Season 6 of Grace and Frankie promises the return of a popular character and the addition of a new one. The cast and co-creators of the Netflix comedy filled fans in on the series Saturday afternoon at PaleyFest in Hollywood.
Taking part in the conversation were series stars Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sam Waterston, Martin Sheen, Ethan Embry, Baron Vaughn and June Diane Raphael. Also attending were co-creators and executive producers, Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris.
Kauffman revealed Ernie Hudson, who played Tomlin’s love interest Jacob on previous episodes, will be returning.
“The electricity between them was so vibrant,” Kauffman said to applause. “We will be seeing him in season 6.”
Another big question was when and if Dolly Parton — Fonda and Tomlin’s 9 to 5 co-star, will appear on the series.
Fonda said it depends on “the time and her schedule. She wants to, but she’s busy.”
While a Parton appearance remains uncertain, one person who will definitely be guest-starring is Mary Steenburgen, the cast and EPs confirmed.
In the series, Fonda (Grace) and Tomlin (Frankie) star as two women whose lives are turned upside down when their husbands reveal they are gay and leave them for each other. Both sparring partners and partners-in-crime, Grace and Frankie form an unlikely and unbreakable bond and face their uncertain futures hand-in-hand. Together with their ex-husbands and children, they discover the true definition of “family,” with laughter, tears and plenty of mood enhancers along the way.
During Saturday’s panel, Sheen and Waterston were asked about their experiences playing a gay couple.
“The fact that it’s Sam makes it possible and easy,” Sheen quipped.
Waterston added, “Martin brings joy with him every morning, so things that would normally be difficult are just infinitely easy to do.”
The conversation drew frequent laughter from the large audience, made up mostly of fans. Grace and Frankie, produced by Skydance Television, will return for a sixth season in 2020 on Netflix.
PaleyFest runs through March 24. Upcoming events include CBS’ An Evening with Stephen Colbert (March 16 at 7:00 pm); VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race (March 17 at 2:00 pm); FOX’s 9-1-1 (March 17 at 7:00 pm); CW’s Jane The Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: The Farewell Seasons (March 20 at 7:30 pm – two-panel event); NBC’s Parks and Recreation 10th Anniversary Reunion (March 21 at 7:30 pm); and AMC’s The Walking Dead (March 22 at 7:30 pm);
Also attending will be the casts of CBS’s Hawaii Five-0, MacGyver, and Magnum P.I. (March 23 at 2:00 pm); FX’s Pose (March 23 at 7:00 pm); CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery and its upcoming reimagining of The Twilight Zone from executive producers Jordan Peele and Simon Kinberg (March 24 at 2:00 pm – two-panel event).
The festival will close with NBC’s This Is Us (March 24 at 7:00 pm).