'When Calls the Heart' Renewed for Season 7

When Calls the Heart
Ricardo Hubbs/Crown Media

Days after Hallmark announced a May return, the network is ordering another season -- the first without Lori Loughlin.

Days after a return date was set for When Calls the Heart, Hallmark Channel has ordered a seventh season.

Series star Erin Krakow made the announcement in a special video message that aired Saturday evening during the premiere of Hallmark's original movie, Bottled With Love. The newly ordered seventh season will launch in 2020. 

On Wednesday, Hallmark revealed in a video message that the series would resume its sixth season with a two-night premiere on Sunday, May 5 and Monday, May 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Episodes were pulled in March after Lori Loughlin's alleged involvement in a massive college admissions scandal came to light. The network cut ties with Loughlin soon after.

Executive producer Brian Bird addressed the future direction of When Calls the Heart in a separate message on the show's official Instagram on Wednesday, 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. 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."

Earlier this week, Krakow -- who also serves as an executive producer -- took to Twitter to share a cryptic message that many have interpreted as a nod to her friend and former colleague, Loughlin.

"'You are always there for me,'" she tweeted Monday, along with several heart emojis. "'And I always will be.'" 

Krakow is the latest member of the When Calls the Heart cast to break their social media silence. Other stars, such as Paul Greene and Pascale Hutton, among others, were more keen to address the show's creative hiatus in the wake of Loughlin's termination.

Despite initial reports that the Hallmark favorite would face cancellation, Bird quickly assured fans that the show would be returning after an indefinite hiatus to figure out how to deal with the developments from a narrative standpoint.

Loughlin was taken into custody by FBI agents in Los Angeles on March 13 after being one of 50 people -- including her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, and actress Felicity Huffman -- charged in a college admissions cheating scam, in which they allegedly paid money to fraudulently secure their children's admissions into elite universities. On Tuesday, Loughlin and Giannulli were indicted on an additional charge.

source tells ET that, up until this point, Loughlin didn't believe she would face the possibility of serving time in prison. Despite fearing the prospect of jail, the source claims Loughlin didn't truly believe it could happen to her. Loughlin and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters -- Olivia, 19, and Bella, 20 -- admitted to the University of Southern California as recruits for the crew team, even though neither of them participated in the sport.

"Lori still believed in the end she would just get a slap on the wrist," the source says. "At this point she is getting complete clarity and she’s scared and in terrible shape. The reality of this situation has finally hit her like a ton of bricks. It wasn’t until she was faced with [the] additional [charge] that she saw the true ramifications." 

When Calls the Heart resumes season six with a two-night premiere Sunday, May 5 and Monday, May 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Hallmark Channel.