'Girls' creator back to laughs with Fox pilot


Fox has given the green light to a multicamera comedy pilot from "Gilmore Girls" creator Amy Sherman-Palladino.

Tentatively titled "The Return of Jezebel James," the project is a female buddy comedy about two estranged sisters who reunite after one of them agrees to carry the other's baby. It was originally picked up by Fox with a put pilot commitment in the summer and was subsequently laid off at Regency TV (HR 8/2).

Because of a large age gap, the two sisters barely knew each other while growing up.

"They never forged any relationship at home, and now they're forced into a situation where they're not only negotiating over the carrying of the baby but also over who they are," Sherman-Palladino said. "The catalyst of the relationship is them finding out who they are to each other."

That is a departure from the mother-daughter relationship on "Gilmore Girls," where Lorelai and Rory "were cut from the same cloth, they finished each other's sentences, and their bond was unbreakable," Sherman-Palladino said.

"Jezebel" marks Sherman-Palladino's return to her comedy roots. Her first job was on ABC's family sitcom "Roseanne," where she recalls enjoying writing dialogue for Roseanne and her sister, Jackie, the most.

After six years on the critically praised dramedy "Gilmore," Sherman-Palladino's comeback to the traditional multicamera sitcom comes at a time when the genre is out of favor with viewers and network executives.

"I'm sorry it's become the wasteland and people are turning their backs on it," Sherman-Palladino said. "It doesn't have to be this way."

In addition to writing and executive producing, Sherman-Palladino is also on board to direct the pilot.

She is repped by CAA and attorney Jeanne Newman.