Embattled actress Lori Loughlin will not be returning for Fuller House's upcoming fifth and final season. After playing Aunt Becky in the '80s/'90s family-oriented sitcom Full House and then reprising the role in the revival, Loughlin is currently facing charges in light of the massive college admissions bribery case that broke earlier this week.
Loughlin and husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli were among 50 people indicted with regard to said scam, which involved them paying bribes to get their kids accepted at high-profile schools such as the University of Southern California (USC), Stanford, and Yale. Apparently, the couple paid half a million dollars to have their two daughters get accepted into USC. Aside from the Giannulllis, Desperate Housewives actress and wife to Shameless star William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, is also embroiled in the scandal. Loughlin was taken into custody on Wednesday, but is now currently out on bail. Despite this, it doesn't seem like there's much of her career left, as she's getting dropped from projects that she had lined-up, including her most memorable role.
THR is reporting that Netflix is not bringing back Loughlin for Fuller House season 5 which will debut this fall. Filming has yet to start, but the actress' legal issues won't have an impact on the production schedule. The streaming giant and producer Warner Horizon Television have declined to comment at this point. This news comes on the heels of the Hallmark channel ending its working relationship with the actress and removing her from the ongoing series, When Calls the Heart.
The question now is: how can Aunt Becky be written out of the show - or, at least, how can her absence be explained? With Fuller House preparing to wrap things up, chances are that the veteran cast will be more prominently featured in the upcoming season to further evoke nostalgia from fans. At the end of season 4, Danny (Bob Saget), Joey (Dave Coulier), Jesse (John Stamos), and Rebecca all moved back to San Francisco to be closer to the family. Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) having her own baby will be enough reason for them to hang around the house more. Considering that Rebecca is not only married to Jesse, she's also back working with Danny co-hosting the revival of Wake up San Francisco, it will be interesting to see how Becky's absence is accounted for.
Like the older cast of Saget, Coulier, and Stamos, Loughlin only plays a recurring role in Fuller House, with the narrative focus more on the Tanner sisters, DJ (Candace Cameron Bure) and Stephanie, along with their eccentric friend Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber). So, while it'll be odd not seeing Aunt Becky on the show (especially in its final season), there are definitely ways to explain her absence. Since the show doesn't shy away from subtly breaking away from the fourth wall from time-to-time, it's possible that Loughlin's real-life scandal will even be referenced in some way. Either way you cut it, Fuller House is going to a little less, well, full in its final season.