News Roundup: Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, 90210 and Dawson’s Creek

23 06 2010
  • The Pretty Reckless LP, featuring Taylor Momsen (Jenny, Gossip Girl), was officially released yesterday.
  • Sophia Bush (Brooke, One Tree Hill) and Austin Nichols (Julian, One Tree Hill) are featured in a Global Green video documenting their trip to the Gulf.
  • Zap2it spoke with Bush and Nichols about their experiences.
  • Examiner.com has an article about the recent Jana Kramer (Alex, One Tree Hill) concert in Nashville.
  • Gossip Cop busted a false Star story about Tori Spelling (Donna, Beverly Hills 90210) and husband Dean McDermott.
  • Spelling did an interview with Parent Dish, where she spoke a little about her relations with the BH90210 cast.
  • Zap2it has an interview with Vanessa Marcil (Gina, Beverly Hills 90210) about her love of daytime television.
  • Kimberly Brook, the soon-to-be babymama for James Van Der Beek (Dawson, Dawson’s Creek), told PEOPLE they’re expecting a girl.




Cliffnotes: Wilm On Film

5 06 2010

**I received a promotional copy of Wilm On Film courtesy of StarNews Media.**

Whenever I’ve heard Wilmington, North Carolina referred to as Hollywood East, I’ve always chuckled to myself in a “yeah, right” kind of way.

After reading Wilm On Film: A Guide To More Than 25 Years of Film & TV Production Around Wilmington, North Carolina, I realized the joke’s on me.

Sure, I knew that two of our teen dramas, Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill, were filmed there, as were a few dozen other productions.

Turns out, “a few dozen” is a gross underestimate.

(STARNEWS MEDIA)

The book, written by Star-News staffers Amy Hotz and Ben Steelman and edited by their colleague Jeff Hidek, recounts the history of the Wilmington film and television industry while also providing a fairly comprehensive guide to the hundreds of productions filmed in the area.

The book rightly calls itself an “easy-to-use-guide” and those were the first words that came to mind when I first flipped through the book. It is mostly sectioned by time period, with a break-down of several productions filmed during each. Each film or TV pilot/series is further broken down into plot synopsis, filming dates, notable cast and crew, key locations and fun facts under the catch-all phrase “did you know?”

As it turns out, Hollywood East is just one of the area’s nicknames. “Locals,” according to the book, “refer to it more endearingly as ‘Wilmywood.'” And it’s no wonder: a listing of some of the stars who have filmed there reads like a “who’s who” of Hollywood. Among the names trotted out in the introduction: “Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Martin Lawrence, Queen Latifah, Richard Gere, Dakota Fanning, Dennis Hopper and the list goes on.”

Not surprisingly, the introduction also points out that “In 2009, The CW television drama ‘One Tree Hill,’ starring Sophia Bush [Brooke] and James Lafferty [Nathan], began filming its seventh season.” That is, undoubtedly, the area’s biggest current claim to fame. Skip down a bit, and the authors note “‘One Tree Hill’ stars often show up at charity events and festivals. Chad Michael Murray [Lucas], who starred on the series’ first six seasons, helped start a new Pop Warner football team for ages kids 11-15. Lafferty helped start a local American Basketball Association team called the Sea Dawgs.” The latter factoid I knew; the former I didn’t.

And that right there sums up the book quite well: there’s much that devout OTH and DC fans as well as film geeks will know but I found there are also plenty of gems as well. An example appears on the very next page. Linda Lavin (Sophie, aka The Nana, The O.C.) is apparently very fond of Wilmington, having filmed a television movie there in 1995 and “settling” there afterward. She is quoted as saying, “I could live in a lot of places, I guess, but this is where I’m home.”

The book is peppered with anecdotes, since “you’re hard pressed to find anyone in Wilmington who hasn’t worked on a set or been touched by the film business in some way.” But if you’re not interested in the production being discussed or a film geek or keen to learn quite a bit about Wilmington, you’ll find yourself skimming through the text.

