For those wondering when (let alone, if) When Calls the Heart would return to Hallmark Channel, we've got some good news. The network has just announced that the series will resume on Sunday, May 5, with a second new episode airing the next day, Monday, May 6. Executive Producer Brian Bird made the announcement Wednesday on Instagram, writing, "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."
If you're wondering what that "painful curveball" might refer to, it's Lori Loughlin's ongoing leal troubles and involvement in the Operation Varsity Blues college cheating scandal. Laughlin's played Abigail Stanton on the show for the past six years, with Season 6 only just kicking off this past February. It was brought to a screeching halt on March 12 when charges were first brought against Loughlin, and on March 14, Hallmark announced that it had severed ties with the actress.
The future of the show was thrown into limbo, and went into a brief hiatus period while everyone behind-the-scenes tried to figure out the next steps. Bird maintained on Instagram that the show had not been canceled and would continue without Loughlin. He would later post that they were back in production after some creative retooling.
The result of that creative retooling? Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Loughlin's Abigail has been removed from the remainder of the season to do some "some highly creative editing, as well as some minor reshoots." Due to this, the episode count for the rest of Season 6 has dipped from 7 to 6.