Gilmore Girls Revival: Netflix Boss Nixed Staggered Release Because the 'Fans Would've Killed Us'

Gilmore Girls groupies bummed that Netflix is dropping all four 90-minute revival chapters at once instead of staggering their release (per series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino’s wishes) have no one to blame but themselves.

While speaking to TVLine at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos confessed that it was his fear of the fervent Gilmore fandom that led him to stick to tradition. “If we would not have [released them] all at once the fans would’ve killed us,” he said with a laugh. “I’m petrified of those fans; they are so passionate.”

Netflix announced last month that the continuation — titled Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life — would be released on Friday, Nov. 25 at 12:01 am PT in its entirety, despite series creator Sherman-Palladino’s plea that they be rolled out one or two at a time. “I told them I was going to hang myself with a shower curtain if they put them all out at once, and they said, ‘Wow, OK,'” AS-P joked at TCA, before elaborating on her thought process. “It’s such a journey and it’s such a build to the last four words… However, you don’t always get what you want. The good outweighs the bad in the sense that this is a wonderful place to create things and do things in a different way.”

Asked about fears that a reckless viewer might get a charge out of spoiling the Final Four words on social media before die-hard fans have even made it through the opening act of Episode 1, Sarandos acknowledged, ” Yes, people will do that, but people are also good at avoiding [spoilers].”

What side of the GG release-plan fence do you fall on? Also, are you planning to steer clear of Twitter until you’re finished with Episode 4? Let us know in the comments.

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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118 Comments
  1. dq18 says:

    I consider myself a pretty big fan and I was all for staggering the release. Now I’m going to have to avoid the entirety of social media until I can get all the way through it or take the chance of being spoiled. And while I love a good spoiler most of the time, I’ve been waiting so long for this one I would kind of like to experience it organically.

    • Brock says:

      Yep. Me too. Now I have to binge one night to avoid seeing it. I read about the Shemar Moore deal on the Facebook “trending” before I saw him depart the series myself. Grrrr.

    • Stacy says:

      Me too. I’ll be offline everything but email when GG is released, until I can catch up. I don’t want anything to ruin ASP’s magic.

    • Leslie says:

      My plan is to be up at 2am to watch at least the first episode that day. I so badly wanted to honor ASP and stagger them but I’m so afraid that I’ll get spoiled that I may go ahead and binge watch.

      But Netflix has a right to be scared. I remember what it was like at the Gilmore Girls reunion at ATX last year. Insanity. :D

  2. Alex says:

    This is hogwash. I was praying for a staggered release.

    Very sad he’s blaming fans for something we didn’t ask for.

  3. James says:

    Wait, what? Most of the fans *wanted* a staggered release due to following the tradition of how the show originally aired AND ASP’s own wishes.

    Stupid.

  4. Temperance says:

    Honestly, who cares about the incredibly overblow ‘four last words’? I just want a few more hours in the world of the Gilmore girls with the original writer’s intent.

    • canadian ninja says:

      My thoughts too. I’m not going to watch these four mini-movies just to get to the four words. And at this point I don’t expect them to be anything but “aww that’s nice” or “what’s the big deal”. So much more going on here than just that.

      • Cristina Rice says:

        I’m betting on “Rosebud was a sled.” :) I’m definitely in the camp of not caring one way or another, I just want to go back to Stars Hollow for a little while longer.

  5. Lisa says:

    I wouldn’t have gone after anyone with a weapon because of a staggered release. I’m happily planning my Black Friday, post-turkey marathon. I believe I’m considerate enough not to put it on social media. Though I don’t know why people would be in any of those sites when they could be watching!

    • Mike M says:

      I think you put it all just perfectly :-) How can you be upset about spoilers when you are too busy watching four episodes? I simply can’t imagine why you would be looking at anything about the episodes when the episodes themselves were sitting waiting to be seen. Anyone that does is creating their own spoilers.

