1:14pm PT by Paige Phelan
Could 'The Comeback' Return for Season 3? The Creators Weigh In
Ten years after her first foray back into television, Valerie Cherish (Lisa Kudrow) ended up triumphant in season two — reuniting with her husband (Damian Young), running to her BFF/hairdresser Mickey’s (Robert Michael Morris) side at the hospital, and, of course, winning an Emmy. So where does Val go from here?
“Anywhere!” The Comeback’s creator/star Kudrow told The Hollywood Reporter ahead of a Tuesday panel at the Paley Center. “What’s great about her is that we’d like to see her anywhere, [and] the nature of this business is that it’s a road of challenges, no matter what.”
Kudrow joined co-creator Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City) as well as cast members Morris, Dan Bucatinksy (Billy), Laura Silverman (Jane) and Lance Barber (Paulie G) a panel discussion celebrating the show’s return from the dead.
The Comeback is one of the recent critically acclaimed and prematurely canceled shows to receive a second life. However, unlike others, the second season of the HBO comedy came nearly 10 years after the original first bowed in 2005. Which brings the real question: Will Valerie Cherish return for a potential season three?
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“Potential is the word. There is a potential for season three […] but there’s no immediate plan for it,” exec producer/co-star Bucatinsky revealed.
“Lisa and I talk about what would happen to Valerie next [ ... but] in order to come up with a third season, we still need to do something because we really don’t want to go backwards,” King clarified, noting that there’s an "open door" at HBO for a return. “We want to open it up yet again, and we’re in the process of talking about how.”
After joking that it hopefully wouldn’t be another 10 years in the making, he added: “The great thing about doing The Comeback on HBO is we come first rather than the schedule. When the idea comes, then maybe it’s time to put it on.”
During the panel, King revealed that idea for the premise of the second season came about while waiting 15 minutes for their meeting about the show’s potential return with HBO to begin. Of course, with that idea came the challenges of keeping the show relevant nine years later.
“The first time it was really about reality TV. This time it was about the reality of Valerie, who she really is inside,” said King, who also directed the finale’s final non-reality sequence. “This whole season, eight episodes, was gradually peeling the onion of who Valerie is, so in the end when you get to see the final version of her, which is her without the cameras, you would be shocked, but ready to accept it.”
Kudrow shared that though she nearly lost it filming that final hospital scene of — “choosing Mickey’s life over a prize” once the camera stopped rolling, and that she actually did break down crying after her hardest scene of the season — being bound and gagged in the trunk of a car surrounded by (live!) snakes — as she realized just how humiliating it was for Val at that point.
“I always knew what was underneath the person who was in front of the camera,” Kudrow told THR of Val in this season’s "scarier" moments. “I knew there was human being under there.”
“It’s important to see a woman in 2015 who is representing someone and a point of view and a strength without necessarily being self-conscious about it,” Bucatinsky said of Val’s modern importance among the complicated women on TV. “It’s important to see a character that isn’t deliberately political. She inadvertently a feminist, inadvertently political, and inadvertently makes statements.”
This season also took on the growing debate between cable and network television.
“There’s an enormous amount of freedom to what something can be on HBO, even when I did Sex and the City,” King said of working in both worlds with CBS' veteran comedy 2 Broke Girls. “[However,] the thing we were trying to address in this season of The Comeback is that the only thing that really needs to change is how people feel about the shows. There’s a prejudice that network shows are less good than cable shows and cable shows are better than network shows."
“It’s all becoming television [ … and] seems to be an evening out of quality for better and worse," he added. "[Television’s] becoming more and more boutique, [but] it’s all entertainment. That’s the bottom line.”
Would you watch a third season of The Comeback? Sound off in the comments below.