Before I tell you what you'll find in my exclusive interview with Gilmore Girls CEO Amy Sherman-Palladino below, let me tell you what you won't: Any mention of the growing (at least based on the Ask Ausiello feedback I've been receiving) fan backlash involving a certain long-lost "turtle" named April and the tension her presence is creating between Luke and Lorelai. Judge me and my interview skills all you want, but I just didn't go there. That heated discussion would have hijacked the entire interview and, as a result, compromised my primary mission: to seize as much prattle as I could about this season's final six episodes, the show's future on CW and Team Palladino's highly publicized contract talks. Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, as much as I worship the ground AS-P walks on, I gotta admit, the lady scares me a little.
Ausiello: I understand you have a doozy of a cliff-hanger planned. Does it involve Rory or Lorelai?
Amy Sherman-Palladino: Both.
Ausiello: How will it be different than last year's?
AS-P: They each have their own separate one; it does not deal with the two of them [together]. Their relationship is on good footing, so it's now about their two [romantic] relationships. It's closer to the [Season 4 cliff-hanger] when Rory slept with Dean, but it's a little bit more Pow! Bang! Ouch! than we've done in the past. Basically, it's a Batman episode.
Ausiello: I have a feeling Christopher's involved.
AS-P: Do you? I don't know. That's a good feeling. Maybe I should go with that.
Ausiello: Will Christopher be back next season?
AS-P: Yeah, we've got him for a few episodes. I forgot how many it is, but we've locked him down for a few episodes.
Ausiello: Will you be back next season?
AS-P: Our deals are up in mid-April and there's nothing going on right now. The actors are all set though.
Ausiello: So the show will be back?
AS-P: The show will absolutely be back.
Ausiello: Could there be an eighth season?
AS-P: I don't see why not. The studio is floating the concept that maybe next year is the last year. Frankly, I've heard that line the last four years in a row, so to me it doesn't mean anything.
Ausiello: Lauren Graham is also floating the concept. She told the Associated Press that next year will probably be the end for her.
AS-P: Maybe. But maybe if they backed up a nice, fancy Brink's truck and they bought her a house with a lovely pool... they're launching a new network now. It's not WB anymore. They're launching something brand-new and they're going to need solid product on which to build new product. That was the WB's problem toward the end. They just didn't have enough product to build new product. You have to have your shows that have an audience to launch something new. So, to me, if our numbers were way down and everything wasn't clicking, I'd say maybe next year is the last year. But our numbers are as strong or maybe stronger than ever. And next year, with this combined network, we will possibly have an even larger audience than we had before. So, from just a business standpoint forget creative why would you not bring back a show that is still pulling in an audience? And it still, in my personal opinion, has many places left to go [creatively].
Ausiello: What do you think of a possible Gilmore Girls/Veronica Mars pairing?
AS-P: I think it's a great idea. Kristen Bell is frickin' awesome. The weird thing about Gilmore Girls is we've never been paired with a [show featuring a] strong female character. Ever. We've always had boys on after us. We've always had Smallville, Supernatural, One Tree Hill. We've never had what Veronica Mars is, which is Kristen Bell walking around for an hour just being completely awesome. That to me, for the first time actually in six years, is the first pairing that literally makes any sense.
Ausiello: What about the new show you and Dan are developing? Have you started pitching it to other networks now that WB is folding?
AS-P: I haven't even started thinking about that yet. I'm directing episodes 19 and 22. Closing out the season is literally all I can think about now. That's all the brain space that I have. I think once the show [wraps], Dan and I will regroup and [map out] our next plan of attack.
Ausiello: Would you ever consider a Paris-centric spin-off?
AS-P: I would consider anything with Liza Weil. I would consider a spin-off; I would consider a movie; I would consider buying a home in the hills with her. I just think she is unbelievably special. She's got the goods like no one's business. She's just incredible.
Ausiello: Any chance Marty will return?
AS-P: We haven't found [the story] yet. Because the episode that we left Marty on was such a "I like you and now I'm walking away" kind of moment, it's been a little tough to bring him back. But we really adore him and he's always in our minds.
Ausiello: Milo/Jess is just back for the one episode on April 11, right?
AS-P: Yes, he's a very busy man.
Ausiello: Are you hopeful that the new Emmy rules will finally lead to some nominations for you guys?
AS-P: I have no idea what the new Emmy rules are. Zero. What's different?
Ausiello: As I understand it, they're going to have a special committee pick the final five nominees from a list of 10 selected by Academy members.
AS-P: No, I have no hope at all. Not a song or a prayer.