  6. Laura says:

    Staying well clear of social media until I see it at the weekend after release easy to do as I’ll be working nightshift

  7. Christy says:

    I was hoping for staggered! I took the day off of work so I could watch when they put it up, if it was staggered I would have just been a bit sleep deprived. :)

  8. Courtney says:

    Personally, I wanted them released all at once! I’ll have a great Friday morning now :) I can stay off social media for half a day or so.

  9. Pamela says:

    I definitely would have preferred a staggered release. After waiting so long, watching just the one episode a week feels like the most appropriate way to experience Gilmore Girls again. The way Netflix is doing it, I feel forced to watch it all at once to avoid getting spoiled.

    There’s something to be said about the pleasures of anticipation versus instant gratification. ;-)

  10. Honestly, I’m getting sick of the dump/binge.

    • Gougle says:

      Well watch one episode per week – who is tying you you making you watch all of them at once – ITS AN OPTION PEOPLE

      • And leave all social media for four weeks?

        • Ray says:

          Pete, yes. Literally don’t go on social media. You are able to do this because you are an adult person who has adult responsibilities and knows how to act like an adult in pursuit of activities he enjoys.

          • Saiph says:

            Well, sure, except that a lot of adult people with adult responsibilities actually have to use social media to do their jobs and/or communicate with other human beings~ not to mention that pesky internet, which will be burbling with frantic analysis of the “final four words” whatever they turn out to be. (I’m still rooting for Rory and Lorelai, facing each other: “I’m pregnant.” “Me too.” Could be nice in the right circumstances.) Point is, no matter how adult anyone is, staying off all social media and internet is tricky for the non-Amish. Staggered release would have helped a bit.

          • A fan of TV says:

            Ray, you’re my favourite today. But in all honesty half the fun of loving a show, especially a revival, is living it and loving it with other fans.

        • Gougle says:

          again its all a choice – 10 years and people will still be like NO SPOILERS!!!! gimme a break

  11. Kate says:

    I commented about this before but I would have preferred a staggered release. I wanted to really savour them. I’m obviously excited just to be getting them. Also I will definitely be staying clear of Twitter until I’m done episode 4.

  12. Jimmy says:

    I never really care about spoilers. Hell, I seek them out. It doesn’t change my enjoyment of show or movie. As for the final four words? They’re never going to live up to the hype AS-P has created for them. Just enjoy the fact that you’re getting 6 more hours of a great series that end in such a crappy way.

    • Danielle says:

      Spoilers don’t bug me. Knowing the final four words won’t affect my enjoyment of the show. I’m planning a binge watch that day, along with junk food (in true Gilmore fashion). I’ll stay off social media and won’t post any spoilers for my friends who don’t want to know.

    • Ginny says:

      I know I’m far less spoiler adverse than some people. Like you, I’ll seek them out.

      I understand some people will be disappointed if they learn the mythical “Final Four Words” from social media instead of from watching. But, I also don’t get why they feel like it will ruin the whole watching of the series for them. If you are only watching those 6 (8?) hours for that moment at the end….then I feel like maybe you are watching for the wrong reasons.

  13. Rebecca says:

    I was hoping for a staggered release as were those of my friends that love the show. Sounds like an excuse to do what they want to me.

  14. Eric7740 says:

    As a diehard Gilmore Girls fan (I have watched since episode 1 first premiered on the WB) I have waited 8 long years for these episodes and I for one am glad they are all being released at the same time. Had their release been staggered out would have been absoluate torture!!! Some of you folks, have barely jumped on the Gilmore band wagon and have not been waiting for these episodes as long as some of us other fans have. Way to go Netflix!!! Good call!!!

  15. Jen says:

    I’m pretty annoyed they didn’t stagger it.

  16. MMD says:

    I have never watched an episode of Gilmore Girls but plan to watch the entire series simply because Carole King, my absolute go to singer along with Cat Stevens, sings the opening song. I know it’s an odd reason but CK and CS have gotten me through every traumatic time in my life and still do.


