'Gilmore Girls,' Getting Outta Town

Lauren Graham, left, and Alexis Bledel couldn't reach a deal to return for an eighth season of mother-daughter shenanigans. The finale airs May 15.
Lauren Graham, left, and Alexis Bledel couldn't reach a deal to return for an eighth season of mother-daughter shenanigans. The finale airs May 15. (By Scott Humbert -- The Cw)

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By Lisa de Moraes
Friday, May 4, 2007

Stars Hollow is going the way of Mayberry, Hooterville, Crabwell Corners and Stuckeyville.

The Family Friendly Forum is shy one series.

Yes, the Gilmore Girls have called it a day.

After weeks of negotiations in which stars Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel were offered new salaries to do 13 more episodes next season, the two sides failed to reach a deal.

In the end, the two actresses weren't keen on coming back for an eighth season of "Gilmore Girls," and the show had become very expensive to produce relative to its sinking ratings, people with knowledge of the talks told The TV Column.

Yesterday afternoon the CW network and Warner Bros. Television, which produces the seven-season-old series, put out a joint statement saying they will stop production on the drama and the series finale will air May 15.

"Announcing the final season of 'Gilmore Girls' is truly a sad moment for everyone at The CW and Warner Bros. Television," the statement said.

"This series helped define a network," the two companies noted.

(That would be the WB network, where the show originally aired. Which is now defunct. Anyhoo . . .)

This season, "Gilmore Girls" has averaged about 3.6 million viewers, which is a good number for CW -- its sixth-most-watched program, behind "America's Next Top Model," "Friday Night Smackdown!," "7th Heaven," "Smallville" and "Beauty and the Geek."

But it's also nowhere near the crowd of more than 5 million who tuned in to the WB a few years ago to catch the mother-daughter team. Launched in 2000, "Gilmore Girls" was one of the WB's signature series, following the antics of speed-speaking single mom Lorelai (Graham) and brainiac daughter Rory (Bledel), who live in the weirdsmobile haven of Stars Hollow, Conn., and are so close in age they are really more like sisters.

"Gilmore Girls" also was the very first series to make it onto a network's schedule that had been funded by a group of advertisers calling themselves the Family Friendly Forum.

In its final year on the WB, also the last year the show was run by its creators, Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino, its audience had fallen to 4.4 million.

Still, some die-hard fans say the show never recovered from the departure of the Palladinos. The couple, who had been operating under one-year contracts with the production house, wanted a multiyear pact to continue with the series at the new CW network, but Warner Bros. declined to agree to one.

The two stars' contracts, however, ran through the end of this TV season, and the decision was made to continue the show without the creators.

The Palladinos now are working on a multi-camera Fox comedy for next season, about a speed-speaking children's book editor (played by speed-speaking indie film regular Parker Posey) who can't conceive and asks her younger sister (Lauren Ambrose of "Six Feet Under" fame) to carry her baby.

They're so far apart in age they're really more like mother and daughter. Hmmmmmm . . .


© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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