Monday, May 14, 2007

CW To Air "Artis Gilmore Girls" This Fall

As is the case every May, some long-running network television shows are saying goodbye this month. One such series is Gilmore Girls, whose finale airs this Tuesday night. However, the CW plans a similar-themed replacement this fall. The network will add Artis Gilmore Girls to the primetime schedule.

The new dramedy will also focus on the close-knit relationship between single mother Lorelai and her daughter Rory. In honor of former NBA and ABA center Artis Gilmore, the mother and daughter will each sport an afro and mutton chop sideburns. Once again, the roles will be played by Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel, assuming they each grow to be 7’2” over the summer.

In addition to paying tribute to an All-Star basketball player from the 70s and 80s, the show will mirror the style of its predecessor. Therefore, both Artis Gilmore girls will crash the boards while dispensing lightning-fast witty banter. Every time they block a shot, they’ll make a clever pop culture reference. Additionally, Lorelai will endure a strained relationship with her upper-crust mother, who wants her daughter to be more like Kareem Abdul-Jabaar.

The setting of Stars Hollow will be slightly changed to All-Stars Hollow. The name recognizes the five ABA All-Star and six NBA All-Star Games for Artis during his career. Once again, the town will be filled with quirky characters – just like the ABA. Rory’s best friend will be an indie music enthusiast who frequently dunks a red, white, and blue basketball.

The CW hopes to retain fans of Gilmore Girls while adding viewers who considered it too much of a “chick show.” Artis Gilmore Girls will still feature plenty of mother-daughter bonding at the local diner. Since those discussions involve both food and sarcasm, Lorelai and Rory will often be joined by Charles Barkley. Also, the girls’ romantic travails will be analyzed not only by themselves, but in the studio by Stephen A. Smith.

The new series is sure to boost Artis Gilmore’s profile. Despite a distinguished career with the ABA’s Kentucky Colonels and NBA’s Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, and Boston Celtics, he has not been elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Time has left him overshadowed by the marquee players of his era, but getting his name out there again will surely help his chances to get to Springfield. If there’s one thing that boosts your Basketball Hall of Fame credentials, it’s support from the 18-to-34 year-old female demographic.

Artis Gilmore Girls could be part of a trend this fall. Tonight, CBS bids farewell to The King of Queens after nine seasons on the air. Don’t be surprised if it gets replaced by The Bernard King of Queens.