Gilmore Girls Revival: 9 Ways to Explain Sookie's (Possible) Absence

Gilmore Girls without Sookie St. James?

That scenario might break your Stars Hollow-loving heart, but alas, it’s one you might have to face when Netflix revives the beloved series with four 90-minute episodes/mini-movies in the very near future. (TVLine reported the revival news late last month, though reps for Netflix and Warner Bros. have yet to comment.)

Granted, negotiations with the show’s primary cast — Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Kelly Bishop and Scott Patterson — are still underway. But given that Sookie’s portrayer, Melissa McCarthy, has gone on to massive big-screen success (and even an Oscar nomination) in movies like Spy, The Heat, Bridesmaids and the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot, there’s a very real possibility she won’t reprise her role as the Dragonfly’s bubbly chef (and Lorelai Gilmore’s close confidante).

If McCarthy opts out of the project, creator Amy Sherman-Palladino will need some explanation for Sookie’s absence — and that’s where Team TVLine comes in. We cooked up nine ways — from the ridiculous to the tragic — Gilmore Girls can solve the “Where’s Sookie?” mystery.

Check out the gallery below — or click here for direct access — then share your own ideas for how Sookie could exit Stars Hollow.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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63 Comments
  1. Anya says:

    How about no. She gotta be there! Some of my favorite moments have been scenes with Michel Sookie & Lorelai!

    • Sheila says:

      Do we all need to write to her and beg? Gilmore Girls wouldn’t be the same with Sookie!

    • ? says:

      I refuse to believe Melissa McCarthy wouldn’t move mountains to make room in her schedule for at least a scene or two. She doesn’t seem like the kind of person who gets too big a head to remember where she came from.

  2. Huh says:

    She could be busy filming Chopped or Top Chef. She could also be a beloved judge who’s also busy with her charmingly insane cooking/lifestyle show- Sookie’s Kitchen. Sookie’s Kitchen might also be reality competition.

    • Weezy says:

      I like where Huh is going…throw in a little pop culture to illustrate a change in the media landscape from the era Gilmore Girls originally came from to now…good stuff. I think they should make a big joke out of it though. Crap I would love to see just like 1-2 minute of a promo or something for Sookie’s Kitchen where Melissa just does hilarious stuff.

      • Huh says:

        I could totally imagine her getting her start by competing on either Chopped or Top Chef for charity and not being able to finish on time because she’s “an artist” and she had a vision. She would cook through the allotted time, not caring about losing, refusing to leave the set and eventually feeding them a perfect meal as security arrives to escort her out ….
        She would of course get injured and have mini Sookie-esque breakdowns. The footage would of course go viral and that’s how she would get Celebrity Chef status.

  3. Babybop728 says:

    I’m okay with the idea of her making it big on Food Network! But if they’re going to show Richard’s funeral, I just would have a hard time believing Sookie wouldn’t be there. Please come back even for just a scene, Melissa McCarthy!

    • Huh says:

      They might not be able to do a funeral but might flash forward to the will reading or to Emily and Richard’s first anniversary apart.

      I like to think that Sookie would have shown up at Emily’s door with Mock turtle soup (which was the only thing Richard ate after his mom died) and somehow ran Emily’s kitchen until Lorelei got wind of it.

  4. Julia says:

    I have a feeling that Melissa McCarthy will show up at least one time…she isn’t a diva star so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

    • Raul J says:

      That is true. Even with her box office success she still stars on “Mike and Molly”.

    • creativebugger1 says:

      ^THIS. I don’t think fame has gone to her head, so I’ll be surprised if she doesn’t come back at all.

