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'Gilmore Girls' revival: Why the show is coming back

Like fan favorites 'The Mindy Project' and 'Family Guy,' 'Gilmore Girls' got enough streaming attention to prove the show's popularity and spark a revival.

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    'Gilmore Girls' stars Sean Gunn (l.), Lauren Graham (second from r.) and Alexis Bledel (r.).
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The hit 2000s show “Gilmore Girls” will officially be returning for more episodes on Netflix. 

News broke that the streaming service was involved in negotiations with “Gilmore” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and the series’ stars, Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel, several months ago.

Now Netflix has confirmed that new episodes of the show are moving forward and that several lead cast members will be returning.

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“Gilmore” ran from 2000 to 2007 and starred Graham and Bledel as mother and daughter Lorelai and Rory. The show took place while Rory was in high school and then in college. 

The series also starred Kelly Bishop as Lorelai’s mother, Emily, and Scott Patterson as Lorelai’s love interest, Luke. According to Variety, Bishop, Patterson, and actors including Keiko Agena (Lane, Rory's best friend) and Sean Gunn (Kirk) will return as well.

Sherman-Palladino and her husband Daniel Palladino, who was an executive producer and writer on the original program, are reportedly coming back for these new episodes. 

The revival of “Gilmore” will take the structure of four hour-and-a-half episodes, according to Variety. 

Netflix first released episodes of “Gilmore” on its streaming service in October 2014.

That gave Netflix a way to gauge interest in the show seven years after it went off the air. Viewership for old episodes of the show seem to have been good for the company; Hollywood Reporter writer Lacey Rose writes that “Gilmore” “has been a strong performer for the service.” 

Studying demand by having old episodes stream first has led networks or streaming services to go ahead with new episodes in other cases, too. The Mindy Kaling comedy “The Mindy Project” started life on Fox, and “Mindy” episodes were available on the streaming service Hulu after they aired on TV. When Fox canceled “Mindy” in 2015, Hulu announced it would pick up the show.

“Mindy has always been a beloved member of the Hulu family and we know her millions of fans will be eager to find out what Mindy still has in store for the next chapter,” Hulu said in a statement. “Since its network premiere in 2012, ‘The Mindy Project’ has been a top show on Hulu and has consistently remained popular with Hulu subscribers.” 

This strategy predates streaming, too. Fox canceled its animated sitcom “Family Guy” in 2002 but the show returned in 2005, with credit going to strong ratings for episodes of the show when they aired on Cartoon Network and great DVD sales. Gary Levin of USA Today reported at the time that “it marks the first time a canceled show has been resurrected based on DVD sales.”

A fictional property returning based on fan demand also echoes recent projects like those funded by Kickstarter. A movie based on the mid-2000s TV show “Veronica Mars” was released in theaters after those behind the show set up a Kickstarter. The fundraising tool was also a driving force in the recent revival of the TV show “Mystery Science Theater 3000.”

“If we want a lot more ‘MST3K,’ we need to work together to prove that there's still an audience out there that wants MST3K – and that this isn't all some pitiable delusion – so that we can find a network or online platform who will agree to pick up the show and keep it going … hopefully for another 200+ episodes,” show creator Joel Hodgson wrote on the campaign page

The show has since been funded.

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