Melissa McCarthy was not approached to do Gilmore Girls reboot: why?

First the good news for Gilmore Girls fans, there’s a reboot coming to Netflix and production just started. Almost nine years after the show ended its run it’s set to return with four 90 minute episodes. The reboot is written and directed by the show’s original creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino, and her husband. It’s set to star the original Gilmore Girls, Lauren Graham (Lorelai) and Alexis Bledel (Rory) along with Scott Patterson (Luke), Keiko Agena (Lane), Kelly Bishop (Emily) and Sean Gunn (Kirk). (You can learn more about the reboot on Mashable, but beware there are mild spoilers.)

Unfortunately Edward Herrmann, the actor who played Lorelaie’s dad, passed away in 2014 so his departure will have to be explained. Melissa McCarthy was also in the show, she played Lorelai’s best friend, Sookie St. James, and appeared in almost every episode for all seven seasons. In an interview about the reboot, creator Amy Sherman-Palladino suggested that it would be too difficult to get McCarthy to reprise her role.

“She’s really f—ing busy. But the thing I have said [to her team] is, ‘Look, if Melissa is available and has an afternoon free, I’ll write her a scene. Melissa was one of us. If she has a spare moment to run over [to the set] — even if for just a cameo — we would be totally game. And if it’s a last-minute thing, I would write her in and we would figure it out. That’s the way we left it.

“It was a character we knew we could not count on in terms of story, because [Melissa] just simply wouldn’t have that sort of time to carve out for us. It simply would’ve been impossible. Planning around her crazypants schedule and her movies and her this and her that and Ghostbusters… I would just be sobbing in a corner for six months. That would be my whole life. But if her people called me up and said she’s free on these particular days or would love to drop by and just be in one scene, we would put her right in.”

[From TVLine]

Ok, so she’s saying that she approached Melissa’s people and were told that she wasn’t free for a while, or only had a small window in which to work, right? It’s worth noting that TVLine added the words [to her team] as that’s implied although Sherman-Palladino didn’t explicitly say that. Only McCarthy posted on Twitter that no one even asked her.

McCarthy is pure class with that tweet. She makes it clear that she wasn’t asked but that she’s ok with it. The show was on for seven years! Can you imagine working somewhere for that long and hearing that there’s a big reunion but never being asked to come? Yes McCarthy is a big star, but it sounds like the show’s creator just assumed she wouldn’t be available. It could be the case that Sherman-Palladino did approach McCarthy’s people and they just didn’t inform McCarthy about it, in which case they’re not doing their jobs properly. I believe McCarthy though, and think she was overlooked because she’s more famous now. Plus maybe they assumed she would be too expensive.

21st Annual Critics Choice Awards 2016

photo credit: and Getty

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62 Responses to “Melissa McCarthy was not approached to do Gilmore Girls reboot: why?”

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  1. aims says:

    They can’t afford Melissa anymore. Unless she does a cameo for old time sake, she’s moved on career wise.

    • Shaz says:

      Yep. This. Wouldn’t be much of a show without Sookie, so I hope they work out a deal.

      • joan says:

        It’s simple to ASK, but no one did. Stupid.

        I think they thought it’d be too complicated to get a deal w/her and underestimated how much we all love the character.

        And I think there may be some tension on both sides that they didn’t appreciate MM’s star potential way back when, and look at her now.


    • EMR says:

      Perhaps but that’s a pretty big assumption on the part of the producer – they should have asked her unless…. Sounds like they did not want her to come back and this will be pretty interesting.

      • I think that cost, as people are saying, has something to do with it, but I also think that because she is so successful now and really known as a comedic actress, she would pull focus and they don’t want to distract from the main event. Too bad. She would rock it. And she looks beautiful in that green wrap dress the same colour as her eyes. She has really lost some weight and you can see her beautiful bone structure now.

    • joan says:

      The show didn’t treat MM as a potential superstar or see her true potential, and there may be some feelings on both sides about that.

      Who knows how they treated her; it was the kind of show where you try to keep a happy image and not leak any tensions or disputes.

      It’s embarrassing that the show relegated her to such an increasingly small role and they may be in denial.

