“Gilmore Girls” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino is leaving the show she birthed, walking away from a huge payday in the process.
Warner Bros. TV — which had been haggling with Sherman-Palladino for months over a new deal — wasted no time Thursday announcing her replacement. Studio has tapped “Gilmore” scribe David Rosenthal to serve as showrunner on the WB skein, which is a lock to return for its seventh season next fall on the new CW network.
Sherman’s husband, Dan Palladino, is also ankling the skein.
Departures aren’t completely unexpected. At a “Gilmore” wrap party earlier this month, Sherman-Palladino told members of her staff she was exiting, according to people familiar with the situation.
But WBTV and CW execs held out hope that Sherman-Palladino might yet be persuaded to return. It’s believed studio brass met with her on Thursday morning in one final attempt to get her to stay, but instead, she told the studio she was leaving.
On Thursday afternoon, Sherman-Palladino and her husband issued a joint statement confirming their decision.
“Despite our best efforts to return and ensure the future of ‘Gilmore Girls’ for years to come, we were unable to reach an agreement with the studio and are therefore leaving when our contracts expire at the end of this season,” the scribes said.
Duo thanked the cast and crew and said they were confident “the integrity of the show will remain long after we leave.”
People familiar with the situation said WBTV offered Sherman-Palladino and her husband nearly $5 million if they agreed to stay for what’s likely to be the final season of “Gilmore Girls.” Scribes wanted a two-year pact, however — something that didn’t make sense to WBTV since there’s no guarantee the show and the cast will be back beyond next year.
Studio’s unwillingness to ink a two-year deal with Sherman-Palladino is a sign execs didn’t want to bet a few million dollars more on her development without the certainty of an eighth season of “Gilmore.” Sherman-Palladino’s two most recent stabs at developing projects have fizzled out.
A rep for Sherman-Palladino said the scribe was unavailable for comment beyond her statement.
WBTV and the CW issued a statement Thursday thanking Sherman-Palladino for “creating and nurturing” the skein.
While Sherman-Palladino brought a distinctive voice to “Gilmore Girls,” her loss isn’t likely to be catastrophic. Rosenthal is already an exec producer on the series, and he has a strong comedy background. He created Ellen DeGeneres’ ABC laffer “Ellen” and has worked on skeins such as “Spin City” and “Hope & Faith.”
Other skeins have survived the loss of creators with dominating voices. “The West Wing” lasted two seasons following Aaron Sorkin’s departure, with critics strongly praising the skein’s content this year.