Should 'When Calls the Heart' Replace Lori Loughlin With Another Hallmark Actress?
Hearties may be saying goodbye to Lori Loughlin, but is it possible they won't have to bid adieu to Abigail Stanton on When Calls the Heart? If the Hallmark historical drama recasts the role, yes, and fans already have someone in mind: The Facts of Life's Lisa Whelchel.
The actress is no stranger to the Hallmark Channel, and she would be on board if the network considers going in that direction.
"It's very flattering that they would think of me, and I do appreciate that and I love the Hallmark Channel," she said to Fox News. "They have great movies, and my son works on the Home & Family show. It's a wonderful network and it would be a privilege to continue to work with them because I've done a couple of movies for them already."
Whelchel appeared in the Hallmark original movies For Better or For Worse in 2014 and Hearts of Spring in 2016.
Three episodes of When Calls the Heart Season 6 aired prior to Lori Loughlin's arrest for her role in the college admissions bribery scheme and Hallmark pulling the series from its schedule. Producer Brian Bird promised fans in a statement on Saturday, March 16 that the series has not been cancelled and they will be "retooling" the rest of the season.
Neither the network nor the producers have revealed their plans for Loughlin's character. The series could write her out or recast the role. Abigail plays a major role in Hope Valley, not just as its mayor, but as a highly-respected and significant part of the community. Losing that character would be a loss not only for the fans, but for the show as well.
Recasting the role may make the most sense story-wise. It would allow the series to continue to have the presence of Abigail, and bringing in an actress familiar to Hallmark fans may ease the transition. Abigail could be written out of the episodes already filmed and return with an in-story reason for her absence.
We'll just have to wait and see what Hallmark decides. And in the meantime, sound off on who you'd like to see take on the role of Abigail in the comments below!