      • Patrick says:

        Its not about fame or any other nonsense. Her time is valuable, and its valuable to a lot of agents, managers, family, and CURRENT EMPLOYERS WHO HAVE HER UNDER CONTRACT. She has a lot of obligations, and those obligations do not extend to doing favors for former employers. If she can get x amount of money for working on a project, why should she take .5(x) or .25(x)?
        .
        Again, this was a dick move by Netflix and ASP. They announced this reboot was going to happen before signing contracts with the actors. That way, if the actors won’t sign on, it will look like the actors’ faults. Even if, say, Netflix and ASP try to lowball the actors. ASP is definitely presenting this as a “lets get everyone together for old times sake” type situation. Well, rest assured, ASP got PAID for doing this. A lot. But only if it happens. So she announced it as a fait accompli, even though it isn’t. At all. By a long shot. It was a petty thing to do for a woman who has an unfortunate history of same.

        • Jennifer says:

          Seriously? I honestly don’t think announcements would have been made if this wasn’t going to get done. Most of the cast ((including “lesser” characters) have expressed interest in going back and revisiting the stories.

          As for why would Ms. McCarthy come back? It’s her roots. these are her friends. A lot of actors would take pay cuts to be in older reboots. It happens all the time.

        • Huh says:

          Get over it. It’s not a “dick move” to announce a limited Gilmore Girls miniseries. It was a beloved show and the main cast always publicly stated that they were into doing a reunion.
          Did you think Rob Thomas was a dick for announcing a Veronica Mars movie under pretty much the same circumstances?

        • creativebugger1 says:

          You don’t have to explain time, obligations, and contracts to me. I get it. I’m not an idiot. What I’m saying is that IF she can do it, she probably will. There’s a lot of people out there who have already written her off as not returning because she’s gotten so famous and wouldn’t want to.

        • ComeOn says:

          It is clearly stated at the end of the first paragraph that both Netflix and Warner Bros. yet to comment, let alone announce anything. At the moment, this is all just officially unconfirmed rumour.

  5. PL says:

    As others have said, if they could get all of the actors back for Wet Hot American Summer, they can get Melissa back for 4 episodes.

  6. Cmarie says:

    Your constant skepticism as to this issue is depressing, and not that she likely cares, but I would be super offended if I read 6 articles about how I clearly could never be bothered to return to a show that started my career. I can’t see her not doing this, even if it means she won’t be in the whole thing.

    • PL says:

      THANK YOU! I cannot agree more. The fact that preliminary talks are still going on for the main cast (Lauren, Alexis, Kelly, Scott), means there is no way to know what Melissa’s plans are. I love how everyone just assumes she is too big of a star to come back, when realistically that’s based on nothing but conjecture. Look how many BIG names came back for Wet Hot American Summer (Bradley Cooper, Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, etc.). They became big stars and still made it work. Give Melissa the same benefit of the doubt until there is confirmation otherwise, people!!

      • Nicole says:

        I’ve seen some people speculate that the real problem is that her CBS contract for Mike and Molly might exclude her from appearing on another network (or Netflix show). Or, that the filming schedules might make her unavailable, even if she was contractually able to participate. I have no experience with those things, so I can’t say whether or not these are relevant points, but it seems like the issue is more than just whether or not Melissa is too big of a star.

        • ComeOn says:

          Consider both Mike and Molly and Gilmore Girls are Warner Bros. production it is highly unlikely that there are no room to negotiate. Beside don’t networks usually allow a couple of other network appearance in their star’s contract? Subject to their approval of course.

        • ? says:

          Even if her contract for Mike and Molly does say that, it would be a really, really poor decision from a business perspective for CBS to tell her no to a few limited appearances if she asks to do it. Word will get around and other big name actors will pass on working with CBS. The days where studios had the power to dictate such things died when so many platforms for content became available.

      • Patrick says:

        Most of the people you mentioned are either between jobs (Poehler) or movie stars with flexible schedules (Rudd, Cooper) or semi employed comedians grateful for access to the craft services table (many others on that show). CBS already bends over BACKWARDS to accommodate the hyper busy McCarthy. And the nets hate Netflix, so I’m sure they are stoked to help out the entity that is slowly killing them in the longest “loss leader” operation this planet has ever witnessed.

