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

27 07 2010
  • TVGuide.com has spoilers on the 90210 premiere. And let me just say: it’s been done before (on the original and another teen drama). And let me also say that with this and the spoilers from earlier today, I am significantly POed.
  • Luke Perry (Dylan, Beverly Hill 90210) will star in and executive produce Goodnight For Justice, a Hallmark Movie Channel film, which will be directed by Jason Priestley (Brandon, Beverly Hills 90210). Check out the press release while I try to resume breathing. Worth noting, though, that the plot is similar to one of Perry’s season 5 storylines.
  • MTV made a (funny to me, since they’ll likely never ever happen) list of projects Perry and Priestley should also team up on.
  • The Miami Herald has an interview with Tori Spelling (Donna, Beverly Hills 90210).
  • Nicole By OPI has launched a Gossip Girl-inspired line of nail polish.
  • Billy Baldwin (William, Gossip Girl) will reportedly have a recurring role on Parenthood, which also stars Peter Krause (Jay, Beverly Hills 90210).
  • Chad Michael Murray (Lucas, One Tree Hill) will star in The Ex-Mas Carol, an ABCFamily movie.
  • The Conspirator, which features Cullen Moss (Junk, One Tree Hill) as discussed in our interview, will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September.
  • Examiner.com has an interview with Ashley Rickards (Sam, One Tree Hill).
  • Here is the aforementioned Pacey-Con video for FunnyorDie.com with Joshua Jackson (Pacey, Dawson’s Creek). Before I pass out from all of today’s excitement with my favorite teen drama guys, I have to say that vid was the best thing I’ve seen in a long, long time.




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

14 07 2010
  • Janice Cooke-Leonard (director, One Tree Hill; Gossip Girl 90210; Dawson’s Creek) will direct a new webseries called Hollywood Is Like High School With Money for Alloy, the company behind Gossip Girl.
  • In response to a fan question about Lucas (Chad Michael Murray, One Tree Hill) and Peyton (Hilarie Burton, One Tree Hill) returning, Sophia Bush (Brooke, One Tree Hill) tweeted, “Doesn’t look that way guys,” and later tweeted again (along with spoilish answers to some others questions) “LOOKS like no Peyton/Luke.” As far as where Leyton are, Bush tweeted, “They moved to Australia with their baby, to live with Karen and Andy :)” before correcting herself later by saying that it’s actually New Zealand. And Bush tweeted again later on, after being asked whether she misses the characters, “I’m so happy for them to have gotten what they want in real life, so I’m OK with it. People have to do what’s best for them!”
  • Huey Lewis (Jimmy, One Tree Hill) appeared on Hot In Cleveland this week.
  • Gossip Cop and I busted an Us Weekly story about Leighton Meester (Blair, Gossip Girl) and Blake Lively (Serena, Gossip Girl) feuding.
  • Taylor Momsen (Jenny, Gossip Girl) is the face of Material Girl, a new fashion line for Macy’s designed by Madonna and her daughter, Lourdes.
  • Examiner.com has an interesting character-by-character comparison of Beverly Hills 90210 and True Blood.
  • Luke Perry (Dylan, Beverly Hills 90210) will star in the UK production of Dick Whittington.
  • Christine Elise (Emily, Beverly Hills 90210) tweeted that she appears in Prom, a Disney movie, which also stars Aimee Teegarden (Rhonda, 90210).
  • Jessica Stroup (Silver, 90210) tweeted a cute pic of some of the 90210 cast outside the school that serves as West Beverly.
  • Staying In has a great interview with Autumn Reeser (Taylor, The O.C.). Have you read my interview with her?
  • Tate Donovan (Jimmy, the O.C.) will appear on Broadway in Good People beginning in February.




