Gilmore Revival Amy Sherman-Palladino Interview

Gilmore Girls: Amy Sherman-Palladino Reveals How the Improbable Netflix Revival Came to Be (Part 1)

Gilmore Girls: Seasons formally begins shooting in Los Angeles on Tuesday, and franchise creator Amy Sherman-Palladino is a teensy bit frazzled.

“These past couple of days have been crazy,” admits the auteur, who is writing and directing the four-part revival with husband Daniel Palladino. “We had our first table read on Friday. We have another table read today. And then we start directing [tomorrow].”

Luckily, AS-P carved out 30 minutes in her bonkers schedule to answer all of my burning questions about the 360-minute continuation. And because I had a lot of burning questions, I’m parceling the Q&A out in installments, with this first one focusing on the project’s twisty-turny journey from a hotel in Sag Harbor to a Netflix green light.

TVLINE | Amid all the insanity, have you been able to take a step back and let it all sink in?
No. [Laughs]

TVLINE | Really? You haven’t had a moment of, “Wow, this is really happening?”
The weird thing for Dan and I is, we’ve been working on this since May. We pitched it right around the time of the ATX Television Festival in June. They didn’t buy it then, but we pitched it then. And because it’s four 90-minute movies basically, a lot of work went into just getting the pitch together. Then the first negotiations happened, which had nothing to do with the actors. And then the actors’ negotiations happened… it’s just been such a long process. Longer than any process I’ve ever been involved in. It’s like a pilot process, where the pilot should’ve already been picked up and shot, except we’re just starting it now.

There are moments. Like when I got to walk the Warner Bros. lot with Lauren [Graham]. Because Lauren came over one day and was working with her hair and makeup people and we were just all walking on the lot, and it was just weird. And then we were walking on the stage. And it’s Lorelai’s house. Or it’s the Dragonfly Inn. Moments like that are just nuts. And then I remember, “Oh, that’s the weird trailer stand across from [Warner Bros. Television president] Peter’s Roth’s office that has the turkey burger.” [Laughs] It’s very surreal. It’s been very fun to write for these characters again. We’ve missed doing it. It’s just that the deal-making process has taken so goddamned long. Every day we’d walk in and were like, “OK, it’s not going to happen today. Well, we need to keep writing!” It’s been six months of, “We’ll just keep writing because, who knows?” [Laughs]

TVLINE | So, you pitched it in May. When did you and Dan decide that you wanted to actually pursue this?
Lauren and I have talked a couple of times over the years about, “Should we? Should we not?” We always knew it needed to be the right venue. And Warner Bros. wasn’t always into it. Or one of the girls wasn’t into it. Or the timing was bad. It was just a passing thing. Then at some point we were like, “OK, it’s probably not going to happen.” And then [Gilmore Girls‘ back catalog was acquired by] Netflix and suddenly we would walk around New York and NYU students would come up to us and be like, “Oh, I watch the show. It was my mom’s favorite show and now I’m watching it with her!” We realized that there was a new audience for the show. And we thought, “Well, now that Netflix exists, maybe now is the time to talk about how we would do it.” And then Dan and I mulled it over.

We didn’t really want to do a reboot of the series. We thought if we were going to do something, we wanted to do something a little special. I love Sherlock. And I love their format, because their [episodes are more] than just an episode. They’re upwards of 90 minutes long sometimes. So we thought, “Why don’t we do something like that?” Originally we were going to pitch three [episodes]. And then we thought… four seasons, because seasons were so big with the show. It was snow and fall and spring and festivals… it defined [Stars Hollow] a lot. And we thought that’d be a lovely way to catch up with all three of our Gilmore Girls over the course of a year. And with that, we ensconced ourselves in a hotel in Sag Harbor and laid out cards on the ground for the four seasons and got a general idea of what we thought the stories would be. Then we went in and we pitched it.