    As for Netflix dropping all the episodes at once, I’ve gotten really, really good at avoiding spoilers plus I know what sites don’t put “spoiler” at the start of their coverage.

  17. Lynn says:

    Seeing as I don’t have Netflix and will only be getting it for Gilmore Girls I am Very Happy they are releasing them at once. Especially since I was not sure if by “staggered release” they meant week or months!!

  18. Rachie says:

    The only reason I wanted them all released at once was so I wouldn’t have to wait too long for the next episode. Had it been once a week, I’d be okay with that. Either way, I’m just so excited we have a release date! Now when can we get a really great trailer, people?! I need a trailer with some substance! lol

  19. Shaun says:

    Boohoohoo,im a gilmore girls fan and my life is so hard because of this release,lol

  20. CGS says:

    People are complaining they won’t be staggered? Um stagger them yourself and watch when you want. I usually watch Netflix seasons over two weeks and sometimes even a month. I just finished Stranger Things last night even though I watched ep 1 when the show dropped. Also didn’t get spoiled despite being on social media.

  21. Rosie5656 says:

    I would have been quite upset with a staggered release. My mom and I watched the original series together, and when I moved out we still would have calls talking about each episode. Having them all released at once means that she and I can spend the weekend watching them together, the way it should be.

  22. Linda says:

    I am greatly disappointed that all four episodes are being released all at once. I’m totally in favor of staggering them. I have seen every episode at least 3 times. I wonder who these fans are you speak of??? Makes no sense!!

  23. Simon Jester says:

    I was hoping for a staggered release.

    But either way, it’s lame to use ‘fans’ as an excuse for your own scheduling decisions. Grow a pair.

  24. Katie says:

    Count me among those fans that would have been so annoyed if the episodes had been staggered. I could have dealt with it if it had been weekly but absolutely not if it had been anything longer. I’m just so excited.

  25. Jennifer says:

    Ted Sarandos needs to meet some “Veronica Mars” fans.

  26. Jen says:

    Don’t really understand why this is such an issue?? Simultaneous release gives the best of both worlds — binge watch for those that want it all immediately, stagger it yourself if you want to savor each release (and avoid spoilers online like you know how to do living in this Netflix era). Let’s just enjoy the fact we’re getting more Gilmore Girls at all.

    • Danielle says:

      Exactly! No-one if forcing you to watch all the episodes at once. Avoiding social media sounds like a bunch of first world problems. I’m just happy we’re getting more Gilmore!

  27. Donna Dykema says:

    I don’t want to even think these upcoming 90 minute episodes will be the END of Gilmore Girls! We fans NEED more episodes than this. PLEASE LISTEN TO US!

  28. GGfan122 says:

    Huge fan here who has been waiting for a decade for this revival, and I’m thoroughly disappointed they’ll all be dropping at the same time. I feel forced to binge watch 6 hours of content instead of enjoying each one for fear of having it spoiled. Spoilers are hard to avoid sometimes. This Netflix exec is comepletely out of touch with the “passionate fans.”

    • Tina says:

      Speak for yourself! ;) I’m a passionate fan and I want to watch it all at once.

      • Katie says:

        Same here. And for everyone complaining about “spoilers” and whatnot, it is possible. Hell, the new script for the Harry Potter play has been a book now for over two weeks, and I just picked it up today at the bookstore and I knew nothing about it until I cracked the cover. Please don’t overreact. Gilmore Girls may be incredible, I love it to freaking pieces and will for sure binge watch the whole thing, but it’s hardly world wide news. Get on FB, just don’t look at the trending topics. Same for Twitter. Tumblr, use the blacklist. If you *really* don’t want to know, there are steps you can take to ensure that result.

  29. ToyCannon says:

    Unless the last 4 words are “I’m not your Mother”, I can’t imagine knowing them in advance would spoil my viewing experience.

