“In her absence we must soldier on and we will. We are a community, we are strong, we are Hope Valley.”

By Meghan Overdeep
May 7, 2019
Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ricardo Hubbs

Fans of Hallmark Channel’s “When Calls the Heart” have spent months waiting to learn the fate of Lori Loughlin’s character after a highly publicized college admissions scandal resulted in her being dropped from the show in March.

The wait finally came to an end on Sunday when the drama series aired the first episode of a two-night event. The episode—the first without Loughlin’s Abigail, the mayor of Hope Valley—opened with Elizabeth, played by Erin Krakow, narrating a letter.

“We never know how life will turn,” she began. “It’s been a week since Abigail got word that her mother had taken ill back east. True to her nature, Abigail wasted no time in rushing off to care for her.

“Abigail is much more than a friend, she’s family,” the letter continued. “I will miss her and Cody deeply, we all will, but we must get by as best we can. ... We all keep Abigail and her family in our prayers in her absence and wish her Godspeed. In her absence we must soldier on and we will. We are a community, we are strong, we are Hope Valley.”

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“When Calls the Heart,” Hallmark’s longest-running and top-rated show, went on a hiatus so it could make changes and remove Loughlin from scenes that had already already filmed, Entertainment Weekly reported. As it turns out, removing Loughlin from the majority of the show’s sixth season required “highly creative editing,” and a few small reshoots. As a result, this current season will have one less episode.

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