The Hallmark Channel has announced it is cutting ties with Lori Loughlin, who starred in the network’s show “When Calls the Heart,” after she was arrested on a charge of mail fraud in connection with the widespread college admissions bribery scheme.
Hallmark is pulling an upcoming episode of the show, which was due to air this weekend.
“We are no longer airing the episode on March 17, but we are not cancelling the show,” a representative for Crown Media, Hallmark’s parent company, told Variety. “The show is one of our best performers in the Sunday night slot, and were are exploring all sorts of creative options moving forward.”
The “Fuller House” star surrendered to authorities on Wednesday morning, and was in Canada shooting the period drama when arrests were made. Loughlin has also made regular appearances in the channel’s show “Garage Sale Mysteries,” as well as in a series of Christmas movies.
“We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations. 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,” the Crown Media said in a statement.
Loughlin and her husband are accused of paying a $500,000 bribe to have their two daughters, the elder of whom is a YouTube star and social media influencer, labeled as rowers to get into the University of Southern California. Prosecutors say those were false claims as neither daughter has participated in the sport.
On Tuesday morning, news emerged of an FBI investigation, code-named “Operation Varsity Blues,” into a group of wealthy parents who are accused of paying between $200,000 and $6.5 million to admit their children into elite universities. Their alleged scams include everything from faking SAT and ACT scores to paying college coaches to have their kids designated as athletic recruits.
“Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman was also among those implicated in the college admissions sham, and all three face a single count of mail fraud in connection with the scheme. Huffman and Giannulli both posted bond and left the courthouse after their arraignment yesterday.
The parents charged in the case include CEOs, real estate investors, and the co-chair of a global law firm. The children gained admission to Yale University, Georgetown University, Stanford University, UCLA, and USC.