  2. Mrs. Darcy says:

    Mmm something’s fishy. I loved Melissa in GG but she was very much a supporting character, which she now no longer is. I hope there’s no beef and they can work out a cameo because it would not be the same without her. I’m already sad it’s missing Grandpa Gilmore (for obv. reasons but his presence will be missed). Paris and Michel had better make the cut, and I also can’t help but want Jared P. in it, if only to make up for that Supernatural GG (jokey) shade throwing episode! I really do not want a Jess & Rory reunion, feel like I’m alone there though.

    • WTW says:

      Paris is on “How to Get Away With Murder” now. I actually really can’t stand Paris and wanted her off the show when it was still on. Jared P. is so much more attractive on “Supernatural” than he was on “GG.” His character had no appeal on “GG” in my opinion, but I like him a lot on “Supernatural,” at least the first seasons. I don’t watch the show anymore.

      • Kitten says:

        Is she any good on that show? I went back and forth on her acting on GG—I couldn’t tell if she was purposefully acting wooden because she was playing the part of an uptight Type A personality or if she was just a sh*tty actress.

      • WTW says:

        @Kitten: I think she is a good actress on “HTGAWM,” but I don’t like her character, Bonnie, on that show either. Before “GG” she also starred in a movie called “Whatever” and did a great job in it. I think the actress, Liza Weil, is fine. I just didn’t like the character of Paris and couldn’t understand why they made her a fixture on the show.

      • lucy2 says:

        Aw, I loved Paris! I loved how she and Rory started off so badly, but ended as really great friends, and they were alike in many ways.

    • Naya says:

      I agree. Sookie was a supporting character. Even setting aside salary and scheduling concerns, Melissa is one of worlds biggest female movie stars now. If you wrote a reboot, you would either have to dramatically increase Sookies role to reflect Melissa’s stature or dramatically diminish her role to a one scene cameo, again to reflect Melissas stature. I bet if GG producers did reach out to Melissa’s team, it was just a cursory email to confirm the obvious.

    • serena says:

      I really hope Milo Ventimiglia would be there to do play Jess, because it is the only one I liked with Rory (whatever Dean and Logan)!

    • SugarMalone says:

      I went to the Gilmore Girls cast reunion in Austin this past June and I thought it was super weird that no one mentioned Melissa or Sookie once. They all made a big deal about Sean Gunn (Kirk) not being able to participate because he was shooting a movie, you’d think they would’ve said the same about Melissa.
      Even when the actor who played Jackson was asked about his character’s future, he said, “I think Jackson would have a ton of kids” – not Jackson and Sookie.
      At the time, I totally thought there might be some weirdness or bad blood but now I’m convinced there’s more to the story than Melissa’s too expensive or busy.

      • A says:

        That’s strange….did Alexis and Milo interact at all?

      • SugarMalone says:

        He was sitting a few people away from her on stage and there was joking about Rory’s boyfriends and who she should have ended up with but no direct back and forth between the two.

      • A says:


      • Bridget says:

        The show had a warm, small town feel to it that makes us assume the actors all liked each other in real life, which was likely not the case (Graham and Patterson reportedly disliked each other a lot). Folks are commenting on how much they liked the Sookie character and how well written it was… except for the second half of the series, where she just became something for Lorelai to react to (similar to how Lane’s character went downhill). So I can get how maybe there aren’t a ton of warm fuzzies in this scenario.

      • Bridget says:

        I’m also going to point out, I don’t think MM has particularly warm feelings about the series. Has anyone ever noticed that she doesn’t talk about her time on GG really? We know how everyone else feels about it, what they thought of their characters, and yet almost nothing direct from McCarthy.

        And this topic is apparently bringing out the crazy person in me, because I really loved Gilmore Girls until it just completely went off the edge. Rory and Logan and her falling in with the fancy crowd? April Nardini? Lorelai not actually cancelling her wedding? The DAR ladies? Lane getting married at 20 and immediately getting pregnant? Sookie being relegated to background noise? NO THANKS.

      • SugarMalone says:

        I have to say that I was a little taken aback at how much Lauren and Alexis did not want to interact with the fans at the festival (the reunion was a part of the annual ATX Television Festival). Everyone else in the cast went out of their way to walk around and shake hands and take pictures all week.