It was interesting, because we went back and Peter Roth was in the pitches and we were all sort of looking at each other like, “Oh, it’s you again! Alright, we’ve been here before!” Peter always really loved the show. It was a nice reunion. So we pitched it. And then there was [what felt like] 12 years of wrangling and finagling that aged me. I’m 100 now. I’m hoping to get some of my youthful vigor back just to drag my ass through the directing of these episodes.

TVLINE | So, the episodes — titled “Winter,” “Spring,” “Summer” and “Fall” — are an obvious nod to Carole King. But did that order also work out for you story-wise?
Yes, it’s how the song goes, so everyone will be familiar with it. But, narratively, it really worked. It worked to open on snow and have a colder, starker environment. And then end on a lusher, warmer, golden-y town, which lends to where the story will end. Weirdly, the hard part was not breaking these stories. [The hard part was that] we had a lot of stuff we had to pull out. At first we were like, “How are we going to fill 90 minutes?!” And then we were like, “How are we going to get it down to 90 minutes?!” It became like this ridiculous, “Oh, s–t, now we’re at three hours!”

Want more Gilmore Girls revival scoop? Read Part 2 of my exclusive Q&A with Amy Sherman-Palladino, featuring scoop on Rory’s men, Netflix’s rollout plan and much more.

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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  1. Carrie says:

    Thanks for all the great coverage Mike! Have they given indication as to the release date? and will all 4 drop together or will we have to wait?? Might need to plan for a Vacation day!!

  2. Court says:

    Wonderful. Thanks for posting this. I am so damn excited. Thank you ASP for giving the fans this.

  3. Carolina says:

    All this is so exciting! I cant wait! Thanks Michael Ausiello, I am happy that you are one of us!

  4. GeoDiva says:

    Can we talk about who’s all in the cast photo?!?! Wow!

  5. luvtheheaven says:

    You know the song “You’ve Got a Friend” is where the Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall lyric comes from, and the show’s theme song is a DIFFERENT Carole King song, “Where You Lead”… just a reminder.

    This is so great to read. I’m so looking forward to what they come up with. It seems like it’s gonna be perfect. ;)

  6. c-mo says:

    I’m ok with 3 hours for 1 season, I bet other’s would be too. 😉

  7. Emma says:

    so completely excited about this! thanks for all the coverage.

  8. info says:

    I hope Sookie appears in one episode, Mike & Molly just finished taping its last episode. I hope they worked out on a deal with her. I already hate reading some of the tweets bashing Melissa for not returning because of her A List status now when NOTHING has been confirmed yet

  9. Anandasky says:

    So. very. happy. Thanks Michael Ausiello for being our voice when we didn’t have as great an access to the megaphone. :)

  10. Bill says:

    I never thought I’d subscribe to Netflix. But GG will get me to do it. Can’t wait. Don’t see Melissa McCarthy in the pix. Hope she doesn’t feel she’s gotten too famous to come back.

    • Nancy G says:

      I read where Melissa McCarthy said she had not been invited….sure hope that changes and hope she does not let money stand in the way because GG will be around forever. We love and need to see Sookie.

  11. Brandi says:

    Is that Jared Padalecki in the very back?!?

  12. S.J. says:

    I am beside myself with excitement about this and it sounds like everything is being done so well. Many thanks to the cast for coming back and making this happen. You have no idea how much you and your characters have been missed! Of course, none of this would have happened without the Palladinos and their incredible vision. Counting the days until I can return to Stars Hollow…

  13. Even if it’s for one scene, I really do hope Melissa can make an appearance. As I stated elsewhere, Sookie was important to the show and the show was important to Melissa’s career.

    • forg says:

      Agree, I always mention her Gilmore Girls role whenever people criticize her as being one trick phony as her movie roles were patterned to her breakout role in Bridesmaids – loud, obnoxious, confident woman.
      But I was so proud of Melissa when she got her Oscar nod and became a box office movie star since l felt like we Gilmore fans knew her first before them

      Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part but I feel like Melissa had good relationship with the Gilmore crew, I mean she’s close with her Mike & Molly and Samantha Who families, so I would like to believe Gilmore as well. Even just one cameo, a phone call of Sookie talking to Lorelai would suffice.