With my eyes peeled for any and all One Tree Hill or Dawson’s Creek mentions, my skimming stopped on page 34 where I found one of those aforementioned gems. In the midst of an accounting of Blue Velvet’s production, the authors reveal that “while it doesn’t have the fan base of ‘Dawson’s Creek’ or ‘One Tree Hill,’ a steady stream of ‘Blue Velvet’ aficionados still calls [sic] the Cape Fear Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau.” Reading this just a few days after star Dennis Hopper’s passing, I wondered if these calls would increase in the next few weeks.

Each of the time period-based sections starts by giving an in-depth look at a production, such as Blue Velvet (which marked 1986-1988, an “on the rise” time for the Wilmington film scene). The first that I closely read was the following section, “the boom years” or 1989-1992. Why? The child in me was giddy at the details provided about…wait for it…Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And bless that film, for “it also paved the way…[for] ‘Muppets In Space.'”

I read the next section’s opening quite closely as well. “A darker tone,” which accounts for 1993-1997, starts out by talking about The Crow, a cult film I was big on during high school. I can’t recall if I knew it filmed in Wilmington, but I never tire of reading about it, especially about the on-set death of the film’s lead actor, Brandon Lee. The section starts off noting, “Of all the movies made in Wilmington, ‘The Crow’ remains the most macabre” for this very reason. And the quote from Lee on the next page, “I find myself thinking, ‘What if I died and had a chance to come back?’ So many things seem so trivial and mundane. If you came back, they would seem so significant and bittersweet,” is incredibly chilling.

The next entry to pique my interest was also a cult film, but on the opposite spectrum of The Crow in tone: Empire Records, another film that I watched quite a bit during my high school years. I didn’t know this one was filmed in Wilmington, either. A few pages later, To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday caught my eye, as it starred Peter Gallagher (Sandy, The O.C.), making that at least two O.C. cast members to film in Wilmington.

The following section is aptly titled “teen invasion,” covering 1998-2002 and starting with six pages on Dawson’s Creek (though about half of it is comprised of graphics). They sum up the show quite well, pointing out “its hyper-sexual, super-wordy dialogue centered around four high school students in the small town of Capeside, Mass. — wannabe filmmaker Dawson (James Van Der Beek), sweet girl-next-door Joey (Katie Holmes), lovable scoundrel Pacey (Joshua Jackson) and new vixen in town Jen (Michelle Williams)” and astutely noting that “adult thoughts and emotions coming from teenagers…attracted many others to the series. In other shows, teens just weren’t that deep or complex” and “each week brought an hour long dose of teen angst, introspection and complicated consequences.”

To also be filed under the “I had no idea” category, they mention that “more than 30 teenagers gathered outside Wilmington’s EUE/Screen Gems Studios to protest the coming out of Kerr Smith’s character, Jack” in the show’s second season. It made this quote a few paragraphs later, from a 2003 Star-News interview with Jackson, all the more fitting: “I was used to working and I understood the requirements. I didn’t understand the cultural phenomenon it would become.”

The phenomenon idea was echoed by a Cape Fear Convention and Visitors Bureau staffer who notes that they received “hundreds of calls” during the show’s second season from people wanting to know where this-and-that were located. The authors note, “Film tourism had existed in Wilmington before ‘Dawson’s Creek.’ But the show was in a league of its own.”

Among the other interesting tidbits: Van Der Beek taught baseball at a local high school, Williams performed in a staging of The Vagina Monologues and Jackson once helped save two swimmers. Additional neat reveals came via photos, one of most of the cast at “a tribute to the show in downtown Wilmington after they wrapped filming of the final season in 2003” and another of a mural showcasing the core four outside the studios. It is noted in a later section that John Wesley Shipp (Mitch, Dawson’s Creek) starred in Port City, which filmed in Wilmington, and it is also noted that Barbara Alyn Woods (Deb, One Tree Hill) is in the flick as well.

