Amy Sherman-Palladino on 'Bunheads' Pacing: 'Longevity Is Important'

Unlike "Glee," "the dance numbers on 'Bunheads' are realistic," star Kaitlyn Jenkins told reporters at winter TCA on Thursday.

Amy Sherman-Palladino wasn't shy about her thoughts on the way television has shifted.

"Television has changed. I'm an old, tired broad, I do my thing. I know what I am, but television has changed," she said at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour session for ABC Family's Bunheads on Thursday. "Storytelling on television has changed. I look at comments saying it's the weirdest show on television, it's nihilistic!"

"It's very similar pacing to Gilmore Girls. Gilmore Girls was three acts and a teaser. We are six acts and a teaser. The actual structure of television has changed. If you write to act break, every act has to have a big [thing]," said Sherman-Palladino about Bunheads' slower pacing. "I've never written to act break. I want it to unfold in my head...[Now there is] more plot pushed into shows."

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An example she gave of a pilot that had less plot was the first episode of Roseanne. "The pilot was about nothing, if you really just break it down."

"If you burn through plot in an episode, how do you [last]?" Sherman-Palladino asked.

"Longevity is important for someone with my Neiman's bills," she joked. "I'll stretch this shit out a little bit."

Other highlights from the panel:

  • "I had four very specific kinds of girls in mind. That makes casting hard," Sherman-Palladino said of finding the four "bunheads." "Boo had to be very specific, Sasha had to be specific. On pointe. That knocks out 50 or 60 percent of the people. When you go through the network process, usually they like to bring in three or four choices to choose from...These four girls were the four girls."
  • The second half of season one will see the girls with boyfriends, as well as their parents' relationships. We will "open the world up," Sherman-Palladino said.
  • "We never went into the first episode [of season 1B] like, 'Maybe she's going to live in Henderson for the rest of her life,' " Sherman-Palladino said of Michelle's return to Paradise. "There's no Bunheads until she comes back. Now that this crazy person came into this world, now that she leaves, what is this world without her?" Added Sherman-Palladino: "Now that she's gotten the 'I'm running away' out of her system, now what's next?"
  • The dance numbers on Bunheads are "realistic," star Kaitlyn Jenkins said, adding that it's not like Glee, where viewers know they will break for a dance number.
  • On Lifetime's Dance Moms: "Someone has to yell at somebody, otherwise why are you tuning in?" said Sherman-Palladino.

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