NATIONAL NEWS

Lori Loughlin Loses Starring Roles On Hallmark Channel

Mar 14, 2019, 3:10 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:14 pm
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 26: Lori Loughlin attends the 2018 Hallmark Channel Summer TCA at a privat...
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 26: Lori Loughlin attends the 2018 Hallmark Channel Summer TCA at a private residence on July 26, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (AP) — The Hallmark Channel cut ties Thursday with favored star Lori Loughlin, a day after her arrest in a college admissions scam put the family-friendly network and extended Hallmark brand in uncomfortable proximity to a national scandal.

“We are saddened by the recent allegations surrounding the college admissions process,” Hallmark Cards Inc., parent company of the Crown Media Family Networks group that includes the Hallmark Channel, said in a statement.

“We are no longer working with Lori Loughlin” and have stopped development of all productions with the actress for Crown Media channels, the statement said.

The company initially took a wait-and-see approach after a federal investigation of the scam involving more than 30 parents, many of them prominent, was revealed Tuesday. Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying bribes to gain their daughters’ college admissions.

Loughlin’s career and the Hallmark Channel were deeply intertwined. She’s been among its so-called “Christmas queens” who topline a slate of popular holiday movies, and also starred in the ongoing “Garage Sale Mysteries” movies and the series “When Calls the Heart.”

“It’s a feel-good, family values-type channel, and obviously scandal is the opposite of that,” said Atlanta-based market strategist Laura Ries.

There was more at stake than image. “When Calls the Heart” tapes in Canada, and a judge ordered Loughlin’s passport to be surrendered in December after grudgingly allowing her to cross the border for work until then.

Loughlin has not yet entered a plea in the case, and her attorney declined comment Wednesday after her first appearance in a Los Angeles federal court. Loughlin’s publicist declined comment Thursday on Hallmark’s decision to drop her.

The actress wasn’t exclusive to Hallmark. She’s reprised her role as Aunt Becky for Netflix’s “Fuller House” reboot of the popular series that originated in 1987 on ABC. But the sitcom represents a fraction of the streamer’s flood of programs, while Loughlin has occupied an increasing amount of Hallmark real estate since she starred in “Meet My Mom” in 2010.

She’s proved a reliable performer. Her 2018 holiday movie, “Homegrown Christmas,” was the most-watched non-sports cable program the week it aired. In February, the season six premiere of “When Calls the Heart” was watched by a series-best 2.5 million viewers, putting it behind only “The Walking Dead” in Sunday night cable dramas.

“They definitely have a formula and you do have to follow the formula. And if you don’t, they rein you back in and say, ‘You have to follow. This is our format, this is what we do,'” Loughlin said in an interview last year with The Associated Press about the Christmas movies.

She said the rigidity chafes a bit but called the result “heartwarming,” adding, “You go to bed and you don’t have any bad dreams.”

The New York City native with a sunny smile proved a good fit for the channel that specializes in romantic dramas and comedies with a wholesome touch, while her media-friendly personality allowed her to expertly tout her shows on her website and in TV appearances.

Then came Tuesday’s bombshell government allegation that Loughlin and her husband were among more than 30 parents who paid a consultant to ensure their offspring’s place in college with bribes and falsified exams. Prosecutors allege the couple paid $500,000 to have their daughters labeled as crew-team recruits at the University of Southern California, although neither is a rower.

Felicity Huffman (“Desperate Housewives,” ”American Crime”) was among the other prominent parents, including a lawyer, doctor and a venture capitalist, indicted in the scam.

Hallmark Cards, the Kansas City, Missouri, enterprise started in 1910, has moved quickly before to respond to any flare-ups, such as in when it removed a gift wrap from circulation after one person complained of seeing a swastika in its pattern.

Misbehavior may be unusual in the Hallmark world but is nothing new for Hollywood, with the fallout from sex and other scandals affecting celebrities and companies. But the white-collar crime Loughlin is accused of is akin to that of another unlikely scofflaw: Martha Stewart, who was convicted in 2004 of obstructing justice and lying to the government about a stock sale.

“She lost trust,” said Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys, a New York-based brand research firm. So did her empire, despite Stewart’s efforts to separate her personal actions from it: “Wrong — you’re the brand,” he said.

While Stewart may exemplify her business, Loughlin wasn’t the only engaging star on Hallmark’s roster. “Full House” co-star Candace Cameron Bure and Lacey Chabert are among its popular holiday movie stars, and another emerged this year as Kellie Pickler’s “Christmas At Graceland” ranked as the most-watched entry.

“There are other actresses out there, whether they find or develop another to replace her,” said Ries.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

FILE...
Michael Houck

Ute man charged for murder, kidnapping of a 5-year-old girl

A Ute man is facing murder, kidnapping charges after stealing a truck with a 5-year-old girl and killing her in a rollover.
1 day ago
Disney's board of directors unanimously voted to extend Chapek's contract as CEO for another three ...
Frank Pallotta, CNN Business

Disney CEO Bob Chapek gets new three year contract

Disney's board of directors unanimously voted to extend Bob Chapek's contract as CEO for another three years, the company said Tuesday. His new contract begins July 1 and runs until 2025.
1 day ago
The Biden Administration is expected to detail plans to roll out more monkeypox vaccines across the...
Brenda Goodman, CNN

US to offer monkeypox vaccines in states with high case rates

The Biden Administration announced plans to beef up its response to monkeypox on Tuesday, detailing plans to offer more vaccines and more tests to people who are most at risk of getting it — including men who have sex with men and their partners.
1 day ago
Instagram and posts about abortion...
AMANDA SEITZ Associated Press

Instagram hides some posts that mention abortion

Instagram is blocking posts that mention abortion from public view, in some cases requiring its users to confirm their age before letting them view posts that offer up information about the procedure.
1 day ago
US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announces charges against Jeffery...
Associated Press

A timeline of the Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell scandal

Here is a timeline of the case against Jeffrey Epstein and his former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, who was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for helping him abuse teenage girls.
1 day ago
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 28: Cassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff...
LISA MASCARO AP Congressional Correspondent

Angry Trump, dire legal warnings, and ketchup at surprise Jan. 6 hearing

The House Jan. 6 committee held a surprise hearing Tuesday delivering alarming new testimony about Donald Trump’s angry, defiant, and vulgar actions as he ignored repeated warnings against summoning the mob to the Capitol and then refused to intervene to stop the deadly violence as rioters laid siege.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Lori Loughlin Loses Starring Roles On Hallmark Channel