During the Dawson’s Creek era, one of my favorite movies, A Walk To Remember, filmed in Wilmington. Not new information to me or surprising given author Nicholas Sparks’ predilection to set his stories in and film the big screen adaptations in southeastern coastal towns but now all the more interesting to me given that Bethany Joy Galeotti (Haley, One Tree Hill) is working on a musical adaptation of one of Sparks’ other novels, The Notebook.

The final section takes us from 2003 to the present under the title of “modern melodrama” and kicking things off with seven pages on One Tree Hill (again, about half are graphics). One of the main takeaways in this section is actually the legacy of Dawson’s Creek. “Coming so close behind such a successful show that was similar in so many ways,” the authors write about how some people felt during the transition period, “‘One Tree Hill’ might have a problem coming into its own. And when that notion was put to rest after the show went into its second, third and fourth seasons, it’s likely no one had any idea what was in store.” They then quote OTH creator Mark Schwahn after the season 6 renewal as saying “‘Dawson’s Creek’ is a huge, big wonderful show that when you come to Wilmington to make a pilot, you have this specter of this show looming over you, and it seems unattainable to go as long as they would.” One Tree Hill fans know the show has since accomplished more than Dawson’s Creek did in terms of number of seasons and episodes.

Like in the Dawson’s Creek section, they sum up One Tree Hill’s premise quite succinctly: “‘One Tree Hill centered on two-half brothers (Chad Michael Murray as Lucas Scott and James Lafferty as Nathan Scott) who pretty much hated each other. They competed against each other on the Tree Hill High School basketball court, in the dating world and in the family circle.” They note the retooling the show went through with its time-jump, explaining “In seasons five and six, viewers learned how the characters would make their ways in the world, the professions they would choose, the relationships they would commit to and all the mistakes along the way.” My only gripe is the errors in the following sentences: “Nathan became a semi-pro basketball player and slamball player who was finally called up by the Charlotte Bobcats. He would marry Haley (Bethany Joy Galeotti) and have a son, Jamie (Jackson Brundage).” Nathan married Haley and had Jamie before becoming a semi-pro player, slamball player and getting called up by the Bobcats. In fact, marrying Haley and having Jamie occurred before the time-jump, before seasons five and six.

Among some interesting choices: They explain the exit of Murray and Hilarie Burton (Peyton, One Tree Hill) after season six as them “[deciding] not to renew” when it isn’t 100 percent evident that that was the case. Additionally, there’s a photo of Murray with Bush and another of him with fiance Kenzie Dalton, and the caption notes how Murray and Bush were once married but he’s now engaged to Dalton, who appeared as an extra on the show. At first I thought it was unnecessary/irrelevant but then I recalled that many of the entries for other productions mentioned if so-and-so had a significant other in town with them or met someone there, where they were frequently seen, etc. As far as pictures go, throughout the book they managed to include all of the core 5–except Galeotti (Haley, One Tree Hill). But also included are Robert Buckley (Clay, One Tree Hill) and Amanda Schull (Sara/Katie, One Tree Hill).

As they did in the introduction, they note some of the local-but-outside-OTH activities the cast has done, including Burton’s Southern Gothic Productions, Lafferty’s charity basketball games and documentary For Keeps and Galeotti’s workshop of her musical version of The Notebook.

Burton receives three other mentions in the rest of the section: one in the notable cast and crew listing for The List, one in the notable cast and crew listing for The Secret Life of Bees, where it’s noted that Tristan Wilds (Dixon, 90210) also starred, one in the notable cast and crew listing for Provinces of Night (which has since been retitled Bloodworth) where it’s noted that Barry Corbin (Whitey, One Tree Hill) and Hilary Duff (Olivia, Gossip Girl) also starred. Another production listed, Remember The Daze, starred Leighton Meester (Blair, Gossip Girl). In the book’s final section on independent filmmaking, or “free spirits,” it’s mentioned that Billy Dickson, who has directed more than 50 episodes of One Tree Hill, created a webseries called IQ-145.

