Lori Loughlin played Abigail Stanton on When Calls the Heart for six seasons.
They wrote her character out of the show following her involvement in Operation Varsity Blues, the massive college admissions scandal.
Now that Lori has served her time in prison, Hearties (including the show's star, Erin Krakow) are hopeful that she'll return to the show.
It's been two years since Abigail Stanton left Hope Valley, but most Hearties agree that it feels like yesterday.
As soon as news broke that Lori Loughlin played a part in the nationwide college admissions scandal, Hallmark Channel cut ties with the actress, who was starring as Abigail in the sixth season of When Calls the Heart. The show was only halfway through airing season 6, so they took a month-long hiatus to figure out next steps, ultimately deciding to completely write Abigail out of the show.
When the show returned to Hallmark Channel, Elizabeth Thatcher (played by Erin Krakow) addressed Abigail's sudden exit from Hope Valley, making it clear that she was still a vital part of the community. "Abigail is much more than a friend, she’s family. I will miss her and Cody deeply — we all will, but we must get by as best we can. In her absence, we must soldier on and we will. We are a community, we are strong, we are Hope Valley," she reminded fans everywhere.
In the seasons since, the folks of Hope Valley haven't shied away from mentioning Abigail, especially since Bill Avery (played by Jack Wagner) still runs Abigail's Cafe in the center of town. This leads some Hearties to believe — or rather, hope — that it's just a matter of time until Abigail makes a return.
The show's cast and crew seem to be on board for Abigail's comeback. Shortly after her departure, the show's creator Brian Bird said that out of all places in the world, Hope Valley should be a place that forgives someone's wrongdoings. "Some of the fans have asked what will happen to Abigail’s character, and shared their opinion that Hope Valley should be an example of forgiveness and grace. As Lori’s friend, I could not agree more," he told From the Desk
Erin has also publicly supported her "forever friend" in the wake of the scandal. In a new interview with Good Housekeeping, she echoed the creator's statement, confirming that she'd be thrilled to be reunited with her former co-star: "I love Lori and would be so happy to see her back in Hope Valley sooner than later. She’s obviously always in my heart, so that would bring me a lot of joy."
It's possible that this has been the plan all along. Instead of killing her character off like they did with Jack (played by Daniel Lissing), the show simply stated that Abigail left town to care for her ailing mother, That means, the door is wide open for Abigail's eventual return — next season, maybe?
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