In the wake of the charge against Loughlin, the 54-year-old best known for her role on “Full House,” Hallmark Channel dropped her from its show and writers began reworking the season 6 episodes to remove her character.
The episode that marked the series’ return to Hallmark on May 5 featured Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow) saying that Loughlin’s character Abigail Stanton left town.
“We never know how life will turn,” Thatcher narrated a letter she was writing, according to Entertainment Weekly. “It’s been a week since Abigail got word that her mother had taken ill back east. True to her nature, Abigail wasted no time in rushing off to care for her.”
She then said that Stanton was important and loved.
“Abigail is much more than a friend. She’s family, and I will miss her and Cody deeply. We all will. But we must get by as best we can,” she added.
While fans knew that Loughlin’s character would exit in some way, it wasn’t clear how the exit was planned.
Brian Bird, executive producer on “When Calls the Heart,” previously took to Instagram to tell fans about the future of the show.
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From Executive Producer, Brian Bird: #Hearties, thanks for sticking with us through this challenging time. 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. 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. #WhenCallsTheHeart #WCTH #Hearties (????: @janettemsu)
“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,” he wrote. “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.”
Jack Wagner, who plays Bill Avery in the show, told Entertainment Tonight recently that Loughlin’s firing was like “the five stages of grief” for him.
“I can’t describe it any better than that,” Wagner said. “When you lose something or someone, I would describe it that way.”
“I’m really happy the show is coming back. I think it’s a testament to the show itself, that it’s on its feet again and it’s survived quite a few different things in the six years and now going into seven years, so I’m really proud to be a part of it. It’s really found a place in my heart. Just being in that pioneer town as an actor is just a really special feeling,” he added.
“When a show… loses a character or something that is just such a key component to the show… you really have to kind of regroup and restructure,” he explained. “Ultimately it’s about how you’re going to write the show and what the attitude is going to be amongst the actors as professionals, so that’s been tested again and we all showed up, we hit our marks, and we’re trying to do our best.”