GH's Wagner CALLS THE HEART

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There's new romance brewing on Hallmark Channel's period drama WHEN CALLS THE HEART: Jack Wagner (ex-Frisco, GENERAL HOSPITAL) has joined the cast as Mountie Forensic Investigator Bill Avery, and he's bringing the heat! First introduced in last week's episode, Avery arrived on horseback to find out the truth about the deadly explosion in Coal Valley that killed many of the locals, including the husband and son of Abigail Stanton (played by EDGE OF NIGHT's Lori Loughlin, Jody). Might Wagner's character help the shaky widow find her footing? Behind the scenes, it was the other way around. "Lori's an old friend, and a terrific actress," Wagner confides of his scene partner and pal on the Vancouver set. "I play golf with her husband and we've run in the same circles for years."

In "Prelude To A Kiss," the season finale airing Saturday, March 29, at 9:00 p.m. EST, Wagner's character will be back to further pursue Abigail while at the same time, delving deeper into the dangerous mystery. "My character gets beat up while he's at the crime scene by some masked men," Wagner reveals. "So it unfolds to be a real good versus evil situation."

With the fate of the town, as well as Abigail's family name, on the line, the evidence that Avery has collected becomes all-important. Who will triumph? Abigail pins her hope on the visiting Circuit Judge Jedidiah Black (James Brolin), but will she be able to continue living in the small town — let alone find love again — in the aftermath? "They leave the show with cliffhangers," Wagner says of the possibility of his return. "So hopefully Hallmark will pick it up for a second season!"

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