Tonight's repeat episode of "Gilmore Girls" (7 p.m., Ch. 30) finds the title characters taking a road trip to Harvard. Which makes perfect sense, given that since the show began almost two years ago viewers have known that it's 17-year-old Rory's dream to go to college there, and that her mother, Lorelai, will do anything to make sure she does.

But it's never going to happen.

Which only makes sense, if you think about it. Rory (Alexis Bledel) and Lorelai (Lauren Graham) live in the (fictional) Connecticut town of Stars Hollow, which is as much a character in the show as any of the actors. And Harvard, of course, is in Massachusetts, which would be quite the commute — even for a fictional character on a show that's filmed in Los Angeles.

"Ah, but there are other Ivy League colleges," said "Gilmore Girls" creator/executive producer Amy Sherman-Palladino. "There's even one in Connecticut!"

That, of course, would be Yale. I don't know how far that is from fictional Star's Hollow, but it's only about 40 miles from Hartford, where Rory's grandparents (Lorelai's parents) live.

And sending Rory to Yale even makes sense in the context of the show — Rory's grandfather (Edward Herrmann) was a Yalie.

"And they'll let us film there, which makes it a lot easier," Sherman-Palladino said.

Not so Harvard, which, as a matter of policy, does not allow television or movie crews to film on campus. (Tonight's visit to Harvard is actually a visit to UCLA, with a couple of arches built by the prop department deployed to make it look more Ivy League-like.)

Not that any of this is going to pose any immediate problems. Rory still has another year of prep school to go, so it will be the fall of 2004 before she's heading off for college. "But we're planning ahead," Sherman-Palladino said.

(And given that "Gilmore Girls" is one of the WB's most successful series, there's little doubt the show will still be around for a fourth season. The network is even going to double-run "Girls" next season, airing first-season repeats on Sundays at 6 p.m. in addition to new, third-season episodes on Tuesdays at 7 p.m.)

"This makes the most sense for us," Sherman-Palladino said. "We really can't have her go to Harvard because it's too far away. And Rory isn't the kind of girl who would take a year off or anything.

"She's a very serious girl who's very serious about college. And I'm sure she'll be very serious about Yale."

As to how, exactly, Rory ends up a Yalie, well, we'll just have to wait and see.

"I have to have a few surprises, don't I?" Sherman-Palladino said with a laugh. "It will be wonderful, though. I promise."

So far, she's kept all her promises about "Gilmore Girls."