During the recent FYC panels held to promote Netflix original series to Emmy voters, the cast and crew of various shows have been tight-lipped about what’s next. The “Grace and Frankie” cast and creators, for instance, refused to share any information on Season 5 Saturday morning; as Jane Fonda said, it was “for fear” of spoiling anything the streaming network didn’t want them to say.
But apparently, that instruction only applies to their show, as Lily Tomlin had no reservations breaking news about an unannounced new series starring her friend (and former “9 to 5” co-star) Dolly Parton.
When asked by moderator and Deadline critic Pete Hammond who she would like to have guest star on the show, Tomlin started to explain why Parton wasn’t on the list yet.
“We’d like to see Dolly and we keep hoping we’ll work out a schedule, but she’s just so busy,” Tomlin said. “She does so many things, and now she has a big show deal herself at Netflix, so I don’t know.”
“She does?” Fonda said, to the delight of the surprised crowd.
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“Yeah,” Tomlin said. “It’s a show– Sam Haskell, her partner, they’re going to do a series about Dolly’s songs, like she did with ‘Coat of Many Colors’ and all that stuff.”
When asked if Parton was going to star in the series, Tomlin said, “Yeah, she’ll be in it when it calls for her.”
Netflix representatives declined to comment.
While the potential series comes as great news for any fans of Parton’s 2015 NBC special “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” (and its Emmy-nominated sequel, “Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love”), it seems that even though she’s made a deal with the same company that reunited Fonda and Tomlin, her “busy” schedule may be what’s keeping the three stars from reuniting.
But there’s still time. Earlier in the panel, co-creators Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris said they didn’t have any plans to end the show any time soon.
“I’m a big fan of the show, so I want it to go on forever,” Morris said.
“I don’t think when we started we had an idea of how long we wanted to go,” Kauffman said. “I think one of the surprises for us was that it appealed to people beyond the demographic that we originally expected. I think that has given us a lot of faith that we’ll be able to go on [for a while].”
Perhaps that will give everyone enough time to sort out their schedules and bring Judy, Violet, and Doralee back together — whether it’s on “Grace and Frankie” or Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Co-Stars.”
“Grace and Frankie” Season 4 is streaming now. Season 5 is expected in early 2019.