Dolly Parton is coming to Netflix

Is Dolly Parton just about to announce a big new TV deal with Netflix?

I apparently stumbled into that scoop during the “Grace and Frankie” panel I moderated yesterday at Netflix’s Emmy headquarters at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood. And Lily Tomlin wants all the credit for this breaking news.

When I asked Tomlin and co-star Jane Fonda (on the panel with Martin Sheen, Sam Waterston, and co-creators/Exec Producers Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris) if Dolly Parton might be a future guest star on their show, both said they would love it but Tomlin interjected that she may be too busy as she has her own Netflix project coming  up, apparently a series of films a la her NBC movie “Coat of Many Colors.” Fonda was stunned to hear this , as was a Netflix representative I spoke to about it afterwards.  Tomlin seemed to think it wasn’t  a secret as she explained it would be based on Parton’s songs, and when I asked if Parton would be starring she said “Yes, when the script called for it.”

With Parton possibly becoming a part of the Netflix family, that “Nine to Five” reunion of the three stars on “Grace and Frankie” might come closer to a reality as well (the show is almost wrapped shooting its fifth season).  When I asked the same question to Kauffman on a recent edition of my Deadline video series, “Behind the Lens,” she also said they would love to welcome a Parton guest shot but scheduling has been at least one reason it is still on the back burner. In March Deadline reported a remake of their film, “Nine to Five” is being developed by Fox and writer Rashida Jones, and original screenwriter Patricia Resnick, that could bring the three stars back to reprise their roles from the 1980 original along with a new younger cast.

Netflix today officially declined to comment or confirm any pending Parton deal with the streamer. “I should get my journalist license for this,” Tomlin laughed.

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