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Gilmore's Jess Gets His Own Show, 01.15.03...

Some "Gilmore Girls" fans were heartbroken when Rory dumped Dean for Jess. Well, now Jess is dumping the whole town of Stars Hollow.

Milo Ventimiglia, who plays sweet Rory Gilmore's bad-boy beau, will get his own WB series next fall. "Gilmore" creator Amy Sherman-Palladino will send Jess to live with his estranged father, a role that hasn't been cast.

Insiders on the show, a favorite of critics and one of the WB's biggest hits, say Sherman-Palladino fought off pressure to create a spinoff for more than a year. She's doing it now, she told TV critics meeting in Hollywood, because the concept "felt organic."

"There's an aspect of the Jess character that we've never explored. We know his mother's a little bit a lunatic, but we've never met her. We've never even delved into the father at all."

How, specifically, will Jess exit? "I can't tell you all of that, because it would screw the rest of my season."

Announcing the spinoff, the WB took the opportunity to show off the entire "Gilmore Girls" cast, setting a record by bringing in 14 stars for a single panel. All credit Sherman-Palladino, who writes many episodes herself and tweaks others to retain the show's distinctive voice, with much of the show's success. Has it crossed her mind that she may be taking on too much?

"The idea is to create two teams to run these shows. 'Gilmore' is my heart. It's my therapy. ... You work all your life as a writer to be able to do something like this, and then you walk away? No."

Sherman-Palladino, who's seldom seen without an eccentric hat and chatters faster than her speed-talking characters, says more changes are afoot in Stars Hollow. For one thing, Rory (Alexis Bledel) is going to college, potentially severing the most important relationship on the show, the one with mom Lorelai (Lauren Graham).

"This kid has been on the college route since she was an embryo. It would be disappointing to have her not do it." So, she's definitely leaving? "There's no definite, sweetheart," Sherman-Palladino says. "Let's just say they're still gonna be talking to each other a lot."
Credit: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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