News Roundup: 90210, One Tree Hill, The O.C and Dawson’s Creek

28 06 2010
  • Teen Choice 2010 has announced additional nominations, with lots more teen drama-related picks. Kellan Lutz (George, 90210) is nominated for Choice Movie Scene Stealer Male for New Moon. Paul Wesley (Donnie, The O.C.) is nominated for Choice TV Breakout Star Male for The Vampire Diaries. Bethany Joy Galeotti (Haley, One Tree Hill), Shenae Grimes (Annie, 90210) and Hilary Duff (Olivia, Gossip Girl) are all nominated for Choice TV Scene Stealer Female while James Lafferty (Nathan, One Tree Hill) is nominated for Choice TV Scene Stealer Male. Together, Galeotti and Lafferty are nominated for Choice TV Parental Unit and Lori Loughlin (Debbie, 90210) and Rob Estes (Harry, 90210) are also nominated.
  • The Miami Herald has a short interview with AnnaLynne McCord (Naomi, 90210).
  • Seems that Vanessa Marcil (Gina, Beverly Hills 90210) married her old boyfriend, Carmine Giovinazzo, recently, as she was introduced at the Daytime Emmys last night with his last name.
  • Highlight of the Emmys for me: a clip of Luke Perry (Dylan, Beverly Hills 90210) from his Loving days being included in the tribute to soap opera maven Agnes Nixon. Bummer, though, that Jonathan Jackson, who appeared on One Tree Hill with his band Enation, and Carolyn Hennesy (Mrs. Valentine, Dawson’s Creek) did not win in their respective categories.
  • Galeotti has released a song called Shiver in hopes of raising funds to improve the water conditions in Kenya.
  • As a birthday present for Sophia Bush (Brooke, One Tree Hill), some fans are organizing a group donation to Global Green.
  • Zap2it posted pictures of Brittany Daniel (Eve, Dawson’s Creek) at last night’s BET Awards. One word: wow.
  • Wesley is nominated for Top Breakout Star Male in Kristin’s Tater Top Awards for The Vampire Diaries.




Fun Fact

11 06 2010

(Note: “Fun Fact” probably isn’t the best title for this post but I wanted to keep it within my ongoing “teen drama facts” series, where all the posts are titled “Fun Fact.”)

Last month’s 90210 season finale, in which the episode ends with Naomi seemingly about to be raped by Mr. Cannon, got me thinking about the use and portrayal of sexual assault in the teen dramas.

Below is a listing of all the occurrences, to the best of my recollection, with the only full-fledged main character rape thus far occurring during Beverly Hills 90210’s ninth season.

Beverly Hills 90210

-In Episode 1.09, The Gentle Art of Listening, Brenda works on a “teen line,” where an anonymous girl calls in and reveals she is, essentially, being date raped by two classmates. Brenda starts piecing clues together and figures out the girl is Bonnie, a fellow student at West Beverly, and the attacks are taking place after school events. She informs the police of what’s happening and they save the girl and arrest the guys.

-In Episode 1.13, Slumber Party, Kelly reveals her first sexual encounter happened with Ross Webber, where he led her into a forest and had sex with her on the ground. As she recounts the story during a girls-only slumber party, she cries as she says, “He kept saying, ‘Come on, Kel. I know you want it. I know you want it, Kelly.’ And I did… but not on the ground. He didn’t even bring a blanket. But it was over pretty quick and after that he took me home…and never talked to me again.”

-In Episode 2.13, Halloween, the gang is at a Halloween party where Kelly goes upstairs with an older guy she meets. When she doesn’t want to hook up with him, he calls her a tease and begins to force himself on her but they are interrupted by Brenda and Donna. When Kelly cries and explains what happens, Brenda calls out for Dylan and, with Steve’s help, they drag the guy out.

-In Episode 3.11, A Presumption Of Innocence, Scott’s sister Sue accuses English teacher Gil Meyers of sexual harassment and some of the gang takes sides. Meyers reveals there was an incident at the previous school he worked at, but insists he didn’t do anything then or now. Sue eventually confesses that she actually came on to him and reveals it’s actually her uncle who has been molesting her. Gil resigns anyway.

-In Episode 4.11, Take Back The Night, a one-time hook-up, Laura, accuses Steve of date rape. He is shocked by the accusation as, according to his memory, they were both into it. Kelly tries to help Laura until she learns Steve is the guy in question. Kelly doubts Laura’s story and shortly before she’s set to “go public” at a Take Back The Night rally at CU, Kelly volunteers to speak up instead. Kelly takes the mic at the event and recounts her season 2 experience and notes that Steve was the one who saved her. Afterward, Laura admits the sex was consensual but that she said otherwise because she felt used after he wasn’t interested in seeing her again.

-In Episode 5.23, Love Hurts, much of the CU student body is concerned about a sexual predator after a co-ed is raped in the previous episode. With some help, Brandon discovers the suspect is targeting Clare. Turns out, he was targeting Clare but after meeting Donna, he set his sights on her instead. When Donna returns to her apartment one night, she notices the lights are out and is suddenly grabbed from behind by the rapist, Garrett. He bounds her hands and later proceeds to force himself on her in her bedroom but they are interrupted when they hear David enter the apartment. With Garrett threatening her, she calls out that she doesn’t feel well and insists to David that he leave. But when she calls him “Dave,” he senses something is wrong and storms into her room. Together they overpower Garrett and knock him out.

