There's been talk of a comeback for Lisa Kudrow's excellent but unfortunately short-lived 2005 HBO comedy The Comeback, and the latest update comes just shy of official confirmation. A six-episode followup to The Comeback is reportedly in the works, with Lisa Kudrow, Kellan Lutz and Malin Ackerman expected to return.
E! is reporting this news, stating that HBO hasn't officially confirmed anything, but their sources say production is scheduled to start on The Comeback's 6-episode return on May 19. Writers are reportedly working on scripts for the episodes, and the story is said to pick up nine years after the series left off. Writers Dan Bucantisky and Amy B. Harris are also expected to be involved in the follow-up.
Created by Lisa Kudrow and Michael Patrick King, The Comeback was an HBO comedy that was presented as raw footage from a reality show following the "comeback" of a former TV star named Valerie Cherish (Lisa Kudrow), who's getting her second chance at fame, thanks in part to the reality TV show, and in part to starring in a new sitcom in development called Room and Bored. Malin Ackerman and Kellan Lutz fittingly played young up-and-comers who starred in the mentioned sitcom. They're expected to return for the follow-up, though not for every episode.
Late last month there was talk of Kudrow and King working on a followup for the series, so while this latest news isn't coming out of nowhere, it's certainly reason to celebrate -- pending HBO's hopefully eventual confirmation, of course.
Lisa Kudrow is hilarious as Valerie Cherish, an actor who's a good person at heart but more than a bit insecure and constantly aware of the cameras on her and how she's being presented. Kudrow earned herself a much deserved Emmy nomination for the role. Check out the trailer Sundance ran for the series when the cable channel was airing episodes:
Those who haven't seen the original series, you can check it out in its entirety on HBO Go.
And for those who have seen the series, let's talk about where The Comeback left off at the end of the first and only season. (Spoilers ahead, obviously!)
By the series finale, the first episode of Valerie's reality show had aired, leaving Valerie humiliated over how she was presented. She was on the verge of announcing that she was quitting the show, and then it all turned around with one great Tonight Show appearance. Everything that embarrassed her about the reality show ended up endearing her to her audience. The series ended with Valerie Cherish being surrounded by fans asking for autographs, and the implication was that she had achieved the comeback she desired. So, as disappointing as it was that HBO cancelled the show, the series ended on a mostly happy note, though Valerie's husband seemed a bit uncertain about the attention his wife was getting. Where will the series pick up in the followup?
Nine years is certainly long enough for Valerie to have returned to obscurity. It's possible Room and Bored was cancelled and the Valerie's fame fizzled in the years that followed. After all, how long do celebrity reality shows really last? A few seasons at most? So she may be due for yet another comeback. It's also possible she worked her way back to the top and managed to stay there all this time. Maybe fame has gone to her head (I don't want to see that!) and she's looking to do a new reality show?
Hopefully we'll get some clues as to what's planned for Valerie Cherish if/when HBO announces official word that this project is happening.