‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’: Could Lauren Graham Return for The Roku Channel Movie?

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist might perform an encore, but will Lauren Graham be included? Following the NBC musical comedy’s cancellation in June, The Roku Channel announced its plans to air a full-length Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist film. Graham played a big role in season 1, but made only a brief appearance in season 2. Is there a chance she’ll sing another song in the movie?

Lauren Graham as Joan in Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist
Lauren Graham as Joan in ‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’ | Sergei Bachlakov/NBC

Lauren Graham played Zoey’s boss in ‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist followed a computer coder named Zoey Clarke (played by Jane Levy), who suddenly received the supernatural ability to hear other people’s thoughts as musical numbers. Graham played Joan, Zoey’s boss at a big tech company called SPRQ Point.

At first, Joan was tough on Zoey, but Zoey got to know her via Joan’s musical thoughts, and the two became friends. Joan mentored Zoey in her new role managing a small team of coders until Joan received an offer for a higher position in Singapore. In the season 2 premiere, she offered her former management position of SPRQ Point’s entire 4th floor to Zoey and left the series.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Graham revealed that the “boss” role in Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist appealed to her because she didn’t receive those roles often. The actor is most known for her motherly roles, including Lorelai Gilmore on Gilmore Girls and Sarah Braverman on Parenthood.

“Not everybody thinks of me as a person to put in charge of things as an actor,” Graham explained. “Like, I don’t get the boss roles. That was really appealing to me, and to make something fun and off and interesting and odd. Then singing and dancing? Forget it. I thought it would be really fun — and it was.”

Why did Lauren Graham leave ‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’ and could she return?

Graham’s exit came as a major surprise to many fans. The move was a last-minute change, according to showrunner Austin Winsberg. He told The Hollywood Reporter that Joan was included in season 2, but Graham’s role in the Disney+ series The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers caused a scheduling conflict. So, she had to leave Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.

“Unfortunately, the character of Joan was a victim of COVID scheduling. Lauren had committed to doing another show that was supposed to be done shooting by the time we went into production,” Winsberg said. “But the pandemic changed all of that, and both shows ended up shooting at the same time. So, there was just no way for her to do both.”

As for Graham’s potential return to Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, Winsberg assured that Joan always had a place at SPRQ Point.

“The door is always open for Lauren and Joan to return, and nothing would make me happier than having her back,” he added. “Lauren and Jane have such a great rapport when they are playing off of each other. And I feel very fortunate that we were able to get her at all.”

A ‘Zoey’s Extraordinay Playlist’ movie is coming to Roku with the main cast included

Deadline reported in August that Roku plans to debut a Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist movie around the holidays. At this time, the film is supposed to serve as a finale to the series. However, according to Deadline, it may lead to another season if it performs well among viewers.

The upcoming movie will reportedly include Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist‘s “main” cast. The full cast list has yet to be confirmed, but it would likely include Levy as Zoey, Skylar Astin as Max, Alex Newell as Mo, Mary Steenburgen as Maggie Clarke, Andrew Leeds as David Clarke, and more.

Many fans would love to see Graham return, even if only for a brief cameo. The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers has been renewed for a second season, so the extent of Graham’s appearance in Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist would likely depend on The Mighty Ducks‘ filming schedule.

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