Lori Loughlin Returns TV When Hope Calls After Prison Stint

Lori Loughlin in ‘When Hope Calls.’
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Back to her roots. Lori Loughlin acted for the first time since she served time in prison for her role in the nationwide college admissions scandal, appearing on When Hope Calls.

The Full House alum, 57, played Abigail Stanton on the Saturday, December 18, season 2 premiere of the GAC Family series. The two-part special was titled “A Country Christmas.”

Loughlin reprised the role of Abigail, which she originated on Hallmark Channel’s When Calls the Heart. She starred on the series from 2014 to 2019, when the network cut ties with her after she was indicted in March of that year. Her character was written off in a May 2019 episode as she left town to take care of her sick mother.

More than two years after Loughlin’s Abigail left her Hope Valley mayoral duties to care for her ailing mother out of town, she returned during Saturday’s episode with her adopted son, Cody (Carter Ryan Evancic). After Abigail came back to her Brookfield roots, she reunited with Lillian (Morgan Kohan), who runs the New Hope Orphanage on her own.

Abigail, for her part, later revealed her once-sick mother is feeling better before reuniting with another former resident: Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing). While Jack had previously died during season 5, he appeared in an emotional dream sequence during Saturday’s episode to deliver a message to his wife, Elizabeth (Erin Krakow).

“Will you let her know that I am happy that she is moving on with her life?” Jack asked Abigail during the episode. “And let her know that she is doing a fine job with little Jack, and I cannot be more proud of both of them. … And one more thing: You tell her that true love never dies. I know that now more than ever.”

Loughlin’s character tearfully replied, “Oh, Jack. There is so much that she wants to tell you.”

Shortly after the episode aired, the 40-year-old Australia native shared a behind-the-scenes Instagram snap with the 90210 alum, writing, “One last time in the red.”

The actress and husband Mossimo Giannulli were accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to secure their daughters, Bella, 23, and Olivia Jade, 22, admission to the University of Southern California as crew recruits. The couple pleaded guilty to fraud charges in May 2020.

Loughlin was sentenced to two months in prison, two years of supervised release, 100 hours of community service and a $150,000 fine. She reported to the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California, in October 2020 and was released in December 2020 after serving less than two months behind bars.

Meanwhile, Mossimo, 58, received five months in prison, two years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine and 250 hours of community service. Us Weekly revealed in April that he had completed his time behind bars.

As the pair reclaimed their lives, Us confirmed in September that Loughlin would resume acting on the When Calls the Heart spinoff after the scandal. “Lori can’t wait to get back to work, she has been waiting a long time to get back on set,” a source shared at the time. “Lori is looking forward to the future and is ready to get back to filming When Hope Calls.”

The Fuller House alum was right at home as she returned to work too. “Everyone on set is very excited to have Lori back,” an insider told Us in October. “The crew is aware of the scandal she went through but strongly believes she deserves a second chance.”

Loughlin has no intentions of making the gig a one-off either. “On meetings and calls, she’s been so sweet to everyone and always has been respectful so it’s exciting for everyone involved,” the source added. “There have already been conversations about future projects with her down the line.”

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