        • Norville Rogers says:

          “the longest “loss leader” operation this planet has ever witnessed”

          My, you ARE a melodramatic one, aren’t you?

  7. Alwayshappyz says:

    I have a feeling she will be in at least 1-2 scenes tbh. That takes maybe one day and since she never came across like a big diva I am sure that she would do it for old time sake and the fans. Maybe they will show her on Skype with Lorelai, or we will see her at the funeral. Just don’t expect her to be in Stars Hollow fulltime. Maybe she is traveling to promote the Dragonfly.

  8. ToyCannon says:

    Sookie witnessed a mob hit at the Dragon Fly Inn and had to enter the Witness Protection Program. In the 4th installment of the new GG, Lorelei is in Chicago on business and runs into Sookie, who is now living under the name “Molly” and married to a police officer.

  9. Jimmy says:

    Hopefully, McCarthy will get nostalgic and put in at least one appearance. It wouldn’t be the same without Sookie. I like the Food Network idea.

  10. Simon Jester says:

    If there’s one thing I know, it’s that Amy Sherman-Palladino doesn’t need “help” with story ideas. I trust she will come up with a good explanation.

  11. Nicole says:

    While I understand that she may have other commitments, it would be disappointing if she did not at least makes cameo for one minute. A phone call or something! Fans have followed her career and it would be hard to swallow if she could not take even a few hours to film a cameo for something that gave her a start. Not expecting her to be in It all but a cameo!! Hope she sees that!

  12. aph1976 says:

    I think Melissa McCarthy will do the Gilmore Girls revival even if it’s just for one of the 4 movies..Then i’m sure the show can figure out a way to explain Sookie’s absence from the other 3.For example they could say Sookie is at a cooking institute teaching or even say she got her own cooking TV show where she goes to different parts of the world.

  13. Haley says:

    If and ONLY IF Melissa can’t make it. I vote Alex reprising her role. I think she’d do an incredible job. Her sass with Michel was perfect and she’s an incredible actress!

  14. Jennifer says:

    I can’t imagine Gilmore Girls without Sookie. And if Melissa McCarthy is now too big for her britches and can’t remember where she’s from, then to hell with her. Please come back Sookie!!

  15. Drew says:

    Going too over the top would just be bad. So no White House job (what, did Rory score her the job?) and no starring on her own TV show. If she needs to be gone, just say that she moved. It happens.
    Or they can have her just off screen all the time. Lorelai can start scenes at the door, saying bye to Sookie, or on the phone, saying bye to Sookie. Or they could keep missing each other by seconds.
    It would be a lame gag, but less lame than making her the most famous chef/spy in the world.

  16. leilamarcia says:

    Why wouldn’t she show up for this? It’s not like her “big movie roles” are half as smart and nuanced as Sookie on Gilmore Girls.

    • misery chick says:

      True dat 🙌

      • James says:

        And this is why I think it would be a good thing for her. People are turning on her because she does the same thing in every movie, or is made to. Even Mike and Molly was altered 2 seasons ago to make Molly more like Melissa’s movie characters. She needs to do something different. Now I love her, and I guess she’s OK with doing all those movies, but sometimes it comes off as Amos-n-Andy casting for plus size women.

  17. NJMark says:

    The question isn’t explaining why she wouldn’t be there, but why she would. For what reason would the character of Sookie be showing up in Stars Hollow?

    • BrianR says:

      Assuming Lorelei still owns the Inn Sookie is a partner and owner too. Now you could have MIchelle buy her out and she moved somewhere else to become a chef.

  18. Jeri says:

    Family is airing the season finale tomorrow, 11/04. It was going to be on the 6th but they doubled up some episodes.

  19. Tibby says:

    Just say that she died of a heart attack.

  20. TAB says:

    Why don’t we just wait and see what happens? Is this perezhilton.com? How is this even an article on tvline?

