It was almost 12 years ago that I (we all?) fell in love with a little town called Stars Hollow in GILMORE GIRLS.  The small town with its quirky characters was appointment viewing for about 130 hours of my life (I like to pretend Season 7 didn’t really happen).  Since then, few shows have been able to capture the “small town with eccentricities and heart” vibe that creator Amy Sherman-Palladino infused into GG.  Thankfully, she’s back with an all new show that premieres tonight on ABC Family and I couldn’t be happier (no, I didn’t forget that Lauren Ambrose/Parker Posey show she wrote….but mostly everyone else in the world did, so it doesn’t count).

That new show, BUNHEADS (airing 9/8c) centers on Las Vegas showgirl Michelle Simms (the incredibly charming Sutton Foster), who, after a series of martini fueled actions, winds up in the small coastal town of Paradise, where she stands out like a sore thumb.  Her interactions with the townsfolk are strained – most notably with her new housemate Fanny, played to perfection (would you expect anything else) by Kelly Bishop, who doesn’t want this outsider moving in.  But when she has the chance to open up and offer some guidance to four vastly different “bunheads” at Fanny’s dance studio, she really comes alive, and you see that she just might make it afterall.

The show is as fast as fast can be and with any other actors, ASP’s dialogue might be lost, but the cast comes together and sells it.  Sure, Foster and Bishop are great, but the real “find” is Stacey Oristano (Mindy Riggins for the win!) as Truly, owner of Sparklers, who has the BEST meltdown over a fancy dress and new pair of shoes.  I watched and enjoyed the pilot for Palladino and the leads, but the new characters out there ready for me to embrace them (like I did Luke, Sookie, and Lane) have me setting the DVR for a series recording.

Check out the premiere tonight and let us know what you think – oh and pay attention to some familiar Stars Hollow, CT, favorites in some very different roles!