The Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist Cameo That Almost Happened After The Christmas Movie's End Credits

Lauren Graham in Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist
(Image credit: NBC)

Spoilers ahead for Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas! Read at your own risk.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas, the heartwarming holiday conclusion movie to the cancelled NBC musical dramedy, finally premiered on Roku for everyone to watch. Picking up after the Season 2 finale, the film revealed that Max (Skylar Astin) can now hear heart songs just like girlfriend Zoey (Jane Levy). One would hope that the film was satisfying for fans, though it turns out it was originally going to close with a cameo from a familiar face.

The idea of seeing yet another Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist character is exciting, and such a development would've been a great surprise. EP Austin Winsberg admitted to TVLine that he had planned to bring back Lauren Graham, who portrayed Joan, Zoey’s former SPRQ Point supervisor. He said:

I actually had an idea for a big end credits, Marvel-like scene, where I did bring Lauren back, that would have kind of ‘dot-dot-dotted’ into what could potentially be the next movie, but we weren’t able to make it work at the end of the day.

Lauren Graham had to leave the series after the first season due to scheduling conflicts with Disney+’s The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers. The character struck a chord with audiences, so it definitely would've been nice if she came back, even if it was for just one scene. During the same interview, the producer also explained why the character's appearance wouldn’t have worked anywhere else in the movie, and his thinking makes sense:

I don’t feel like it’s really justice to her or the character to bring her back in some sort of cameo capacity. So I knew I would have needed to do a big story with Joan, and I just felt like the movie’s really family-centric, and it was hard, as we were breaking it, to think of a full story for Joan that could also lend itself to the 90-page thing that we were trying to do, while still focusing on the family and some of the other storylines. It just didn’t feel like we had the room for it. I wish we could have figured out a way to make it work.

Though the cameo would've been cool, Joan definitely deserves more if she were to make a grand return. Hopefully, if Zoey’s gets another season or additional movies like Austin Winsberg is hoping, fans will get to Lauren Graham's character again. She was definitely a big part of the original show's first season, and it was heartbreaking to learn that she’d be leaving the show.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas was filled with emotions, romance and heart songs. While it did wrap up the series nicely, there's still plenty more to the storyl that can be told. Hopefully, this won’t be the last time we get anything from Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist and Lauren Graham and the rest of the cast can come back for more. In the meantime, you can revisit the show by streaming it on Peacock!

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.