You think Amy Sherman-Palladino wishes she had stayed on for the final season of Gilmore Girls? Today, FOX canceled The Return of Jezebel James after just three episodes. The Return of Jezebel James was the first post-Gilmore Girls production from creator Amy Sherman-Palladino. It starred Parker Posey as a book editor and Lauren Ambrose as Posey’s difficult sister who is going to carry Parker Posey’s baby – a baby who now will never, ever be born. There probably aren’t a lot of people out there upset by this news. The Return of Jezebel James received abysmally low ratings and universally terrible reviews. This early and abrupt cancellation has become something of a pattern over at FOX. Last Fall, Nashville was canceled after just two episodes and, before that, Bryan Fuller’s beloved Wonderfalls was axed after only a few episodes. Jezebel James is only the latest casualty.
Given the poor reviews for Jezebel James, I declined to watch any of the episodes that aired. Apparently, the show was simply not very funny and included one of the worst laugh tracks in recent memory. I heard Parker Posey simply didn’t work in the lead, though Lauren Ambrose did the best she could with the material. But, none of that matters now. It saddens me a little that Palladino didn’t get more time to try and improve the series. FOX has a different philosophy when it comes to series cancellations than any other major network. It seems to go like this: If the first two or three episodes get bad ratings (regardless of time slot) then it will never, ever receive good ratings (regardless of time slot).
For a comedy, I really believe you need time to find your voice. Comedies are never their best in season one (or season two, for that matter). It takes awhile. But, I don’t think FOX cared either way about the quality of the series – it was all about ratings. And Jezebel James pretty much tanked.
Chalk this down as a failed experiment for Amy Sherman-Palladino. The Gilmore Girls creator should probably go back to hour-long dramedies, rather than laugh-track assisted half hour sitcoms.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of FOX)