Gilmore Girls may have premiered 15 years ago, but the beloved series has experienced a massive resurgence of popularity, due mainly to its addition last year to the Netflix roster.
EW recently caught up with star Lauren Graham to chat about the pilot, and she revealed that the biggest surprise of Gilmore Girls was how it resonated with viewers and industry execs alike — not to mention how long it lasted.
“I had done a lot of TV but I don’t think anything had gone — I did like six episodes and 12 episodes and a season of something,” Graham told EW. “I remember Peter Roth, who’s still the president in an even bigger position of The WB, coming to visit me in my trailer. I was like, ‘Oh that’s nice!’ I realize looking back, that’s never happened to me before or since. It made me realize the show was really important to him and the network. ‘The studio heads always just stop on by your trailer’ — no, they do not.”
Of course, over seven seasons, there were going to be story lines that left viewers less than satisfied. “A story line I remember really struggling with — and I don’t even remember the conflict — but where we’re [Rory and Lorelai] kind of not speaking to each other and that was one that really bothered people. And it was actually kind of hard to do, you know? But over the course of seven years doing 22 episodes a year — which again, is something that is increasingly less in-fashion, especially when you don’t have explosions or an emergency room or a case that’s gonna get solved — of course you’re going to mine the story for every possibility and that was absolutely a possibility. But it was a hard one to do. That show was part comedy and then went to these dramatic places — it was sometimes hard to navigate.”
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Still, the series’ popularity and impact had a number of visitors and sightseers dropping by the Warner Bros. studio lot. “George Lucas came and brought his daughter – the set visits! People were just excited to come and see that world. … That had never happened to me before.”
And when guest stars like Paul Anka, Christiane Amanpour, and Norman Mailer dropped by Stars Hollow during the series’ run, their presence pointed to creator Amy Sherman-Palladino’s dedication to writing the pop-culture heavy scripts that had become her signature — even when the references were almost certain to go over the heads of younger viewers.
“Amy’s intense intellect was to bring that kind of … to reference the New York Times book review habitually, or any number of the other kind of highbrow references she incorporated. I’m sure for a lot of the younger people watching they had no idea, but she never talked down. Which is another reason you can go back and watch it and catch a bunch that weren’t totally age-appropriate at the time. “
For more on EW’s interview with Graham, head here.
Watch our interview with Graham and Bledel when they reunited for our reunions issue!