After months of speculation about the fate of “Gilmore Girls,” the CW and Warner Bros. Television announced Thursday that the show will end its sevenseason run this month.
It was widely known that the popular dramedy about a mother and daughter would carry on only if both Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel, who play the fast-talking Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, respectively, extended their contracts. According to a source close to the show, the network and the studio were unable to make a deal to keep the show alive.
“Gilmore Girls” was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino for the now-defunct WB, where it was one of its most popular shows. Sherman-Palladino birthed the show’s acclaimed signature style: rapid-fire pop culture references embedded in a larger thematic backdrop of a young single parent raising her daughter the way she wished she’d been raised. Since it became part of the CW’s first slate of shows when the new network was created from the merger between UPN and WB last year, it has also been one of its most-watched shows. It averaged 3.3 million viewers, doing well among young female viewers in the 8 p.m. Tuesday slot, even against “American Idol.”
“Gilmore Girls” inspired as fanatical a viewership as any show on television. But Sherman-Palladino and her husband and collaborator, Daniel Palladino, left at the end of the sixth season, unable to reach an agreement with Warner Bros. David S. Rosenthal, an executive producer for the show, took over the series this season, and his tenure has received mixed reviews.
Locking in “Gilmore Girls” had been a priority for the new network. As all of the TV networks prepare to announce their new shows to advertisers at the “upfronts” this month, the CW has few sure things set for next season.
A joint statement from the CW and Warner Bros. read, in part, “Announcing the final season of ‘Gilmore Girls’ is truly a sad moment for everyone at The CW and Warner Bros. Television. This series helped define a network and created a fantastic, storybook world featuring some of television’s most memorable, lovable characters.”
The series finale will air May 15.