ET's Katie Krause spoke with Erin Krakow at Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Summer 2019 TCA press tour event in Beverly Hills, California, on Friday, where the actress opened up about what it's been like working on the Hallmark hit without Loughlin. The network stopped working with Loughlin in March, following her alleged involvement in the college admissions case; her WCTH character, Abigail, was written off the show.
"I miss her very much. Yeah, she's my best, best friend, so that was hard not having her there, obviously," Krakow said. "We were happy to see that the fans continued to support the show and rally around us, and we've really felt that love, so thank you."
While Abigail is no longer a part of When Calls the Heart, the show has introduced two new characters, as potential love interests for Krakow's Elizabeth following the death of Daniel Lissing's Jack Thornton.
"In season six, we really didn't want to rush into any romance for Elizabeth. We were wanting to honor the romance, the love affair, that she had with Jack, but we did think it was probably a good idea to introduce a couple hunks that maybe Elizabeth could have feelings for down the line. And so, we're sort of tip toeing around that, and by the end of season six, I think we're starting to see that she does have feelings for both guys, and hopefully in season seven, we'll explore that even more -- slowly," said Krakow, who is also an executive producer on the series.
The season six finale saw Elizabeth dancing with Lucas (Chris McNally), but locking eyes with Nathan (Kevin McGarry), seemingly feeling a bit of regret.
"Open to interpretation. It was ladies' choice. There were a lot of guys on the floor," Krakow teased of the decision. "Maybe she picked the first one she saw, or maybe she felt more of a connection with Lucas. I don't know. We'll have to watch season seven and find out."
"I don't [think either will take Jack's place]. I meant it when I said I think these romances should blossom slowly. I think we're going to take our time with that. No one will be stepping into Jack's footsteps right away," she insisted.
While Hearties wait for Elizabeth's love to blossom, they have a whole new set of characters to invest in with the WCTH spinoff series, When Hope Calls.
"We're so excited about this spinoff, When Hope Calls. I don't know if I'd call it a crossover, necessarily, but you will see a few characters making their way into When Hope Calls, and we got to meet of course Morgan [Kohan] and Jocelyn [Hudon], who play the two sisters, Lillian and Grace, when they came to visit us in Hope Valley. So that was great, and hopefully we'll see more of that," Krakow shared.
See more on When Calls the Heart in the video below.