heart season 6
So, what does it mean for the rest of the show’s sixth season? And what exactly are Hallmark’s options here, since they did decide not to cancel the series?
Well, by our count there are a couple of ways how the Hallmark Channel could bring us the remaining episodes of the show even without Loughlin.
Since Loughlin’s character Abigail is such an integral part of the show, one way for them to continue the series would be to recast the role. That would, of course, mean that they would have to reshoot all of the scenes that Loughlin was in. However, reshoots aren’t a rare occurrence in the entertainment business. And it would allow the show to continue with little to no plot changes.
While the second way for the When Calls the Heart producing team to deal with Loughlin’s sudden departure would be to write Abigail out of the series entirely. And they don’t even have to kill off the character. There are a lot of reasons that could seem credible when it comes to explaining Abigail’s absence.
Yet, that would mean that the show had to think of new plotlines to fill in for the stories that Abigail played a part in. As well as reshoot the scenes that Loughlin was in if they want to keep those stories moving forward. Which does sound like a mammoth task but it’s also not impossible.
Which route will Hallmark choose? Or will they think of another workaround Loughlin’s absence? Time will only tell. And hopefully, this hiatus won’t be too long. Because if you’re anything like us, you probably also can’t wait to return to Hope Vally and see where the rest of the season takes us!
I DON’T THINK IT WOULD BE POSSIBLE TO RECAST SOMEONE ELSE AS ABIGAIL BECAUSE no one else would look exactly the same, sound the same, or have the same personality, so the believability of the show would be greatly diminished.
I THINK TO WRITE ABIGAIL OUT OF THE SERIES ENTIRELY WOULD BE THE BEST OPTION BECAUSE it would preserve the credibility of the show making it still believable. But I don’t think that Abigail would have to die (like Jack); I think that the writers (who are much more creative and genius at writing than I) could have Abigail and Sam move away suddenly for some emergency reason.
For example, the writers could have Abigail’s father die, thus instantly leaving her elderly mother with palsy, dementia, or paralyzed from a stroke with no other family members to stay with her to care for her. And after her father’s death, she could move there to deal with her father’s funeral arrangements, financial arrangements, etc., in addition to helping her handicapped mother who was paralyzed from a stroke (or had palsy or dementia or whatever) by living with her to take care of her in her remaining days (a reversal of roles when the child takes care of the parent in their need instead of vice versa as it used to be years earlier.) Then, you could have someone whose voice SOUNDS like Abigail’s voice to call on the phone (now that Hope Valley has telephone service!) to Bill, the half-owner of her restaurant, to explain her and Sam’s sudden departure, to say how things are going, and to talk to Bill about selling her half of the restaurant either to him or someone else in Hope Valley. Jack could then travel up to Abigail’s mother’s home to discuss the details and sign the paper work. The money from the sale of Abigail’s half interest in the restaurant would help her financially to stay home with her mother and take care of her and Sam. She could even call Elizabeth every once in a while to keep everyone posted on how she and Sam (and her mother) are doing.
I THINK THAT SOMETHING LIKE THIS WOULD BE THE BEST OPTION.
I agree Jim, writing Abigail out of the show would definitely be the better option.
Thank you so much Mr. Landon, Mr. Krevoy and Mr. Moreno for not cancelling WCTH. While we’ve only been watching for about 3 years of WCTH, it most definitely has become a very important part of our TV viewing on Sunday evenings.
All of the characters (and some sure are characters), are so wonderful to watch their interactions with one another and their genuine caring for one another which does come across on the screen. Mrs. Loughlin, to us, also showed a sense of humor as well as “toughness” in her character of Mayor. While we are very sad at this turn of events in WCTH’s life, we are so happy that it will definitely continue. Thank you, thank you, thank you.