Why One Gilmore Girls Character Was Recast For Netflix's Revival

gilmore girls: a year in the life

Minor spoilers ahead for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

Today is one of the most glorious days of TV fandom history. While Black Friday might be exciting for people who want to get a new TV or start their Christmas Shopping, Black Friday 2016 will forever be associated with the release of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. The Netflix miniseries features four 90-minute episodes of the dramedy, and features the return of basically every major character in the WB/CW show's seven season tenure. And while some actors' schedules made it hard for them to be featured, one actor has to be recast completely: Chad Michael Murray's character Tristan.

The third episode of A Year in the Life, "Spring" Tristan reemerges in the lives of Rory and Paris Gellar. This revival of the love triangle is a lovely call back to Season 1 and 2 of Gilmore Girls, and once again allows us to peel back the layers of Paris' complicated psyche. Unfortunately, this moment is a little strange because One Tree Hill actor Chad Michael Murray isn't playing the role, and it was instead recast. Bummer.

Sources close to TV Line are reporting that this recast was due to Chad Michael Murray himself. He was apparently invited to reprise the role, as was Digger, Rory's boyfriends, Logan's father and the entire town of Stars Hollow. But Murray turned it down, and production had to find a replacement so that Tristan's role in the miniseries (and therefore, Paris' role as well) would still appear in "Spring".

It seems strange that Chad Michael Murray would decline to return for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. Regardless of your relationship with the series or how well it's currently being received, you can't deny that the reboot is a bit of a pop culture phenomenon. The four episode season has garnered a ton of press, and A-list alums like Melissa McCarthy and Milo Ventimiglia have returned to Stars Hollow to have fun and speak really, really quickly.

Chad Michael Murray hasn't exactly had the busiest of careers in recent years. While he was fairly successful in the early 2000's through his work on Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill, House of Wax, and Freaky Friday, he hasn't continued this exhausting pace of film and TV roles. Agent Carter was just tragically cancelled, leaving his schedule fairly open for new projects. While he did a quick guest spot on the first season of Scream Queens, it should have been easy for him to return for Tristan's scenes.

Alas, Chad Michael Murray was about the only actor in Gilmore Girls' ensemble cast to decline returning. Luckily for us, he was about the only one, and this weekend will be full of tears, laughter, and lots and lots of coffee.

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is currently streaming in its entirety on Netflix.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.