'When Calls the Heart' Sets Season 6 Return Date After Lori Loughlin Firing

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When Calls the Heart is moving on following Lori Loughlin's termination.

Hallmark Channel's popular drama series will resume its sixth season with a special two-night return on Sunday, May 5 and Monday, May 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, the network announced Wednesday. New episodes of When Calls the Heart were pulled in March after Loughlin's alleged involvement in a massive college admissions scandal came to light. Hallmark cut ties with Loughlin soon after.

"We can't wait to welcome you back to Hope Valley and share more all-new stories with you," When Calls the Heart star Erin Krakow said in a cheery pre-taped video message posted Wednesday, with nary a mention of Loughlin or her exit. A sneak preview of the show's return did not show or mention Loughlin's character, Abigail. "We're so excited for you to meet our new Mountie. I know you won't want to miss a single moment."

Interestingly, Krakow hinted in the video that there is another announcement regarding When Calls the Heart that will be revealed Saturday at 8 p.m. ET/PT during the premiere of its original movie, Bottled With Love, with Bethany Joy Lenz and Andrew Walker. It is unclear what the announcement will be.

When Calls the Heart executive producer Brian Bird more directly addressed Loughlin's absence on the show in a separate message to fans posted on the show's official Instagram account, but did not mention the actress' name.

"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," Bird wrote. "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."

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From Executive Producer, Brian Bird: #Hearties, thanks for sticking with us through this challenging time. As you now know… the show not only must go on, but will go on, starting Sunday night, May 5th and Monday night, May 6th, and then in our regular Sunday night time slot after that through the remainder of Season 6. 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. #WhenCallsTheHeart #WCTH #Hearties (📷: @janettemsu)

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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.

A 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 returns Sunday, May 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Hallmark Channel.

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