        Scott Patterson (Luke) even came out and walked the line outside the theatre because we’d all been waiting outside in the HOT Texas sun for 4 hours and hundreds of people towards the back of the line were going to be turned away.

        Hep Alien reunited and played a set in an outdoor venue on South Congress and Sutton Foster and ASP sat in the front row on the ground amongst the fans!

        I personally got to chat with Kelly Bishop and was able to ask her about GG and Dirty Dancing and A Chorus Line. She was exactly as amazing as I expected her to be.

        I would never say celebrities are entitled to give their time to fans but, their lack of engagement was really jarring. It totally made me think about the rumours about Scott and Lauren not getting along and wondering if Lauren maybe isn’t quite as nice as I would like her to be. Alexis seemed uber shy so I gave her more of a pass.

        All this to say that yes, I agree with everything Bridget had to say.

      • Diane says:

        I bet she would’ve done it on the cheap just for kicks. Maybe Lauren Graham didn’t want to be overshadowed.

      • Mrs. Darcy says:

        Wow, good gossip @Sugar Malone! It doesn’t hugely shock me that Alexis and Lauren were stand-offish. I would have been way more excited to talk to Scott P. and Kelly Bishop anyway! And The Hep Alien thing is awesome.

        @Bridget: I didn’t think Sookie was particularly well written, but her character did evolve a bit and I do think the reunion will be weird without her. And I think most long time fans of the show would agree it went almost completely off the boil for a couple of seasons, was still saved by the actors enough to make it watchable, and almost got back to being really great by the end. Things I hated: Lorelei and Christopher’s Paris marriage, Rory’s arty new friends and that stupid Marty storyline. Oh and Dean take 2. Also not a huge Jess fan but I get why people ship it. In re-watches Logan really grew on me and I love Matt in The Good Wife so I’m happy he is coming back.

        As for Lorelei, I know she will end up with Luke but they will need to really fix the mess the made of that relationship other than the band aid they stuck on it at the end. Those two were so dysfunctional. Also I’m a weirdo who is rooting for a Digger/Chris Eigeman cameo, just because I love him! A Jon Hamm cameo might be funny too. I don’t care as long as there is plenty of Emily and Lorelei sparring, I really am getting swept up in the hype now! 🙂

    • KiddVicious says:

      I hated Jess and Rory together and was glad when we was gone. I get they wanted to give her a “bad boy’ boyfriend after the “best boyfriend in the world” but I didn’t like Rory when she was with Jess. And Jess annoyed me. I loved Logan and Rory, they’d have been a great power couple.

      • Mrs. Darcy says:

        Yes! Boo to Jess! I think there are a lot of less vocal Logan fans – for whatever reason the Jess thing really took off, even though he treated her LIKE DIRT the whole time they were together, broke her heart and didn’t bother to say goodbye, messed with her with weird random appearances. Girls love drama I guess!

        When they had them meet up later on and he was all cultured and mature I kind of thought it was b.s./the writers trying to justify the Jess love for the weird fans who obsessed over him. Sorry, but the Jess’s of the world do not mature that fast.

        I am curious how they are going to play this out, I have a bad feeling they will cow tow to the majority and have them end up together. I think the older versions of coupled up Jess and Rory would throw the most tedious pretentious dinner parties ever where they don’t actually serve any food, bore everyone to tears with their travel stories and get in a fight over politics or something stupid and eventually all their guests leave hungry! Yeah Amy Sherman Palladino I can write the truth, let me at it! ;-0

  3. Algernon says:

    I’m inclined to think her team didn’t pass on the invite. Melissa McCarthy is a movie star now, and the film/TV divide is still a big deal. Her management probably sees no reason for her to go back to TV, especially if it’s just a cameo. To me it sounds like ASP assumed she couldn’t get Melissa for a whole episode, so she didn’t write Sooki into the main story, but then extended the cameo offer to her managers, who then did not share it. It should also say something that ASP does not have direct access to Melissa anymore. Not everyone stays friends forever, but for their to be no direct contact? For ASP to feel like she can’t contact Melissa directly and has to go through management? That says something.

