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Must-See TV: Bunheads Dances to the Gilmore Girls Beat—Get the Scoop From Star Sutton Foster

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Bunheads, Emma Dumont, Kaitlyn Jenkins, Kelly Bishop, Sutton Foster, Bailey Buntain, Julia Goldani Telles
Bunheads, Emma Dumont, Kaitlyn Jenkins, Kelly Bishop, Sutton Foster, Bailey Buntain, Julia Goldani Telles ABC FAMILY/ANDREW ECCLES

If you liked Gilmore Girls, you're gonna love Bunheads.

Gilmore creator Amy Sherman-Palladino has created another snappy, heartwarming dramedy that blends the best of her trademark sparkling dialogue with strong-willed but lovably flawed women.

We chatted today with the show's star, two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster, who dished on her new small-screen role—and why Bunheads will dance its way into your heart.

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Like the Gilmores, Bunheads represents three estro-generations, led by HBIC (Head Bunhead in Charge) Fanny Flowers (Kelly Bishop, paying homage to her Emily Gilmore) and the Rory-aged high school ballerina students. Bridging the gap is former ballerina/showgirl Michelle (Foster), who, looking to escape Sin City, spontaneously weds Fanny's dorky son Hubbell (Ferris Bueller's Alan Ruck) and moves to their small town of Stars Hollow Paradise, Calif.

What is a "bunhead" exactly? It's not someone addicted to Cinnabon! "If you see a girl walking down the street with her hair in a bun, you know she's a ballerina or a bunhead," Foster explains. "[Ballet dancers] have a very strict uniform—pink tights, black leotard, and your hair in a bun."

"The show centers around this dance academy, but it's really about young people growing up, including my character, who's really fighting tooth and nail about being a grown-up. She's trying to grow up too."

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When we asked how her character compares to Lorelai Gilmore, Sutton—a "huge, huge, huge" fan who calls Gilmore Girls her "favorite show of all time"—notes, "They do share a bit of a wild streak, but I think Michelle is much more lost than Lorelai. Lorelai has more direction and she's a mother. I don't think Michelle has any concept of what it would be like to be a mother or take care of anything—she can barely take care of herself."

Although dancing is what brings the characters together, Sutton says, Bunheads is "really about people finding their way."

Bunheads premieres tonight at 9 on ABC Family.

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