    • Saiph says:

      That is without a doubt the best/funniest suggestion for the last four words I’ve ever heard. Thanks for the chuckle.

  30. Rich says:

    What? Staggered release would’ve created a Netflix boycott or something?! Ridiculous comment by Sarandos. I hate that they’re dropping them all at once. I was absolutely hoping for a staggered release. I will probably end up watching all 4 over the weekend, but the anticipation is half the fun.

  31. Kate says:

    I’ll be watching it through without any distractions the second it drops. To avoid every single spoiler, it’s really the only way one can watch it! I’m still on the side of AS-P, I would have liked a gap if for no other reason than to stretch out the experience and allow myself a moment to live in each episode and fully digest it before moving on to the next chapter! Obviously nothing we can do about it now, but I am a little disappointed, 100%.

  32. Christy says:

    I am ok with the group release. I’m still not a fan of the date though. There’s no way I can get off work the day after Thanksgiving so I’ll have to wait until 4 pm to watch. And that’s if my family leaves me alone! Sad!!

  33. Dannie C says:

    I was hoping for One a Week or Month to have time to digest them & enjoy them on their own. We have waited for so long not knowing if we would ever be graced with GG & Amy + Dan on our screens again. I’d just hope it wouldn’t be over all in one day (Yeah I know you don’t have to watch them all at once but it’s hard when you use the Internet/social media for work) Anyways I’m so excited & very greatfull we are getting brand new Gilmore Girls <33

  34. Pamela says:

    so now I only have to keep Netflix long enough to watch all ….bad move Netflix. It would have kept new customers like me longer to make sure I saw them all…even if they took several months!

  35. Ray says:

    I’m bewildered that people who want a staggered release are unhappy if the entire 4 mini-movies are released at once. Just watch the shows at your staggered schedule then. This option allows for everyone to be happy.

    • A fan of TV says:

      Especially if the showrunner’s idea of staggering was one new episode per day for for days, over the Thanksgiving weekend of all things, when almost all staff writers at TV blogs or news sites are not writing about shows because it’s a holiday… Staggering is not uploading a show per day, in my opinion, and the particular timing of this particular release would have diluted the impact of not releasing every GG ep at once, anyway.

    • Ginny says:

      Yeah. I am laughing a little at the people going “I have no choice now but to watch them all at once!”. Like yeah, you have the choice. Nobody is tying you down, holding your eyes open, and forcing you to watch them.

      I mean, I get it is about wanting to avoid spoilers. But, I have very little sympathy there, since I feel like people take being spoiled entirely too seriously.

  36. Deb says:

    I was hoping for a staggered release so I could savor each episode for a week or so, or rewatch to see what I may have missed to 1st time. If I tried to stagger them myself, it would be very hard to avoid spoilers. This will be big news.

  37. Saiph says:

    Aww, poor Mr. Sarandos~ that’s a pretty fundamental misreading of the Gilmore Girls fan community. If anything, GG fans respect Amy Sherman-Palladino and her vision for the series, and I have yet to come across one who doesn’t understand and respect her reasoning for the staggered release date too. As several folks have pointed out, now we all have no choice but to either spend all day Friday binge-watching straight through (which I’m sure many will be happy to do, but an argument could be made that that much excitement, nostalgia, and emotional commitment needs a bit of a break here and there~ plus, lots of people in the States are traveling that weekend with their families and will be physically unable to stay in their pyjamas all day with a gallon of ice cream as proper viewing requires)~ or else to avoid all whispers of the internet until we’ve managed to carve out said time.

    If Mr. Sarandos were really afraid of the fans, he would have had better sense than this. One day in between each episode would have made it a more special “event” release, good for publicity, and would not have reduced total viewership one bit. Guaranteed. Oh well.

    • Anthoney says:

      Now you have. I watched GG from the start and I vastly prefer having everything dropped at once so I can decide when and how much I want to watch.

