Gilmore Girls‘ unorthodox revival structure is about to make a whole lot more sense.
As we reported last week, Netflix is reviving Amy Sherman-Palladino’s beloved dramedy via four 90-minute episodes/mini-movies — a relatively unusual format for a TV continuation.
Well, according to insiders, each episode will represent a different season over the course of one calendar year. In other words, there will be a fall chapter, a winter chapter, a spring chapter and a summer chapter. (“Winter, spring, summer or fall… all you have to do is call… “)
Pretty genius, right?
AS-P and exec producer Daniel Palladino (AKA Team Palladino) will write and direct the entire revival, which will be set in the present day (or roughly eight years after the series ended). Negotiations with the show’s primary cast — Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Kelly Bishop and Scott Patterson — are said to be underway.
Reps for Netflix and Warner Bros. have yet to comment on the approaching Gilmore renaissance.
We’re getting those final four words!
Sources confirm that Netflix has closed a deal with Warner Bros. for a limited-series revival of Gilmore Girls penned by series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and exec producer Daniel Palladino.
Although negotiations with the cast are only now beginning, I’m told all of the major players — most notably Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Kelly Bishop and Scott Patterson — are expected back for the continuation. Additionally, per multiple insiders, the revival will consist of four 90-minute episodes/mini-movies.
And I repeat: This is not a drill.
The deal allows Sherman-Palladino — who left the original series prior to the final season amid a contract dispute with Warner Bros. — to conclude Gilmore Girls as she always intended, right through to those elusive final four words.
AS-P addressed the possibility of a revival over the summer when she reunited with the show’s cast at the ATX TV Festival. “It would have to be the right everything — the right format, the right timing,” she said. “If it ever happened, I promise we’ll do it correctly.”
When I interviewed AS-P in 2009 at Entertainment Weekly, she conceded that the events of the show’s final seventh season didn’t match up with the end game she envisioned for Lorelai, Rory & Co. “I haven’t [actually] seen the last season,” she said at the time, “but I heard about it from other people.”
Even back then, AS-P remained hopeful that she would get to conclude the Gilmore story on her terms, via a limited series or movie. “The beauty of Gilmore, and the beauty of family-relationship shows, is you never really run out of story,” she said. “You’re going to battle your family until you’re all in the ground. Those things never resolve, doesn’t matter how much therapy you get. Ten years later, there’s still going to be [material] there to mine and to delve into.”
Gilmore Girls premiered on the now-defunct WB network in 2000, before transferring to spinoff net The CW in 2006 for its final season.
Did I mention that this isn’t a drill?
If you’re a twenty-something woman who talks fast and drinks a lot of coffee (or just anyone with good taste in TV, really), chances are high that you’re a major fan of Gilmore Girls. And, chances are even higher that on June 6, you were perched in front of your laptop, eagerly awaiting every new bit of detail from the Gilmore Girls reunion that occurred at the ATX Television Festival. The panel brought nearly every major actor from the show, from Lauren Graham to Kelly Bishop, on-stage together for the first time in years, and to say fans were into it is an understatement on par with “Kirk’s a little odd.” One person especially excited about the reunion? Alexis Bledel, who played Rory for seven years on the beloved show.
“It was amazing,” she says, speaking to Bustle. “It was so cool to hear all the questions… we have wonderful, smart fans, so it was a fun Q&A.”
During the panel, Bledel and her castmates were asked about everything from their characters’ futures (Rory’s still a journalist, obviously) to the potential for a movie (unlikely, but possible!), to the most important question of all: which of Rory’s three suitors — Dean, Jess, and Logan — was really the best choice. Bledel demurred from picking a favorite (could you blame her? The three actors were sitting right there), and would rather focus on Rory’s job prospects, instead.
“Maybe she’d just be working so hard she’d be focused on her career [instead of dating],” Bledel says. “Or maybe she’d be seeing someone new.”
Sure, fine, but what about the guys?
“I can’t answer the triangle!” she says, laughing. “People have very strong feeling about it. You can’t win. I just expressed [at the panel] that they were all wonderful actors to work with, which is true.”
“But,” she admits, “it’s also the safe answer.”
Still, fans certainly weren’t happy when Bledel refused to chime in on one of the biggest romance questions of our time, and their reactions were, to say the least, strong. Not that that’s unusual for Gilmore fans; viewers of the show tend to be passionate about all things related to the Lorelais and their lives. At the panel, many of the cast members seemed to be used to that type of enthusiasm, but Bledel, who hasn’t had as big a post-Gilmore TV career like co-stars Lauren Graham and Jared Padelecki, looked noticeably overwhelmed.
“Lauren had warned me a little bit. She said that our fans are super intense,” Bledel says, adding with a laugh, “I was anticipating some intense fanfare, and that’s definitely what we got.”
There’s good timing, and then there’s really good timing. Such is the case for Jenny’s Wedding, a new film from writer/director Mary Agnes Donoghue (Beaches) about a lesbian’s impending marriage, which debuted on July 31, just one month after the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage nationwide. Starring Katherine Heigl as the titular Jenny, the movie deals with many of relevant issues of recent months: LGBT rights, cultural acceptance, the support of a loving partner (played by Alexis Bledel) when facing an uphill battle. Simply put, Jenny’s couldn’t have come at a better time.
“People are so excited to just see a film being made on this subject matter,” says Bledel, speaking with Bustle. “[And to see] conversations that are authentic… something that they recognize and could relate to.”
In the film, Bledel plays Kitty, the patient and understanding partner of Heigl’s Jenny. At times, it’s an unforgiving role — the movie is far more focused on Jenny’s relationship with her disapproving family than her romance with Kitty — but Bledel says she jumped at the chance to take on the part.
“When I read the script. I was like, sign me up!” she says. “I was really excited about it. I had never read anything like it.”
Bledel credits Donoghue’s passion for the project as a main reason for her interest. Donoghue based the script on events surrounding her niece, a gay woman (also named Jenny) who came out to her family and told them she wanted to get married.
“It was a story that was close to Mary Agnes’ heart,” Bledel says, adding that the movie was like the director’s “baby.” “It was personal for her.”
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