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Gilmore Girls Creator Puts Rumor To Rest, 03.13.01 ...

"Gilmore Girls" creator Amy Sherman-Palladino put to rest the rumor that she doesn't actually exist, but is really just a pen name for Aaron Sorkin, at the Museum of Television and Radio’s 18th Annual William S. Paley Festival on Monday (March 12) night. Sorkin may also specialize in rapid-fire, witty dialogue, but Sherman-Palladino has been practicing her chops for several years now.

"I started on 'Roseanne' during the salad days when she was still one Roseanne," said the writer.

While the cast's regular players were in attendance, the evening was dominated by Sherman-Palladino and producer Gavin Polone. The duo claimed the idea for the show really came from a throwaway line at the end of a pitch meeting with The WB when Sherman-Palladino said, "And there's a mother and a daughter who are really close in age."

"It's kind of like when you buy really expensive cat toys and they want to play with the bag," said Polone about what caught the network's interest.

From there, things started to fall into place, even though they were always up in the air. Somehow they managed to get Lauren Graham to star even though she was on an NBC series at the time (last summer's "M.Y.O.B." ) and trying to get to New York to do a play. They also had to recast the part of Sookie when "MAD TV" wouldn't let their first choice, Alex Borstein, out of her contract.

Scott Patterson, who plays diner owner Luke, auditioned on his way to read for a part in another series starring Carmen Electra as a Fembot.

"I've got to say, it wasn't a bad script," said Patterson. "It was pretty good. I was torn."

Loudly trumpeted at the beginning of the season for being partially funded by a group interested in developing family friendly programming, Polone says they got the money without ever showing the group a script. He joked that the funds did cause them to "lose the porno aspect of it."

Busily making plans for next season, Sherman-Palladino promised that the audience will "see some more of pretty boy Dean." Scott Cohen will also be back as Mr. Medina for a couple more episodes this season, although, since he's attached to a pilot for the fall, his future beyond that is up in the air.

Both were upbeat about "Gilmore's" current timeslot opposite NBC's "Friends" on Thursday night, although Polone was more so. He insisted that "Friends" is over and won't last past next season.

"'Friends' is going down when someone kidnaps Jennifer Aniston," said Sherman-Palladino, shaking her head.

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