A Real-life Kids' Publishing House, and its Really Close Imitation

Heidi on March 21, 2008

Amd_sarahtomkins "My mom says you write kids books."

"I don't write kids books. I edit kids books. It's a very different job. Hard to explain."

"She said you wrote Brambles McGee."

"I didn't write Brambles McGee. I edited Brambles McGee."

"How come you made Brambles die?"

"I didn't make him die, I made him die quicker. And with a fancier font."

So began last week's pilot of The Return of Jezebel James, the latest show by Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino (the pop-culture quipping creators of Gilmore Girls). The new sitcom, which will run its next episode tonight on Fox, features a children's book editor, Sarah (Parker Posey), who asks her sister (Six Feet Under's Lauren Ambrose) to have her baby.

It's no mistake that Sarah's office looks like the real-life Harper Collins Children's Division. PW had a nice article today about how the Palladinos worked with HarperCollins to make the show as true to life as possible, down to the classic book quotes painted on the conference room windows. Their attention to detail is no surprise to Gilmore fans.

(True confession from one of those fans: Silas is napping while I write this, and G.G. is playing in the background--our afternoon nap routine since I received the complete series over the holidays. The credits just came on and I'm waiting for his head to pop up.)

Now, Fox and Harper Collins are commemorating the TV show with a sweepstakes. If you want to fly to New York City for three nights and get a tour of Harper Collins Children's Division--home of Charlotte's Web, The Chronicles of Narnia, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and a few other children's titles you may have heard of--you just need to go to the Jezebel James website and register by March 28.

In the final scene of the pilot (which you can watch online, if you missed it), Sarah looks out at her sister through the conference room window. The quote painted in cursive above her head sets the tone for shows to come: Let the wild rumpus start!--Heidi

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