Loughlin was fired from her role on the Netflix revival series “Fuller House” as well as from Hallmark series “When Calls the Heart” after she and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, were swept up in the 2019 scandal that exposed the lengths wealthy parents went to in order to ensure their children’s admission to top-tier universities.
Now, Deadline reports that Loughlin is making her return to acting by reprising her Abigail Stanton character in the “When Calls the Heart” spinoff series, “When Hope Calls” upon its Season 2 return.
Loughlin will reportedly appear in the two-part Season 2 premiere titled “When Hope Calls: A Country Christmas.” The Dec. 18 premiere will mark the actress’ first foray into acting, or any public appearance outside of court, since essentially stepping away from the profession as she dealt with the fallout from the scandal.
Lori Loughlin will return to acting following her involvement in the college admissions scandal.
(Rich Fury/Invision/AP, File)
Loughlin and her husband were accused of paying $500,000 to scam mastermind William “Rick” Singer to get their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella, recruited to the University of Southern California’s crew team despite neither girl previously participating in the sport.
In December, Loughlin finished serving two months behind bars for her role in the scandal. She agreed to serve two months and pay a $150,000 fine along with two years of supervised release and 100 hours of community service. Giannulli, meanwhile, was ordered to pay a $250,000 fine with two years of supervised release and 250 hours of community service in addition to a five-month prison sentence. He got out of prison in April.
Since then the couple has stayed largely out of the spotlight, even as Olivia Jade debuted on “Dancing with the Stars” Season 30. However, now it seems Loughlin is ready to get back to work. Although the actress has paid her debt to society, the question remains how audiences will respond to her return to the Hallmark franchise after two years as though it’s business as usual.
It’s especially surprising to see that she was welcomed back to reprise her “When Calls the Heart” role after her involvement in the scandal wreaked havoc on the production of Season 6. At the time, Crown Media, the umbrella group that includes the Hallmark Channel — confirmed to Fox News that the company has cut ties with Loughlin as a result of the scandal.
“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.”
Episodes in Season 6 were delayed for a time as the show was retooled to continue on without Loughlin’s character. The series returned in May of that year to finish out the season after undergoing edits and reshoots to remove her character. She spend the remainder of that year and most of 2020 locked in court proceedings trying to minimize the consequences to her family that their involvement in the college admissions scandal had, even initially pleading not guilty to the crimes.