The fate of the show was unclear after Loughlin, 54, was arrested on Wednesday on a felony charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
Though the network has since severed ties with the star, producer Brian Bird and his production team said Saturday via WCTH‘s Instagram account that the show has not been canceled and will return with new episodes after a “retooling” hiatus.
“#Hearties, thank you for your love, support, and patience these last several days as we have all been preoccupied with the news about Lori Loughlin and her family, and the decisions our colleagues at the Hallmark Channel USA needed to make,” the statement began. “As you can imagine, everyone involved with When Calls the Heart was surprised by these developments, so we hope you can forgive us for initially staying silent while we sorted through how to respond.”
The statement continued: “As for the show itself, we know millions of fans are on pins and needles wondering what will happen now. Let us reassure you, When Calls the Heart has always been bigger than the sum of its parts, and it HAS NOT BEEN CANCELED. 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. Hope Valley will return to your TV screens as soon as we can bring the episodes to you.”
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The statement concluded with a thank you to fans for their continued support through what Bird called a “challenging transition.”
The post also included a photo with the words, “Hope Valley will return soon. The show must go on.”
When Calls the Heart premiered in 2014, featuring Loughlin as widow Abigail Stanton. The former Full House star was dropped by the Hallmark Channel in the wake of her arrest.
“We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations,” the network said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE on Thursday. “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 network also said it would not be airing any past content featuring the actress.
Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are among dozens charged in an alleged college admissions scam involving elite colleges and universities including Yale, Georgetown, the University of Southern California and Stanford.
She and Giannulli allegedly paid $500,000 in bribes to designate their daughters as recruits on the USC crew team — even though they don’t even row. The parents are charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
Loughlin was taken into custody Wednesday and made her first appearance in federal court in Los Angeles hours later, where a judge set her bond at $1 million, according to the Associated Press, the Orange County Register and the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Giannulli appeared in federal court on Tuesday and was released after posting a $1 million bond.
A source told PEOPLE that in the wake of the couple’s arrests, some of their friends have been keeping their distance.
“Lori and Mossimo are finding out quickly who their real friends are,” the insider said. “It’s not like they are the victims of a crime. They are the crime.”
“Many of their friends don’t want to be associated with them right now,” the source added. “Their friends are shocked at the allegations.”
Meanwhile, a source told PEOPLE that Loughlin’s daughter Olivia Jade would not be returning to USC when classes resume Monday.
“She can’t handle anything right now. She seems more and more upset every day. She just wants to stay home,” says the source.
It’s unclear if she was aware of her parents’ involvement in the alleged scheme, and she has not been charged, but the fallout has impacted her as well, as Sephora and TRESemmé have since ended their partnerships with the popular vlogger.
“She feels she has worked very hard to get different work deals and everything is just gone. She thought she knew what the future had in store for her, and it all just crumbled,” says the source. “It’s a never-ending nightmare for her. She understands the serious consequences her parents are facing and she is very scared.”