  14. jimbo says:

    By the way, Amy lied to us at the ATX panel haha. She said there’s nothing in the works right now but now we know there was! :)

  15. Melissa says:

    Didn’t know about this until I read the article. First thing I do is scan the picture for Milo. Frakk yeah he’s in it!

    • Kevan says:

      That’s just the ATX panel photo. As the article states, no pitch was made at that time yet. Actor negotiations hadn’t started yet. So that photo is not indicative of the final cast.

  16. JL says:

    I’m sorry, but this just totally threw me off… :-/

    “The weird thing for Dan and I is, we’ve been working on this since May. We pitched it right around the time of the ATX Television Festival in June.”

    Dan and I? Oh, Amy, please tell me you haven’t succumbed to that crap, too! *sighs*

    • LilCece says:

      What do you mean by “crap”? Is it a sexist issue? Amy and Dan have worked closely together on several projects, Gilmore Girls included, on which they’ve both written and directed individual episodes.

    • Eran says:

      Sorry but what on Earth are you on about???

      • Chris says:

        I think she’s referring to the grammar – it should be “Dan and me.” Bothered me too; people don’t remember the difference between a subject and an object!

        • LilCece says:

          All the great things that they have written and THIS bothers you? Oy with the…well you know

          • Nancy G says:

            I agree! With all the joy this show brought and the great writing, acting, people need to get a life..

        • Cat says:

          I agree. I hear it everywhere these days. But I’m especially disappointed when writers do this.

        • tvlover44 says:

          I have to admit that I found that sentence rather jarring as well. The thing I hate is when a character on a TV show who is supposed to be very smart and literate will say something like “between he and I” and it just takes me right out of the scene, every time. (Plus, I’m wondering – is this the *writer’s* ignorance or has the actor ad-libbed and made the mistake?)

          • Bobbi says:

            One of the many great things about the Gilmore Girls show was that it was so well written. You would never hear Lorelei say “between you and I ” or “for you and I” or “to you and I”. If people would just turn it around and say “between I and you” , then they would see the error of their ways. ;)

            Can’t wait for the GG revival !

  17. Lola says:

    I can’t get more excited for this! Thank you Michael for all the wonderful interviews! Keep them coming!

  18. NDFan says:

    Can’t wait to read the rest of your interview. But your picture is going to confuse a lot of people!

  19. lovegilmores1976 says:

    Love Gilmore girls! Thank you for coming back! Once you do these 4 seasons, can you do 4 more season? Gilmore girls is a religion for me. lol I watch at least one episode every day and have for the last 8 years since you stopped. Thank you for doing all of this again for all of us out here who cannot go through a day without their fix of the Gilmore Girls!

  20. forg says:

    I miss this show so much! The past 8 years that they were gone, I somehow became loyal to some of the cast lol. I watched Hart of Dixie because Bluebell reminded me of Stars Hollow (and well they are in the same WB lot afte rall), I watched Lauren Graham on Parenthood (and also bought her excellent funny novel), watched Alexis guesting on ER series finale, Mad Men (WOAH!!!!) and some of her movies (including Post Grad where she played a girl who just graduated from college, reminded me of Rory), was bummed when Alexis’s FOX show Us & Them never made it on air, watched and loved ASP’s Bunheads and was bummed it got canceled (lots of Gilmore alums there too), was also proud of Melissa when she got her own show (Mike & Molly), earned that Oscar nomination and became a box office star (Our Sookie making it!). And also got so sad when the news broke that Edward “Richard Gilmore” Hermann passed away and cried when I read that Kelly Bishop, Lauren & Alexis were able to say goodbye to him before he died :(

    I never thought a revival/movie will happen and for what is worth, I liked the de facto series finale (the Stars Hollow people cheering for Rory was so touching and the final scene in Luke’s diner was perfect) and now I’m so excited a true finale with ASP’s vision will finally happen!

  21. iamkessuki23tw says:

    Really hope matt czuchry returns. Such a cutie. With the good wife possibly finishing i hope he has the time to do it.