Of all the quotes included, I have to say my favorite might be one from Paul Johansson (Dan, One Tree Hill). He said, “[Wilmington] has so many split personalities. Is this a beach town or is it a historic town or is it an industry town? What is it? And that’s what keeps it interesting.”

And it was certainly interesting for me to learn about all that has happened in Hollywood East (yes, I’ve been converted), things that I clearly had no idea about before. As if my urge to visit Wilmington wasn’t strong enough before, this certainly put me over the edge.

Wilm on Film is available for purchase on Lulu.com.





News Roundup: One Tree Hill and Dawson’s Creek

16 05 2010
  • Examiner.com has a great interview with Bethany Joy Galeotti (Haley, One Tree Hill).
  • Danneel Harris (Rachel, One Tree Hill) and Jensen Ackles (C.J., Dawson’s Creek) got married yesterday.
  • Wonderwall has a Twitterview with James Van Der Beek (Dawson, Dawson’s Creek).
  • There’s a photo spread with Van Der Beek in the June issue of Cosmopolitan.




News Roundup: One Tree Hill, 90210, Gossip Girl and More

14 05 2010
  • Media Life has an interesting article on state of The CW, its success in the past year (including why Gossip Girl and 90210 are considered successful when their total live audience numbers suggest otherwise) and how it might approach the 2010-2011 season. The article also says there is speculation both One Tree Hill and Life Unexpected will return, which is the same speculation we heard yesterday. And let me put emphasis on the word “speculation.”
  • Kristin also reports that OTH and LUX could get a 12 or 13 episode order but cautions “no final decisions have been made.”
  • Gossip Cop and I busted a Hollywood Life story claiming Torrey DeVitto (Carrie, One Tree Hill) and Paul Wesley (Donnie, The O.C.) “got secretly married.” They haven’t.
  • Generation Y, featuring Daniella Alonso (Anna, One Tree Hill), has been ordered as a series by ABC.
  • NBC ordered three series with teen drama connections: Friends With Benefits, starring Danneel Harris (Rachel, One Tree Hill), Outlaw, previously called Justice and created by John Eisendrath (executive producer, Beverly Hills 90210), and Harry’s Law, previously called Kindreds and featuring Brittany Snow (Young Lily, Gossip Girl).
  • Luke Perry (Dylan, Beverly Hills 90210) worked with Soles4Souls today to aid those affected in Nashville by the floods.
  • Jessica Stroup (Silver, 90210) received the Sparkling Performance Award at last night’s Young Hollywood Awards, which were also attended by Jennie Garth (Kelly, Beverly Hills 90210), Snow, Wesley and Nikki Reed (Sadie, The O.C.) and possibly other teen drama stars.
  • Stroup has a new pixie haircut and spoke to PEOPLE.com about it.
  • Gossip Cop busted rumors that Ed Westwick (Chuck, Gossip Girl) and Jessica Szohr (Vanessa, Gossip Girl) are back together. They are NOT…but anything is possible down the road.
  • NBC canceled Mercy, which starred Michelle Trachtenberg (Georgina, Gossip Girl) and James Van Der Beek (Dawson, Dawson’s Creek).
  • PEOPLE.com reports Michelle Williams (Jen, Dawson’s Creek) is in “active negotiations” to play Marilyn Monroe in a movie.
  • If you were a fan of The WB–and I imagine you were if you’re a Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill fan–I highly encourage you to check out this roundup of promos from the network, featuring those casts and many other teen drama stars. It’s a chillingly beautiful trip down memory lane.