  21. jj says:

    I know she’s really busy these days but the show isn’t the same without sookie! Really hope she can at least make a small cameo

  22. Why is it now that everytime i try to read an article i always get sent to spam sites? Is ut just me?

  23. Jared says:

    For whatever reason, Melissa McCarthy seems like the type of person who would make some sort of time for this project even if it’s not in a full time capacity. Hopefully she can film a few scenes just to keep fans happy. I mean Netflix did get the casts of Arrested Development and Wet Hot American Summer back together.

  24. I really hope they can get her back for one. Otherwise they can have a rotating series of chefs they way Emily has her maids.

  25. Stacy says:

    If Melissa McCarthy is unable or simply to busy to prioritize a return, I get it. If she wants to, though, and scheduling is difficult, I’m totally on board for a Lorelai/Sookie phone scene, a la Rory & Lorelai.

  26. ComeOn says:

    If Melissa schedule really can’t fit in any filming at all, which I highly doubt, then how about Sookie became a huge celebrity chef on the food network or something and is away for her book tour or filming every time, and Jackson is always on the phone with her as he has to stay behind because his organic vegetables business is also taking off, and pulling his hair out with their teenager sports/after school activities?

  27. akeeling2014 says:

    Nope, no way. How hard is it for an actress to make an appearance? She’s got to be there. Period.

  28. TJ says:

    I vote that the Dragonfly has become a chain and they have expanded with the help of Richard before he passed, like he offered to do for Luke long ago. Sookie is running the west coast branch of the operation and if she can’t arrange to film scenes in person at least her and Lorelei have a conversation via Skype

  29. Missy says:

    I would never accept this as canon if they chose to kill Sookie off, so let’s say that option… will NOT happen(I hope)

    Sookie was pregnant with her and Jackson’s 3rd child in the final season so, I want to see all the kids grown up, and after giving Martha all the extra baby names, what on earth did they name that child? LOL

    And it’s not Gilmore Girls without Sookie, so Melissa will just have to be there! :D

    If not, I like your Alex Borstein idea.

  30. MrMank says:

    I actually really love the last one!! Maybe because I’m such a fan of Alex.

  31. Eliane says:

    I get she is a big movie star and so, but can’t she find a slot in her busy agenda, and work for less money ? Even Clooney was able to make it…

  32. Aubrey says:

    If she doesn’t sign on, it will ruin her for me and I think everyone who knows she really got her start in Stars Hollow. After all these years of waiting for a reboot, one would think she wouldn’t be apt to kill the dreams of the fans like that. She seems so much cooler than that…but her absence on the negotiations list is frightful. Someone should start a Twitter hashtag or something!

  33. Or….because the writers will have no way to make her into a bumbling, frumpy, foul-mouth that EVERYONE changes Melissa’s characters into just cause her movies made money?

  34. Sophie says:

    I am very sad about how Gilmore girls ended and I strongly believe that it needs at least a couple of more seasons. I have so many questions about Luke and Lorelie and Rory. So much could happen and so many possible scenarios. P

  35. April says:

    That would be so silly if she turns her back on being involved in the Gilmore Girls revival! If she doesn’t return, I think they would just say she moved or got a much higher paying gig at a larger establishment in another town.

  36. DPartyIsHere says:

    Woww… Now that she’s a huge star she’s too good for the shows reunion?! She should never forget where she came from. Before her huge success she was mostly known for Gilmore Girls and she spent soo many years filming with these people. I’d expect more from her… But anyway I love Melissa McCarthy but she should really participate!

  37. I think Melissa McCarthy would do anything she could to do this after all a lot of her fans warmly remember her as Sookie. Even though I have never seen any interview where she even mentioned being on the show we remember. I think it would be good for her career now that Mike and Molly has been canceled. Come on Melissa do this for your fans. I love Gilmore Girls I watched every show and now I watch the reruns.

  38. Dee says:

    We love sookie, we named our collie sookie, she has to make an appearance. ..I love her in all her movies too I’ve seen all of them, but can’t replace or discard sookie st james