Hallmark parts ways with Lori Loughlin; fate of ‘When Calls the Heart’ and ‘Garage Store Mysteries’ is unclear

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The Hallmark Channel/Photofest

Gwen Reyes // Critic

Legally embattled Hallmark heroine, Lori Loughlin’s name has yet to leave the news this week. In the wake of her involvement with the “Operation: Varsity Blues” college prep and college admittance scam, the family-friendly network has officially decided to part ways with one of their biggest stars – Loughlin.

According to a statement sent by Hallmark, despite judge-granted permission for Loughlin to travel for work to British Columbia, where many of her Hallmark shows including, WHEN CALLS THE HEART and GARAGE SALE MYSTERIES, they no longer want to stay in business with their biggest stars.

“We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations,” Hallmark said Thursday. “We are no longer working with Lori Loughlin and have stopped development of all productions that air on the Crown Media Family Network channels involving Lori Loughlin, including GARAGE SALE MYSTERIES, an independent third party production.”

This decision does not come as a shock, as the squeaky-clean entertainment company likes to keep anything deemed controversial away from its brand. When your marquee star’s hands are dirty with a scandal like the one cooked up by William “Rick” Singer to collect money from wealthy parents in exchange for getting their children into college no matter what the means (including bribery), it just isn’t a good look for anyone let alone a network grounded in its wholesome image.

Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Gianulli, are accused of spending a half-million dollars with Singer to guarantee entry to USC for their two daughters, Bella and Olivia. The Gianulli sisters, who are current students at the prestigious Los Angeles private university, allegedly received time compensation for disabilities they didn’t have and gained admittance to the school as recruits for the crew team despite never rowing previously. The college is making a case-by-case decision for any students involved with the scam, so while they are enrolled as students now, it’s possible their status could change.

As for Loughlin, she and Gianulli are out on $1 million bonds each. Hallmark still plans to air a new episode of WHEN CALLS THE HEART this Sunday. Readers can view previous seasons on Netflix.

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