The Return of Jezebel James is an American television sitcom created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, produced by Fox Broadcasting Company and starring Parker Posey as a successful children's book editor who, unable to have children herself, asks her estranged younger sister to carry her baby.
The series premiered in the USA on FOX on 14 March, 2008. The initial order of 13 episodes was shortened to seven by the 2007/8 WGA strike and only three episodes aired in the USA before the show was cancelled by FOX.
The Return of Jezebel James premiered in South Africa on M-Net on Thursday 9 October 2008, at 19h00. All seven episodes aired.
Sarah Tompkins (Parker Posey) has everything a fancy girl could want in life: her own imprint at HarperCollins' children's division; a great big loft in Brooklyn; a young, energetic and only slightly terrified assistant, Buddy (Michael Arden); and a perfect, no-strings-attached relationship with successful businessman Marcus Sonti (Scott Cohen).
She's about to publish the sequel to her successful young adult novel, The True Adventures of Jezebel James, she can do the splits, she's basically a size 2... so what on Earth could make this better?
When Sarah's father, Ronald (Ron McLarty) – a man who takes other people's crap, fixes it, and then dumps it at his daughter's house – and mother Talia (Dianne Wiest) remind Sarah that her life is not complete, she's irritated. This is a tune she's heard before.
Where are the grandchildren? Does she think her parents are going to live forever? Does she think she's going to live forever?
Sarah finally takes the nagging to heart and decides, why not? There's no husband, but she can do this without a husband. After all, she's done everything else without a husband. Decision made.
And then, suddenly, she hears the words she thought she'd never hear: “You can't.” Her doctor tells her that she can't have a baby.
She can adopt, she can consider other options, but she can't do this herself. Sarah's stunned. Impossible; she can do anything. There has to be a way around this.
Enter Coco Tompkins (Lauren Ambrose). Coco is Sarah's younger and, let's say, way less focused, sister. Coco is Sarah's polar opposite, down to her living situation, which is currently crashing on a couch in a friend's apartment next to a sick dog.
Sarah tracks Coco down and makes her a proposition. She will hire Coco to carry her child. It would be like a job. A good one. With benefits... like a bed.
At first, Coco thinks Sarah is crazy. They have nothing in common; they don't understand each other. This idea is insane.
Then Coco finds out about Jezebel James. The book that Sarah published, that she nurtured, is based on Coco's imaginary childhood friend.
Surprised that Sarah even remembered, touched that she thought enough of it to make it a book, and stunned that anyone has come to her and asked her for anything, Coco agrees to the insane proposal. She will move in with Sarah and she'll carry her baby.
And off we go.