“Lori is a genre-defining star that I have had the honor to call a close friend and collaborator for more than 15 years,” president and CEO of Great American Media Bill Abbott said in a September 2022 press release. “We have a shared vision for creating meaningful and memorable movies that resonate with our passionate fans, and I look forward to welcoming her back to Great American Family to anchor our 2023 winter programming slate.”
Loughlin, 58, was a major star on the Hallmark Channel for more than six years before the network cut ties with her in 2019 amid the college admissions scandal. (Abbott, 60, was the channel’s CEO from 2009 to 2020.)
The Full House alum made headlines in March 2019 after she and husband Mossimo Giannulli were accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters, Bella, now 24, and Olivia Jade, now 23, into college.
The couple pleaded guilty to fraud charges in May 2020. Loughlin served two months in prison, while her husband, 59, served five months. The Garage Sale Mysteries star and the designer also completed their required community service hours upon their respective releases.
The Homegrown Christmas actress joined forces with Great American Media, which Abbott founded in 2021, for her acting return in December 2021. She reprised her Hallmark role as Abigail Stanton in the two-episode holiday special, When Hope Calls: A Country Christmas.
Loughlin’s attachment to the project inspired her former When Calls the Heart costar Daniel Lissing to return as Jack Thornton in the special.
“We stayed in touch through a pretty trying time, and it was a really nice moment to come back to work together and just connect with my friend in that way, reprising these characters again that both of us weren’t sure that we’d ever be able to play again,” Lissing, 41, exclusively told Us Weekly in December 2021, referring to his 2018 exit from the drama series. “The fact that we got that opportunity was a really special moment for both of us. We had good connection over that and a lot of gratitude to be on set just one more time.”
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