    • Krista says:

      But Melissa is still a TV actress. Mike and Molly was just recently cancelled. She’s been on tv the entire time she’s had her breakout movie career.
      I can see why the team might pass on the invite, but I don’t think it’s because she doesn’t want to act on a tv show. I think there’s something fishy here.

    • lucy2 says:

      That’s what’s surprising to me – they all worked together for 7 years, and no one is in touch with her enough to pick up the phone or send a direct email?
      I can see ASP assuming she’s not available, and I can also see MM’s management team being like “TV reunion? Doubtful.” But it’s kind of sad, we all want to think of them as such good friends like the show.

  4. ab says:

    it does sound like there was some sort of communication breakdown. I can’t imagine amy sherman-palladino would just assume melissa wasn’t available without actually getting in touch with her people. hopefully they can work out at least a cameo!

  5. grabbyhands says:

    I don’t know how you have a GG reunion without Sookie. I’m already on the fence about watching it since the last two seasons were so bad and I would think about skipping it altogether if she didn’t make an appearance.

    It sounds like ASP made a lot of assumptions about her availability/willingness/cost to come on the show again.

    • Kelsey says:

      The last two seasons were bad because ASP did not write them. And, the show was canceled without warning.

      • Bridget says:

        The Palladinos were only gone for the last season. They still gifted us April, Lane’s twins (seriously, she has sex ONCE and swears it off only to end up pregnant?), and Luke & Lorelai’s doomed engagement.

    • serena says:

      You should precisely because the last two seasons sucked.. because it wasn’t Amy Palladino who wrote them, so I hope this will fix all that mess.

  6. Isa says:

    Blind gossip said that her price was as much as the entire cast combined now. So I imagine that’s probably it.
    Good for her that she’s doing so well.
    I just started watching. I love their Lorelei and Rory’s relationship but can’t help but roll my eyes at how immature Lorelei can be.

    • Bridget says:

      No one really needs Blind Gossip to know that Melissa McCarthy makes more than anyone else on Gilmore Girls. And the question isn’t whether or not they could make an appearance work – MM is straight up saying she wasn’t asked.

      • lucy2 says:

        Agreed – of course she’d have a higher ask than anyone else in the cast for a different project, but I can’t imagine she’d demand top dollar to pop into Stars Hollow again.

        Hopefully the schedules will align and she can show up here and there. I’m very excited for the show no matter what, but I always loved Sookie and having her back, even for just a bit, will make it even better.

    • serena says:

      I’m with you on everything.
      If she goes back and fort with her ex Chris again in these 4 episodes I’m gonna scream.

      • Isa says:

        After reading everyone else’s comments, yeah, there’s probably a lot more to it. I assumed that since she fetched such a higher price that they didn’t bother to ask her since they assumed she would say no.

  7. Very dissappointing to hear! Sookie was my favourite character by far and much more entertaining than Lorelai and Rory.

    • WTW says:

      I always thought Lauren Graham did a fantastic job on the show, but I always thought Alexis Bledel was a bad actress. She was kind of boring and I never saw why everyone thought she was this “amazing kid.” She read a lot and got good grades, but she had no flair whatsoever and grew increasingly bratty as time went on.

  8. Bridget says:

    I think fans understand if logistics/price simply didn’t work. But Melissa is publicly contradicting ASP (if very gently), which is odd, and speaks to it being a larger issue.

    On another note, I still haven’t forgiven ASP for April Nardini, and so am very, very skeptical about this whole GG revisit.

    • Anon33 says:

      Agree with this, and I absolutely do not get “classy” from her reply.

      • Bridget says:

        I don’t think she needs to be classy, fortunately. GG wasn’t a huge breakout for McCarthy, and while people are thinking very fondly of Sookie’s early seasons they seem to forget the way she ended up being shoved aside during the last few seasons. I don’t get the impression that she’s overly attached to the series.

  9. Twodollars says:

    Wonder if it was an ego thing with the two stars of GG whose careers haven’t gone all that well while Melissa’s has taken off. I’ve read rumors of Graham being kind of a PITA on Parenthood.