-In Episode 8.20, Cupid’s Arrow, after each having fights with their significant others, Valerie and Noah end up sleeping together. The next morning, Valerie wakes up with little recollection of the night before and feels very ill. A doctor determines she was drugged with Rohypnol, commonly known as the “date rape drug” or being “roofied,” and Valerie concludes that Noah raped her. In the subsequent episodes, when the District Attorney declines to press charges, she files a civil suit. After a heated trial, the jury rules in Valerie’s favor and awards her a large sum of money. Donna, however, soon discovers that it was Noah’s brother Josh (played by Michael Trucco, aka One Tree Hill’s Uncle Cooper) who actually drugged Valerie’s drink and, due to being distracted by a phone call, was unable to stop Valerie from leaving with Noah instead of him.

-In Episode 9.25, Dog’s Best Friend, Kelly is called by Dylan, who is fearful he will relapse if someone doesn’t come talk to him. They pick a meeting spot and Kelly parks nearby. As she walks the dark, abandoned street alone, she hears footsteps behind her. As she speeds up, so does the other person. Said person eventually grabs her and throws her into an alley where he hits her, threatens her with a knife, rips off her clothing and rapes her. Coincidentally, the actor who plays the rapist had two other roles on the show, including an appearance in the season 2 episode mentioned above where Kelly is almost raped.

Dawson’s Creek

-In Episode 3.06, Secrets and Lies, Andie is dating Rob, an older guy whom Joey worked with until his (mostly non-physical) sexual harassment becomes too much for her to take. One night, a tearful Andie calls Joey (skip to 3:05), asking for help. Joey and Pacey find her, wanting to know what happened. Andie reveals she and Rob were hooking up and he started to take things too far. Pacey, Andie’s ex, angrily confronts Rob, who denies anything happened at all. Joey urges Andie to go to the police but she’s reluctant. Pacey comforts her and they reflect on their relationship. They share a kiss, which Pacey later calls a mistake. Joey speaks with Rob, who is still denying he did anything to Andie, and Andie gets upset with Joey for not believing her. Later, Andie essentially admits she made the story up, without explicitly saying it, noting she will do anything to get Pacey back.

-In Episode 6.04, Instant Karma!, Audrey is upset about her relationship with Pacey and heads to a party with Jen and Jack to blow off some steam. She drowns her sorrows in alcohol and ends up being led upstairs by a guy (skip to 4:55). Jen tries to follow but a different guy won’t let her pass. C.J. pushes past and they head upstairs. They find Audrey in one of the bedrooms and Jen leads her out as C.J. pushes the guy away.

The O.C.

-In Episode 2.21, The Return Of The Nana, while Ryan is out of town, Marissa takes it upon herself to entertain his brother, Trey. While drunk and high, Trey comes on to Marissa at the beach. When she resists, a struggle ensues. She eventually breaks free and runs off.

One Tree Hill

-In Episode 1.08, The Search For Something More, when Brooke and Peyton head to a college party, Peyton retreats into a dorm room with one of the co-eds. They bond over music and he offers her a drink…one that he roofied. She is nearly passed out when he starts to put the moves on her but Brooke senses something is up and is able to rescue her. She calls Lucas, who arrives and confronts the guy about drugging Peyton before bringing her home with Brooke and taking care of her.

Gossip Girl

-In Episode 1.01, Pilot, at the Kiss On The Lips party, Chuck leads Jenny up to the roof and starts to kiss her (skip to 5.50). She’s not into it and slyly texts Dan as Chuck pours them champagne. Cut to Chuck forcibly making out with her as Dan and Serena find them. Chuck abruptly stops as Jenny runs into Dan’s arms. Dan punches Chuck, Serena pushes him and they lead Jenny away. This event is one reason why some people are bothered by Chuck and Jenny’s consensual sex in last month’s season finale.

-In Episode 2.16, You’ve Got Yale, a vengeful and greedy Jack confronts Lily (skip to 1:24), who has teamed up with Chuck to retain control of Bass Industries. Chuck enters as Jack is forcing himself on her and he gets Jack off of her. Lily is shaken, Chuck is pissed and Jack is further exposed as the villain he really is.

90210

-In Episode 2.22, Confessions, Naomi’s car won’t start, so she heads into West Beverly for help. She finds Mr. Cannon, whom earlier in the season, she accused of sexually harassing her after he accused her of offering to sleep with him in order to earn her spot back on the Blaze staff. They talk for a bit about different things, including Naomi’s false accusation. He later takes her hand and kisses her. She pushes him away, but he says he knows she wanted him to do it and she doesn’t need to feel guilty. He tells her to stop teasing and that she has a harassment fantasy and is trying to provoke him. She is appalled and pushes him away, leading him to slap her and grab her. She threatens that she will tell and he asks who she would tell because she is “the girl who cried wolf.” Coincidentally, that was the name of one of the episodes in Beverly Hills 90210’s eighth season, during the aforementioned rape storyline with Valerie and Noah.