News Roundup: One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl, 90210 and More

12 04 2010
  • One Tree Hill came in second in Kristin’s Save One Show campaign. Chuck, which is executive produced by Josh Schwartz (executive producer, Gossip Girl; The O.C.) won.
  • Even if you didn’t participate in the postcard campaign for One Tree Hill, you can still print out one of the postcards as a keepsake.
  • The first video featuring the winners of The CW’s One Tree Hill contest has been released. It’s pretty cute. I am ridiculously jealous.
  • The new One Tree Hill Connection podcast has an interview with Joe Davola (executive producer, One Tree Hill).
  • Cari Moskow (Patty, One Tree Hill) joined Twitter today after being re-inspired by our interview.
  • Chace Crawford (Nate, Gossip Girl) will no longer be starring in Footloose.
  • The 33 TV, a news station in Dallas, has a video interview with Crawford and his sister Candice.
  • CNN is taking fan questions for Crawford for their Connector Of The Day feature. Can you spot the error in what they wrote?
  • PEOPLE.com and the New York Post have interviews with Zuzanna Szadkowski (Dorota, Gossip Girl).
  • MTV has a short interview with Eric Daman (costume designer, Gossip Girl).
  • I don’t post these every week but I figured I’d share this time: 90210 had the most DVR growth, percentage wise, in the 18-49 demographic than any other network show during the week of March 22. Gossip Girl ranked fourth. (It’s noteworthy, for One Tree Hill renewal/cancellation purposes, that Melrose Place ranked second.) The CW sent out a press release with all the numbers.
  • Laura Leighton (Sophie, Beverly Hills 90210) will return to Melrose Place tomorrow night for the season finale.
  • Time Out New York Kids has an interview with Jennie Garth (Kelly, Beverly Hills 90210), which includes a (totally legitimate but late, IMO) dig at 90210.
  • The Bannen Way, which features Vanessa Marcil (Gina, Beverly Hills 90210) and Autumn Reeser (Taylor, The O.C.), won several awards at The Streamys.
  • An article on Life Unexpected, which stars Kerr Smith (Jack, Dawson’s Creek), has nice references to both DC and Beverly Hills 90210.
  • BlackBook has an interview with Smith, with a little bit of DC talk and a Gossip Girl mention.
  • Busy Philipps (Audrey, Dawson’s Creek) spoke a little about James Van Der Beek (Dawson, Dawson’s Creek) to E! Online.




News Roundup: 90210, Gossip Girl and Dawson’s Creek

9 04 2010
  • The L.A. Times has an interview with Jessica Lowndes (Adrianna, 90210).
  • Teen Today has an interview with Trevor Donovan (Teddy, 90210) but it’s really…well, you’ll see.
  • Parade.com has an interview with Brian Austin Green (David, Beverly Hills 90210). It’s good but there’s nary a mention of BH90210.
  • You can watch the trailer for Call Me Fitz (previously called Meet Phil Fitz), the upcoming Canadian series starring Jason Priestley (Brandon, Beverly Hills 90210). Warning: this is NSFW and very far removed from Brandon Walsh! (I think the latter is part of the point.)
  • Thanks to Talking Gossip After Dark for the shoutout!
  • Ausiello has a pretty big Gossip Girl spoiler.
  • Kristin also has some spoilers, but less big.
  • PEOPLE.com has a spoilish “first look” at next week’s Gossip Girl.
  • Leighton Meester (Blair, Gossip Girl) is now a Global Ambassador for Herbal Essences. (Women’s Wear Daily has an article announcing the deal but you have to be a subscriber to their Web site to read it.)
  • US Weekly has an article on the supposed split between Meester and Sebastian Stan (Carter, Gossip Girl) but I still don’t know if it’s true.
  • Robyn Lively, half-sister of Blake Lively (Serena, Gossip Girl), stars in Letters To God, which is now playing in select theaters.
  • Kristen Bell (Gossip Girl, Gossip Girl) will be a presenter at the Academy of Country Music Awards on April 18.
  • James Van Der Beek (Dawson, Dawson’s Creek) and his girlfriend Kimberly Brook are expecting a baby.




Joshua Jackson on Sexuality in Dawson’s Creek

9 04 2010

“I guess we thought we were pushing the envelope when we did the series. But even the pilot episode would be so passe if it was on camera today. Dawson and Joey slept together in a bed totally platonically, completely clothed, speaking about what it would be like if they had some romantic entanglement, which I thought was terribly progressive of them. Even then, people flipped out. They were like, ‘Why did they keep their clothes on?'”








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