Lori Loughlin Just Booked Her 1st Acting Role Since She Left Prison For the College Admissions Scandal

When Calls the Heart
Photo: Eike Schroter/©Hallmark/courtesy Everett Collection.

She’s back. Lori Loughlin‘s When Calls the Heart spinoff will be her return to acting after more than two years away from Hollywood.

News broke on Tuesday, September 28, that Lori will reprise her role as Abigail Stanton from Hallmark’s When Calls the Heart for season 2 of the show’s spinoff, When the Hope Calls, which will be titled, When the Hope Calls: A Country Christmas. The spinoff, which will air on GAC Family, is set to premiere on December 18. The news comes more than two years after Lori and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, were indicted in the nationwide college admissions scandal in March 2019. The couple were accused of paying $500,000 in bribes so their daughters—Bella, 23, and Olivia Jade, 22—would be admitted into the University of Southern California as crew recruits, even though neither participated in the sport.

Lori and Mossimo pled guilty for their roles in the college admissions scandal in May 2020, and were sentenced to two months and five months in prison respectively. Lori completed her sentence in December 2020, while Mossimo was released in April 2021. After the news of Lori’s arrest in March 2019, Crown Media Family Networks, which owns the Hallmark Network, confirmed in a statement that Lori was no longer on When Calls the Heart.

“We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations,” the statement read. 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.”

In May 2019, viewers learned that Lori’s character, Abigail, left town to are for her “ill” mother “back east.” Lori appeared on the first six seasons of When Calls the Heart, which was renewed for season 9 earlier this year. Executive producer Brian Bird tweeted in September 2020 that he was open to Lori’s return. “Hope Valley is a place of second chances. We believe that. Not just for stories but for real life too. Everybody deserves second chances,” he wrote at the time.

After her arrest, Lori was also fired from Netflix’s Fuller House, in which she played Aunt Becky. The show, which aired its series finale in June 2020, wrote off Aunt Becky by telling viewers that she moved to Nebraska to “help out her mother.” Lori’s youngest daughter, Olivia Jade, is a current contestant on season 30 of Dancing With the Stars.

“My mom’s been a huge support,” Olivia said at a press conference for DWTS in September 2021. “She’s in total mom mode, like, ‘Make sure you take an Epsom salt bath.’ She’s trying to get me to take an ice bath! I’m like, ‘I don’t need an ice bath yet!’ My sister has been telling me she wants to come to every single show.”

Dancing With the Stars season 30 airs Mondays on ABC. Here’s how to watch it for free.

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