Gilmore Girls earned an immediate cult following—that’s still going strong—when it debuted in 2000. But after seven seasons it came to an abrupt, unexpected end that still upsets fans to this day.
So, why did a massively popular show suffer such a miserable fate? Apparently, there were several issues at play. But the biggest was money.
“Money was a key factor in the decision, with the parties involved not able to reach a deal on salaries for the main cast members,” reported Variety in 2007. “Other issues, such as number of episodes and production dates, may have also played a role.”
Valerie Campbell, who runs a popular Gilmore Girls fanzine, recently shared that a “very important actor” refused to return for another season, as well. She didn’t mention who that actor was, so it’s hard to know if their lack of interest killed the story.
On top of the obvious issues, some fans were tuning out by the time the series hit the chopping block. The reason for that was that creators Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino had left production. And people weren’t feeling the new style. With everything considered, it was simply time to say goodbye to Star’s Hallow.
“It was such a hard decision,” CW president Dawn Ostroff said at the time. “Everyone came to the point where we decided it was just time to move on. But I think everybody is walking away with good feelings. We all tried to make it work.”
Lauren Graham Was One of the Last to Know That ‘Gilmore Girls’ Was Canceled
Despite what seemed to be a careful and thoughtful decision, lead star Lauren Graham had no idea she was losing her job. She learned about the cancellation while eating dinner with a friend.
“We shot the last episode and we had no idea,” she told Seth Meyers in 2015. “There was some back and forth about what was gonna happen. I was in a restaurant and I had turned my phone off. So the waiter comes to the table and he was like ‘Are you Lauren Graham?’ and I was like, ‘Yes.’ He goes ‘Your agent’s on the phone.’ I thought I was in a ’40s movie or something. I was walking to the house phone and I was like ‘Hello,” and he goes ‘It’s cancelled.’ And that’s how I found out that it was the end.”
The cast never even had a chance to enjoy a wrap party, which was an unceremonious ending to such a classic series.
However, fans got a new chance to enjoy their favorite quick-talking mother and daughter duo in 2016 when Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino paired with Netflix for the miniseries, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. The revived story ended up on a cliffhanger when Rory told her mom she was pregnant but didn’t reveal the father. Graham and Sherman-Palladino have both admitted that another series is possible, but nothing is in the works yet.
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