Bunheads, the new show from Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, won’t debut on ABC Family until June 11, but we’ve got your first look at Gilmore alum Kelly Bishop in character now.
She’ll guest star as Fanny Flowers, owner of the Paradise Dance Academy in the sleepy coastal town Paradise, California. Fanny meets her match when her son Hubbell (guest star Alan Ruck) convinces an aimless ballerina-turned-Vegas showgirl named Michelle (series star Sutton Foster) to marry him and move to Paradise to start anew. At her mother-in-law’s dance studio, Michelle begins to mentor the aspiring ballerinas, or bunheads (pictured, left to right, Emma Dumont, Kaitlyn Jenkins, Bailey Buntain, and Julia Goldani Telles).
The series marks the first regular TV role for Foster, a two-time Tony winner most recently seen in the Broadway revival of Anything Goes. Bishop, who won a Tony for A Chorus Line in 1976, coincidentally joined Foster in that production for five months as Evangeline Harcourt last August. Another coincidence: Gilmore Girls is Foster’s all-time favorite TV show, and Sherman-Palladino, who draws inspiration from her own history as a bunhead, couldn’t be more of a fan of her leading lady. “People didn’t really know Lauren Graham, nobody knew who Melissa McCarthy was before Gilmore Girls,” Sherman-Palladino told EW last month. “I feel like that’s my big opportunity, when you find something so special and you get to be the one to completely exploit it through your own evil purposes.”