Exclusive Interview: David S. Rosenthal, Head Writer and Executive Producer on Gilmore Girls (Part 2)
There's been some rumblings about this being the Gilmore Girls final year and, with a couple of the actors contracts up, do you have to map out and have a backup plan for that and how does that work in mapping out a story? Ultimately, if this is the last season, that's something we can address towards the very end of the season. It's one of those things like I feel like we're in a place where the season we have planned, the ending of the season could serve as the ending for the show or serve as the new beginning for a new season and its one of those things where I think we're planning to be in a position where it could feel like, "Ooh, this is the start of a new, interesting chapter in the Gilmore Girls lives," or it can also feel like an ending. So, I think strategically we've kind of tried to envision an ending that could serve as an ending or a beginning of a new chapter and a new season. Were you happy with the way the story ended last season or, if you were running the show, would you have done anything different? I don't know. I mean, Amy and Dan have been doing the show for six years and they've guided it so beautifully and so brilliantly, I'm certainly not going to question their choices and frankly, for me, I felt like it presented a real challenge for me coming into this year and an opportunity to take what we've been given and run with it and really see what we can do and explore that. Obviously, the situation presented itself so we get to explore some things. What does it mean? What are the consequences? Where does this take the characters? So I thought of this as a real opportunity and I was excited to get started and explore that. Any time you break up two beloved characters like Lorelai and Luke, there's going to be a fan backlash. But, personally, I think you've handled the situation quite well. How difficult was it to make it plausible and fan friendly? Yeah, I mean the goal was really to approach it honestly and take it one episode at a time and see how their relationship develops and just try to be true to the characters and to be respectful of their history and respectful of their relationship and just try to treat it honestly and fairly and respectfully, and hopefully the fans will feel the same way. I mean, if we approach it that way then hopefully fans feel that. Has there been any talk about a spin off? I have no idea about that. My focus is really on doing 22 episodes of Gilmore Girls this season. That's plenty on my plate. Was there any change in the way the show was produced after moving to the CW? No, not as far as I can see. The CW kind of inherited the show from the WB, so I think it's been a very successful long running show for the WB so I don't think there was any sense that there was a great need to tinker or tamper with it, but to hopefully support it and have it continue to be a successful show for them, which it has been. So, there really has been no change at that end. Are you happy that spoilers are out there for Gilmore Girls? You know, as a story teller, you'd rather just have people experience the story as you're telling it. I mean, if you're reading a book, you'd rather not have them flip to the end of the book and read the ending. Just for their own experience, you'd rather them...you're telling a story, you'd rather them follow along with you as opposed to running up ahead. But, you know, I also appreciate that people are really interested and excited about the show and want to talk about it, so obviously that's just a part of what we do. So, I mean I certainly don't have a problem with it, but for me, I just know that the best way to experience a show like this is to just take it in week by week and enjoy it without knowing too much about what's happening. It's the same problem I have with movie trailers; they show you pivotal moments of the movie, and then when you get to those pivotal moments, you're not surprised because you've already seen them two or three times in the theater. Story-wise, do you try to think about what the fans would like to see happen? No, I just really have to think about, for me, what the characters would do and how they would feel and how they would respond and, really, all my focus is on the characters. Look, I'm a fan, I was a fan of the show before I started working on it. So, as a fan, I certainly have a great deal of affection for the characters and respect for the characters so I don't want to do anything that would ultimately piss me off. In that respect, I very much do have the fan's point of view at heart. Do you ever read fan forums online? I do not. I know others do and they share tidbits with me, but I don't read the stuff. I know that it's a passionate fan base and I know things are discussed in great detail, which is cool and that's great that people are so into the show and passionate about it. I think that's really great. And, finally, will Logan and Rory break up this season? No comment. (Laughs) You'll have to wait and watch.
Part 1 / Part 2
This interview is the third in a series of BuddyTV interviews with the creators, writers, and producers behind many of TV's hit shows. Next week, check back to BuddyTV for an exclusive interview with Jon Rabin Baitz, Creator and Executive Producer of ABC's Brothers & Sisters. Thus far, we've featured an interview with the creator of The Nine, Hank Steinberg, and an interview with the creators of The Class, David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik.