Could Lisa Kudrow’s ‘The Comeback’ make another comeback? ‘Everybody wants to do it’
Valerie Cherish, viral star of the COVID-19 pandemic?
We do need to see that!
Valerie, the fictional sitcom actor turned documentary subject turned Emmy winner played by Lisa Kudrow in “The Comeback,” has been out of the spotlight since the second season of HBO’s lacerating backstage satire aired in 2014, nine years after the series premiered in 2005.
That means the time will be ripe for a third season in 2023 — and executive producer and cast member Dan Bucatinsky (“Scandal”) says “The Comeback” creative team is eager for another go-round.
“There’s always the talk and the wish and the pitch and the desire. Everybody wants to do it. It’s just a matter of getting certain stars to line up,” Bucatinsky said Sunday during a Los Angeles Times Dinner Series conversation with friend and “Will & Grace” costar Eric McCormack.
“As it took nine years for the stars to line up again, I don’t know how long it will take them to line up [a third time], but the desire is there,” he added. “I can’t say it won’t happen ... but I can’t say it will happen.”
“The Comeback,” created by “Friends” alum Kudrow and Michael Patrick King (“Sex and the City”), earned a reputation as a one-and-done cult classic when HBO swiftly canceled the oft-excruciating mockumentary. The show centered on Kudrow’s Valerie Cherish as she tried to revive her career — and regularly debased herself in front of a reality TV crew while appearing on a new sitcom.
In 2005, long enough ago that it was shot and broadcast in a 4:3 aspect ratio, Lisa Kudrow co-created and starred in an HBO series called “The Comeback.”
The extra-meta 2014 revival set its acerbic sights on prestige TV, with Valerie suffering new indignities while playing a fictionalized version of herself on an HBO-style drama called “Seeing Red.”
Bucatinsky, set to appear this spring in ABC’s Erin Brockovich-produced legal drama “Rebel,” was at pains to emphasize that there are no firm plans thus far for a new season of “The Comeback.” But he did acknowledge that the nine years since Season 2 are full of material — not least the ongoing pandemic — for TV’s most put-upon performer to explore.
“Everybody would love to see Valerie. There’s 9 million ways in which you can see her. I just want to see how she handles COVID. I want to see Valerie Cherish with a mask around her face, with camera crews following her,” he said. “There’s just a million ways that you can enjoy her again. But we really have to plan and hope, and we’ll see. Maybe by 2023 there’ll be a plan in place to see the final chapter of Valerie Cherish. I certainly want it too.”
The move wouldn’t be much of a stretch given the reboot and revival craze that’s overtaken television since “The Comeback” last aired in 2014, including the new streaming service HBO Max — which has already set sequels to such popular series as “Gossip Girl” and “Sex and the City.”
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