Lori Loughlin was once the star of the Hallmark Channel’s popular series, When Calls the Heart. That is, until she was let go due to her involvement in the college admissions scandal that saw her and her husband paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters into USC.
The scandal not only affected Lori and her family but her co-stars in both Fuller House and When Calls the Heart were affected as well. In an exclusive interview with ET, Jack Wagner, Lori’s co-star on When, revealed his feelings about the loss of Lori from the show.
Jack, who plays Bill Avery, said his feelings of Lori’s firing are like the “five stages of grief. I can’t describe it any better than that,” Wagner told ET. “When you lose something or someone, I would describe it that way.”
Hallmark cut ties with the actress, who played Abigail Stanton, shortly after news broke of the scandal. The parent company of the Hallmark Channel said it was “saddened” by the recent allegations and has stopped development of all productions involving her.
With Lori not longer a part of the series, fans wondered what would happen of the series. Hallmark later revealed that When Calls the Heart would return with season 6 on May 5 & 6 with back to back episodes, following with regular episodes in their Sunday night time slot.
“I’m really happy the show is coming back,” Jack said. “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.
“… It really was a real group effort of feeling like we had to feel our feelings and then we had to move past that and that’s what we’ve done,” he added. “We hit our marks, gave the best performances we could, which is what we’ve always done… what we’re technically hired to do, and so that’s kind of the attitude.”
How the show will move on without Lori is still under wraps, but Jack shared that the cast has come together to do the best they can.
“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.”
When Calls the Heart airs on Sunday night on Hallmark Channel.