After a brief hiatus, the Hallmark Channel series "When Calls the Heart" will return on May 5 with new episodes in which former series star Lori Loughlin has been edited out. The Hauppauge native was arrested last month in a college-admissions bribery scandal.
Entertainment Weekly on Tuesday said Loughlin was removed through editing and some minor reshoots, and that the season will consist of one fewer episode than planned.
The episode originally scheduled for March 17, "Heart of a Mountie," was replaced by a movie and will now air May 5. A second episode will follow on May 6.
"Life throws all of us painful curveballs, and the only way to survive is to talk right through them with courage, grace, a forgiving spirit, and most of all, hope," executive producer Brad Bird, 61, tweeted Tuesday. "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 mean the world to us."
Following a between-seasons Christmas Day episode, season six premiered Feb. 24. On March 12, two days after the season's third episode aired, Loughlin and more than 30 other parents were charged in the college admissions fraud investigation. The actress, 54, played Abigail Stanton, the town's mayor and café-owner.
Two days after Hallmark announced on March 14 that it was dropping Loughlin from the network's programming, it assured fans the show had not been canceled. Bird afterward wrote on Instagram that, "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."