  38. JoAnn says:

    Omg! I wont be on Twitter until Im done! So excited for GG!! #CoffeeCoffeeCoffee

  39. Summer says:

    YES GOOD ALL NIGHT GILMORE PARTY.

  40. CJ says:

    I am a huge fan and wanted it staggered. People don’t appreciate anticipation now that binge watching exists. This show is pre-bingeing. I will be staggering it over the holiday weekend and staying off social media until I’m done. So unfortunate, but excited for the release! Ausiello you should have asked this question in a poll and sent the results to Netflix!

  41. David4 says:

    I was hoping each season would be released on each season. I think they are starting with winter, so Dec 20th, March 20, June and next Sept.

    • Dannie C says:

      That would’ve been cool

    • Katie says:

      Really? One, hour and a half show, every three months? That sounds terrible.

    • Mary says:

      Although a neat ideal I am glad that is not the case. It would have been torture. I wish it was once a week release but it is what it is so I will deal with it. If it was release any other weekend I wouldn’t have a problem binge watching but Thanksgiving weekend is way to hectic for me. Well hopefully by Sunday I can enjoy at least a couple of them.

  42. James says:

    To each his own. As ASP said, people have gotten good at avoiding spoilers (I would add, if they really want to). I was really looking forward to the next Star Wars but wasn’t interested in fighting with the crowds, so I took my family about 3 weeks after it opened and didn’t read one spoiler. I’ve already got plans for a marathon the day of release with my wife and daughter, with coffee, pizza and junk food (and a little alcohol) on the menu

  43. Fernanda says:

    that day I won’t sleep or waste time on social networks…(spoiler free) I watch all the episodes until the sun comes up

  44. Angel in NM says:

    Don’t mind spacing them out….hey, it took lorelai & luke 6 seasons to get this far…like a long lingering great kiss, bring it on slowly.

  45. Who cares when/how they are going to be released? Just be grateful that we’re getting a revival.

  46. Jill says:

    Wish they had staggered it & I wish it wasn’t being released Thanksgiving day weekend. I work commissioned sales. No way to watch right away.

  47. DV says:

    People upset over this need something better to do with their time.

  48. Jan Payne Pierce says:

    I don’t have Netflix. Is that the only venue to see Gilmore Girls?

  49. coneyro says:

    I’m reading these comments, and I don’t know if I should laugh or cry. You would think that we were talking about the second coming, or something as important.

    People, it is only a TV program. And people having a stroke because they won’t be able to go on social media. My Lord, is this really what the world has been reduced to?

    You mentally immature folk really need to get a life and remember what really IS meaningful. That you accidentally get spoiled by unwanted information doesn’t qualify, and six hours sitting on your butt downing ice cream is anything but a useful accomplishment.

    I am a Gilmore Girls fan, but I won’t waste my money on Netflix. I saw a few episodes of OITNB for free on the computer. Daredevil too. Don’t need to spend money. It will show up shortly there. I can wait.

    Hope there never comes a time when the internet goes black for an extented period. You people will go out of your minds. Maybe then you can read a book? Remember those, or actually call or visit others, and rest your thumbs. They must be tired from texting.

    Sorry for the rant, but modern society is getting out of hand with social media and electronics. The world is bigger and more interesting than your computer screen. Why don’t you get out and enjoy it?

  50. Sarah says:

    I guess I am in the minority cause I am incredibly happy that we’ll be getting all 4 at once. Patience is not one of my virtues and I hate waiting in between episodes. November cannot come fast enough.

    • sarah t says:

      I’m with you, not overly disappointed that they’re not staggering the release. I think it would have worked fine if they would have released them every two weeks (or however) but I guess I’m just mainly glad that they’re actually making this happen to begin with. No need to complain about how or why they’re releasing it as they are. If you have to avoid social media, avoid social media. It’s not going to be that big of a struggle.