Lori Loughlin’s ‘When Calls the Heart’ co-star Erin Krakow hopes actress will return to the show someday

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EXCLUSIVE: Erin Krakow still has a great love for her former co-star Lori Loughlin.

In late December 2020, the actress was released from prison after spending two months behind bars for paying half a million dollars in bribes to get her two daughters into college.

When the college admissions scandal came to light in 2019, the Hallmark Channel cut ties with the now-56-year-old who starred as cafe owner Abigail Stanton in the period family drama "When Calls the Heart."

Krakow, who recently kicked off Season 8 of the series, told Fox News she hopes Loughlin will return to Hope Valley someday.

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Erin Krakow (left) said former 'When Calls the Heart' co-star Lori Loughlin is one of her 'dearest friends.' (Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ricardo Hubbs)

"Well, I sure hope so," said the 36-year-old. "Real life Abigail is one of my dearest friends. Her name still hangs on a sign above the cafe. She will always be an incredibly important part of ‘When Calls the Heart.’ I would love to see her character back in Hope Valley again. We’ve got a lot more exciting stories that we could tell with her."

After the show took a month-long break amid the scandal, it revealed that Loughlin's character left to take care of her ailing mother.

Loughlin’s departure from the series was explained in 2019 during a special two-night event, People magazine reported.

According to the outlet, the episode opened with a narration: "We never know how life will turn. It’s been a week since Abigail got word that her mother had taken ill back east. True to her nature, Abigail wasted no time in rushing off to care for her. Abigail is much more than a friend, she’s family.

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Abigail

Erin Krakow is taking on a modern-day romance with Hallmark Channel's 'It Was Always You.' (©2021 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: David Astorga )

"I love my corset and petticoat as much as the next girl, but I was pretty excited to get into slightly more comfortable clothes for a few weeks," Krakow chuckled. "It’s got the added bonus of being a story about a woman who’s on this journey to figure out who she really is. It’s got some real depth to it, as well as some very comical moments, specifically a few that take place on the dance floor."

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But one thing Krakow hasn’t experienced yet is working alongside fellow Hallmark star Candace Cameron Bure.

"I adore Candace," she said. "I would love to work with her. She is a total pro, especially when it comes to comedy. I would say, I would come up with some kind of comedic scenario for us. I don’t know if we’d be playing sisters or perhaps friends who fell out of touch since elementary school… But yeah, certainly comedy. I would love to do something funny with Candace."

Erin Krakow said the ongoing love triangle in

Erin Krakow said the ongoing love triangle in 'When Calls the Heart' will finally come to an end in Season 8. (©2021 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ricardo Hubbs)

But for now, Krakow is gearing up for her ongoing love triangle in "When Calls the Heart" to finally end in Season 8. She is hopeful the shocking turn of events will lead to a Season 9, which hasn’t been announced by Hallmark yet.

"It feels like a relief, to be honest," she said. "I love a good love triangle. They’re very exciting, but they can be problematic because they divide your audience. We are very lucky that we have two incredible guys as Kevin [McGarry] and Chris [McNally], playing Nathan and Lucas. They’re both so likable that it’s really been a pretty even 50/50 split. I think it’s been a little stressful on our fans, the Hearties. And I’m ready to give them that sense of closure and relief."

"When Calls the Heart" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Hallmark Channel. "It Was Always You" premieres on Feb. 27 at 9 p.m. on Hallmark Channel. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Stephanie Nolasco Fox News