Gilmore Girls ran for seven seasons originally and returned with a 2016 Netflix revival. There were two other chances for the show to expand in spinoff forms. The potential star of one spinoff recently revealed why his de él did n’t go. Rob Estes played Jess (Milo Ventimiglia)’s father, Jimmy Mariano, and filmed a pilot about the Marianos living in Venice Beach, California.
Estes was a guest on Scott Patterson’s I Am All In podcast on Sept. 18. Patterson asked about the pilot for the Jess and Jimmy spinoff and got the real scoop.
Amy Sherman-Palladino turned down the network on the ‘Gilmore Girls’ spinoff
Amy Sherman-Palladino created Gilmore Girls and was producing the spinoff too. But, The WB was only going to give it a trial run, and that wasn’t enough for her.
“It was a very interesting time at WB because we shot a spinoff [pilot],” Estes said on I Am All In. “And then I think some of the scenes filtered into actual Gilmore Girls, not the spinoff. But it actually got picked up. It got picked up. I think they wanted to pick it up for nine. And if I recall, Amy wanted more episodes. She didn’t want to do it for whatever they had okay. So she kind of went well then we’re not going to do it.”
Season 4 star Katie Walder was also in that pilot. Since it never made it to air, Sherman-Palladino remembered her later. Estes couldn’t be sure of the exact number of episodes, only that it was fewer than Sherman-Palladino wanted.
“I don’t know what the numbers were,” Estes said. “It could’ve been they wanted 6 and she said 13. I don’t recall the numbers. I just remember it was a pretty big issue. There were some phone calls that went back and forth. In the midnight hour she went, ‘Okay, well, I’m not going to do it. I’m good.’”
Filming the ‘Gilmore Girls’ spinoff with Jimmy and Jess
Estes remembered a lot of details about filming the spinoff. This is probably the closest Gilmore Girls fans will ever get to see it.
“We shot it in Venice,” Estes said. “We shot it on the boardwalk, we shot it right off Abbott Kinney [Blvd.]at a house with Sherilyn [Fenn]. And it was fun working on scenes at 1 in the morning on the boardwalk in Venice. Crazy people hanging out. It was awesome.”
Rob Estes had competition for Jimmy
These remembers he wasn’t the only Jimmy they were considering. Gilmore Girls had already established Ventimiglia as Jess, so he was still busy filming the original show.
“We went in front of the network four times with different guys,” Estes said. “Hours and hours so yeah, it was a set up pilot. You know, Amy’s dialogue is very specific. She wants people to just roll and run things off. That’s why Lauren [Graham]’s so great at it. It just falls out of her mouth beautifully. In the reading, in the tests, and I think we did three tests, it was just pages. I ended up getting cast in it but I don’t know that her dialogue about her fits in my mouth the way it needed to for it to be really successful. Not that I was the death knell but it’s pretty specific.”
Estes wouldn’t meet Ventimiglia until he filmed his Gilmore Girls scenes, but he came away with a positive impression.
Milo was awesome. We had such a good time. He’s such a good kid. It was funny because kind of my interpretation is with Milo, he wears his heart, he’s just very available and he’s real in whatever he does. I watch some of his stuff from him now and I knew back then. Once this is done, he’s going to become huge. He had a little place in Venice he just got and he was redoing the hardwood floors. He and his dad were doing work on it. I don’t know, man. He’s a really good soul so I’m so glad to see how well he’s done because he’s a hard worker. That’s my remembrance to