The nine-year wait for a “Gilmore Girls” television reunion will be over on Friday when Netflix releases the miniseries “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.”
Once a seemingly impossible feat, it took one event and the right content company to make the revival happen.
“I lobbied for it for years,” Scott Patterson, who played diner owner and Lorelai’s love interest Luke on the series, recently told Business Insider. “I really tried to take up the cause for the fans, because I know they wanted it so badly and deservedly so. It was a concerted effort over a number of years.”
“Gilmore Girls” followed young, single mom Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and her daughter/best friend Rory (Alexis Bledel), who live in a small, quirky New England town. Lorelai’s past comes back to haunt her when she realizes that she has to ask her wealthy, judgmental parents (played by Kelly Bishop and the late Edward Herrmann) for a loan so she can send Lorelai to a highly regarded private high school.
Patterson and many of the WB-turned-CW show’s stars went on to pretty successful careers. Meanwhile, the fan base for “Gilmore Girls” grew to include its original viewers and a whole new generation of fans who were able to watch the show via DVD, On Demand, and streaming.
Buzz around the show seemed at an all-time high when a growing TV festival held in Austin, Texas, the ATX Festival, planned to reunite the show's creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and its cast for a panel in 2015.
"I had virtually given up hope, but then ATX Festival in Austin in the summer of 2015 kind of changed the temperature on the whole thing," Patterson said. "I saw that it might happen and it did."
At the festival's reunion, Sherman-Palladino said that a reunion was not in the works, but left the possibility open.
"It would have to be the right everything - the right format, the right timing," she said of the potential project. "It would have to be honored in a certain way. If it ever came around, I think we would all jump in and do it. If it ever happened, I promise we'll do it correctly."
Patterson told us he got a phone call from Sherman-Palladino not long after the festival. In an interview with TVLine, the show's creator said she got verbal agreements from the four leads - Graham, Bledel, Bishop, and Patterson - before pitching the show to three outlets, including Netflix.
Netflix was an ideal creative partner for several reasons. Not only does it stream all seven seasons of the "Gilmore Girls" run, but its programming president counted the show among the company's most popular offerings. Second, ratings aren't the bottom line at Netflix. Its business is in signing up more subscribers. After all, "Gilmore Girls" was never a highly rated show and ranked No. 129 on TV during its final season. Those aren't promising numbers for outlets that depend on ratings.
"I knew Amy and [producing partner and husband] Dan [Palladino] would write good material given the newfound freedom they had with Netflix, that they didn't have to adhere to any deep ratings considerations," Patterson said. "Netflix is filled with very bright people who had a vision for this and how to reboot it."