  22. Jaime says:

    But what about Dean? I need to know if Jared Padalecki will have time to at least make a short appearance!

  23. Kellbax says:

    This is pure perfection! Please don’t leave us in suspense too long! What a excellent interview!

  24. Arlene says:

    Big smile. Thank you.

  25. Et al. says:

    Thank you for this wonderful interview. However I don’t understand why they were struggling to get episodes down to 90 minutes. It’s Netflix. Does it really matter what length they come in at?

  26. Sally says:

    Miss Patty looks so different in the above picture!

  27. Kevan says:

    This is surreal for me. I “grew up” with the show. I was the same age as Rory; we were in school at the same time. When she graduated, I graduated. I adored the show, and the feelings and nostalgia associated with it are probably going to make me a bit emotional when the first episode drops. But I have to say that the “seasonal” theme to this is perfect. They are so right…Stars’ Hollow was all about seasonal festivals. God it’s gonna be weird to go back, but I can hardly wait!

  28. Liz says:

    I heart you Michael A.!

  29. Do you guys think there is a possibility of more episodes after Seasons-thing?

  30. LilCece says:

    I keep crying the ugly cry of happiness! Please let them wrap quickly and air soon, I am a puddle. Amy and Dan created such an amazing world, it’s a lifetime achievement. The return for us fans is pure joy, so I can only imagine how the creators feel. What an opportunity to get it right. A wonderful wonderful opportunity!

  31. Margo Basso says:

    Thanks for all the amazing coverage, Mike!!! Will we be seeing you revive your cameo appearance once again?? Also, ASP has stated that she hasn’t really watched much of the 7th season of GG, so how will that affect the storylines?

  32. IR0413 says:

    Mike Ausiello – the Gilmore Girls Prophet.

    I hope you know how thankful us “Gillies” are for having you around. We should team up and buy you a present or something!

    The LG, KB, and ASP interviews have been AMAZING so far. Please keep them coming.

  33. Eliane says:

    Thank you, MA for the great coverage. You should get a cameo for that! Rory and Jess forever!!!!!!

  34. Jennifer says:

    OMG!! So excited by the pic!!!

  35. De says:

    I’m just excited that it is FINALLY a go! Cannot wait to see what AS-P has come up with! ❤️❤️❤️

  36. eviloverlore says:

    One question that’s going to be key for me – how much of the last season do we need to have watched to pick up these new movielets? I skipped the last season and accidentally caught the finale in reruns one day, but would it be better to have watched the last, non-ASP, season before WSS&F come out? Counting on you for the eventual details, Michael! ^_^

  37. Liz says:

    Thanks for the coverage! I just love that show, and those little insides are great!

  38. Kimberly says:

    I think 4 is not enough. Years have past!

  39. Dana says:

    Thank you for all the coverage. Loved this show…takes me back to watching this when my daughter was growing up…her and I have ALWAYS had inside jokes, things that make us laugh, and lighten our days with Gilmorisms. On a bad day I can always count on that world to give me a break in mine.

  40. Meg says:

    Then, make 3-hours episodes, Amy ! :) Fans would surely love that. Thanks for bringing the girls back!

  41. Fran Tepperman says:

    Where’s Melissa? A”Gilmore Girls” reunion without Sookie is wrong!

  42. FanInFloroda says:

    Thank you Michael for covering the fantastic show..Gilmore Girls! Can’t wait

  43. cristii says:

    Yes Why not ! Let it be a full season. (:

  44. Nancy G says:

    I am a 70 yr old grandmother and happen to see GG on Netflix and fell in LOVE! I am addicted! The writing, characters and especially Lauren Graham..unbelievable talent and beauty but they were all delightful…except APRIL…very annoying!

  45. Deborah Delos Reyes says:

    I hope it happens. I loved Gilmore Girls and didnt want it to end.

  46. how can I contact Amy and Dan Palladino

  47. Harley says:

    I click the read part two link and it just links me back to part 1