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Stars (Hollow) align for ‘Gilmore Girls’ revival

November 20, 2016 GMT

As glad as the Gilmore Girls may be to be back, so is one of the main men in their lives.

Eagerly awaited by fans, the revival of the widely beloved 2000-07 series that started on the former WB Network and finished on CW, “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” — comprised of four 90-minute stories, all written by creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband, Daniel Palladino, and each set during one of the year’s seasons in the idyllic Connecticut town of Stars Hollow — begins streaming Friday on Netflix. Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel return as tightly bonded, smart-talking mother and daughter Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, with virtually all the other original cast members back as well.

Very prominent among them is Scott Patterson as Lorelai’s love, no-nonsense diner owner Luke Danes.

“I can liken it to a political campaign a little bit, without lobbyists involved,” Patterson said of making the “Gilmore Girls” reprise. “Listen, I’ve been advocating for this for a long time. I always felt the fans deserved it, wanted it, needed it and had to have it. And here we are, so it’s very satisfying, a destination that everybody collectively wanted to get to.”

For Patterson, the idea of more “Gilmore Girls” became a reality “in my heart of hearts” when pivotal players (from both sides of the camera) reunited for a panel at last year’s ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas.

“I just felt the fan enthusiasm was going to win the day,” he said. “There was a palpable momentum, and I kind of knew instinctively that a deal had to be made. If it wasn’t going to happen at ATX, it never was; we were all getting a little long in the tooth, but it seemed like everybody in the cast was willing and available and wanted­ to make it happen as well. The stars were sort of aligning.”

A big step, per Patterson, was the signing of what he terms the “Core Four” ... “the two girls, then me, then Kelly Bishop (as Lorelai’s expectation-­filled mother­, Emily). They needed to lock us in before it could really happen.”

Also among the returnees are Keiko Agena (alias Lane), Liza Weil (Paris), Yanic Truesdale (Michel), “The Good Wife” alum Matt Czuchry (Logan), current “This Is Us” co-star Milo Ventimiglia (Jess), “Supernatural’s” Jared Padalecki (Dean), Sean Gunn (Kirk), David Sutcliffe (Christopher), Rose Abdoo (Gypsy), Vanessa Marano (April) — and Melissa McCarthy, whose career obviously took giant leaps after her “Gil­more Girls” tenure as Sookie.

The late actor Edward Herr­mann is remembered strongly in the new stories, since the passing of his family-patriarch character Richard Gilmore is addressed “quite beautifully, and deftly handled,” Patterson said. He added the update “couldn’t have been done” without the Palladinos, who weren’t involved in the final season of the series due to a contract dispute.

“It’s their voices. It’s a real gift that they have, and they hit it out of the park with this.”

While most story details of “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” remain under wraps, Patterson (also a musician who’s been recording an album with his newly renamed blues-rock band SmithRadio) confirms those encompass Lorelai-and-Luke scenes bound to satisfy any fan.

“I enjoyed those more than any other scenes I’ve done on the show,” he said. “Understand, this is still ‘Gilmore Girls’ in tone and in pace, and fans will recognize it right away — but this is Netflix. Before, people were getting 40 minutes of content with commercials (per episode) and now, they’re getting an hour-and-a-half of uninterrupted content. The scenes are longer and more fleshed out, and they go to places we haven’t gone before as a show.”