  10. frivolity says:

    Sure. They didn’t ask (your handlers) … just like you were SO sad that Mike and Molly was canceled. I’m giving you the side-eye, McCarthy!

    • Audrey says:

      I never ever thought I would side eye her but I am.

      Gilmore Girls was her best part, imo. My husband and I were just talking about this a couple of days ago. It’s one of the only parts where her weight was never brought up or turned into a storyline. And she wasn’t “ugly downed” or butch or rough and tumble. She was just the pretty best friend with normal problems just like the rest of us.

      I hate seeing how they make her be ugly or rough in every role, or they make fat jokes. I really respect that about GG and the writers/producers

      • chick b says:

        Good point, Audrey. I found Bridesmaids unwatchable in part due to how her character was constructed. I haven’t been eager to see any of McCarthy’s films since even though I loved her performance as Sookie & her relationships with both Lorelai and Jackson.

    • AmyL says:

      I appreciate that you made this comment. I read the interview from TVline a few days ago after it went live and I found out about MM’s tweet from them as well.

      I read this one as all MM. From my memory, it seems like this is not the first time she has thrown shade in an attempt to garner public support/increase public opinion.

      • Bridget says:

        She never throws shade in interviews. And she almost never even mentions Gilmore Girls at all, unless specifically asked.

  11. Audrey says:

    Maybe they asked about her price and it was way too high so they never actually asked her to come back?

    Idk I have to think that they wanted her back. But it’s a Netflix production so I’m sure the budget isn’t what it was and the demand for Melissa has skyrocketed.

    I hope this all being said publicly means that they end up working something out so she returns for a bit. She’s too busy to do a full show, I think. But I would love to see her in Stars Hollow again

    I mean, I’m like so so so excited about this. I’m a HUGE GG fan. I honestly screamed and ran celebratory laps around my house when I saw that they’re coming back hahaha

    • als says:

      Yeah, pretty much my reaction as well but I wouldn’t want Sookie back for just one bit. She’s either all in or all out, anything in between translates on screen and it won’t be good.
      Plus, the show needs to focus on the main stories and on the actors that are committed to this audience.
      I loved Sookie too and I think something is fishy with McCarthy.

  12. A says:

    I hope Mrs Kim comes back!

  13. Naya says:

    Her weight and perceived unattractiveness is played out in all her recent work, from identity thief to spy. Its started to really bug me.

    • Kitten says:

      I agree with you about the weight issue but “perceived unattractiveness”??
      Do you mean that as in “perceived unattractiveness due to the fact that she’s overweight”?

      Because she really does have a pretty face IMO….

      • Audrey says:

        Kitten- they make her ugly in a lot of roles now. She’s the fat and ugly friend and it sucks cause she’s pretty

      • Kitten says:

        Oh ok I see what you’re saying.

        I’d love to see her in a more Sookie-like role because she was so attractive as that character IMO.

  14. Alex says:

    Yea I assume they thought she was too expensive or busy. That sucks though Sookie was one of the best parts of GG

  15. serena says:

    I read it’s because she’s too expensive and they’re on a really low-budget. Still, it’s sad..

  16. Fluff says:

    It’s most likely that they asked her management, who said she wasn’t available. In my job I’m responsible for casting, and seriously like 80% of the time when dealing with famous people, their agents/managers are the ones who make the decision whether or not to pass it to their client. I’m sure it’s different when you’re representing a major TV show approaching an actor you’ve worked with before. But if her reps turned it down without informing her, that would be in no way unusual or unprofessional. It’s pretty much standard practice for agents to filter offers and make their own decisions as to what’s best for their clients.

  17. Timbuktu says:

    I was not a huge fan of GG, but I liked it, but am so sick and tired of re-boots in general…

  18. Tredd says:

    I like her.
    Even if she IS starting to resemble her semi-famous cousin *blech blech cough cough*

  19. Pepper says:

    Honestly I suspect she was asked via management and they asked for a lot (It’s Netflix, they have money to burn), and were turned down. She was getting so many questions about GG on her social media, so many people assuming she was involved, I think she had to say something. ‘They can’t afford me’ would get her a ton of flack so she threw the GG showrunner under the bus instead.