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/ Source: TODAY
By Drew Weisholtz

The Hallmark Channel has announced it will continue production of “When Calls the Heart,” despite the fact the channel has severed its relationship with star Lori Loughlin in the wake of her alleged role in a college bribery scheme.

Series producer Brian Bird posted a message on the show’s Instagram page Sunday, letting fans know the show will go on.

“#Hearties, thank you for your love, support, and patience these last several days as we have all been preoccupied with the news about Lori Loughlin and her family, and the decisions our colleagues at the Hallmark Channel USA needed to make,” he wrote. “As you can imagine, everyone involved with ‘When Calls the Heart’ was surprised by these developments, so we hope you can forgive us for initially staying silent while we sorted through how to respond."

“As for the show itself, we know millions of fans are on pins and needles wondering what will happen now,” the statement continued. “Let us reassure you, ‘When Calls the Heart’ has always been bigger than the sum of its parts, and it HAS NOT BEEN CANCELED. With the full support of the network, we have gone on a creative hiatus to do some retooling on the remaining Season 6 episodes. That process has already begun. Hope Valley will return to your TV screens as soon as we can bring the episodes to you.

Actress Lori Loughlin filming a scene for the TV series, "When Calls the Heart" in 2014.Getty Images

“Your love for ‘When Calls the Heart’ is the courage we count on as we work through this most challenging transition and your Hearties community will always be the most important legacy of this TV series. We love you!” the statement concluded.

Loughlin, 54, was arrested last week and released on $1 million bond after she was charged in college admission scam, accused of doling out $500,000 in bribes to boost her two daughters’ chances of gaining entrance to USC.

In addition to the Hallmark Channel cutting ties with the actress, Loughlin’s daughter, Olivia Jade, lost her sponsorship deal with Sephora.

Loughlin, who is due to appear in federal court in Boston on March 29, had been with “When Calls the Heart” since it debuted in 2014, playing widow Abigail Stanton.

She had also appeared in several other projects for the Hallmark Channel, including the “Garage Sale Mystery” franchise of movies. Most recently, she starred in the holiday film “Homegrown Christmas.”