Thoughts?





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.




Brian Austin Green on Beverly Hills 90210

23 04 2010

“Overall, it was great. We were a really tight family. There was a bond there even through all of our differences and hating and loving each other. I still talk to Luke [Perry, Dylan] all the time. It’s one of those things you feel you’ll never really be able to duplicate.”





Exclusive: Charles Rosin Talks Beverly Hills 90210, showbizzle and More

14 03 2010

Think the Spellings are the only real-life Beverly Hills 90210 family? Think again. Meet the Rosins: Charles, Karen and their daughter Lindsey.

As you may recall from my previous interview with Charles, he was the executive producer of Beverly Hills 90210 for its first five seasons. Karen wrote nearly 20 episodes between 1991 and 1994 and Lindsey had a memorable cameo in Episode 2.o6, Pass/Not Pass, as a little girl asking Brandon (Jason Priestley) to dance the hukilau at the Beverly Hills Beach Club.

I mentioned in January that my interview with Charles was one of my highlights of TDW Year One. I never dreamed I’d interview him once–let alone twice and this time in person. But that’s exactly what happened in January on a weekday morning in New York City, where Charles, Karen and Lindsey came to promote their new media venture, showbizzle.

Charles and I sat down to talk about showbizzle and, of course, Beverly Hills 90210.

TeenDramaWhore: If you had to give your elevator pitch for showbiz, what would you say?

Charles Rosin: Showbizzle is a digital showcase for emerging talent that combines a webseries called showbizzle with a platform for talent away from the immediate pressures of the marketplace. So it’s two mints in one: it’s a show and it’s a resource for emerging artists. The show is populated by emerging artists and it was really conceived by emerging talents, namely Lindsey Rosin being the first one to be showcased, as the writer and director of the majority of the shows. So that’s the basics of it.

Unlike so many people who do webseries, what they’re hoping is “Oh, everybody loves our webseries and we create so much action and energy, FOX or The CW will find us and want to put us on the air.” We’re not interested in that. If we wanted to do something specifically for broadcast or cable, we would go into the room with those people and say “We think this works for your medium because…” But we like this form, the potential of it, the idea that you can just do what you want to do and not have to go through committees. From a business standpoint, there’s ownership potential that works in the current marketplace.

So the premise of the webseries is that Janey, a young wannabe screenwriter, who is very plugged into the culture of Los Angeles, sits in a coffeehouse in L.A. trying to write her screenplay and looking forward to all her friends who stop by and interrupt her from that. That’s the basic premise of it. What is a lot of fun about it is that for someone like yourself and the audience that you know, that although you meet all these disparate characters doing these short little two-minute snackable, for-the-digital-world kind of stories, you start to realize these characters are related and there is a serialized story. It builds to a serialized place. We’re fans of that. We try to do it with humor and insight and with a lack of snarkiness that is so prevalent in the digital world. We try to do a show that’s engaging.

One of our slogans is, “Just take a little bizzle break.” The one thing about all media, all the shows you cover–and thanks for even thinking about showbizzle in relation to it–is what they really are is diversions. Somehow in the last 20 years, the importance of the television business, the shows that are made, have been thrown so far out of proportion because of the material value of it. But all they are–we have a lot of issues going on the world–is just a little place to get a respite, to get a chuckle or a laugh. One of the things that Lindsey really values is when her friends say, “That happened to me” or “I’ve got a story.” The whole social network aspect came from Lindsey saying, “We should ask our viewers what’s happened to them,” because even though it’s very specific to Hollywood, because that’s where we’re set, at the same time trying to get ahead in life and figuring out what you’re going to do and using every connection you have when you’re kind of an adult but not really an adult, is something [everyone goes through] and we wanted to explore that.

TDW: How did showbizzle start? Who came up with the idea?

Rosin: The origins of showbizzle go back to a day in December in 2005 when Disney announced they were selling Lost on iTunes, which effectively meant the end of the syndication model that financed network television. Producers would make X number of shows and if they had enough, they could sell them to the local stations and other places, and that’s how the revenue would come back to the companies and people would profit from that. Fortunately, I benefited from that twice. Once from [Beverly Hills] 90210 and more recently Dawson’s Creek, which moved into profit because of the syndication of it. But when you sell something prior to syndication, it dilutes the value of the syndication and to do something that as dramatic as to put episodes on iTunes the day they’re running or the day after they run is a fundamental change.

I started thinking about that and how network television was going to be changing. In the spirit of “everything old is new again,” I started thinking about branded entertainment, which goes back to the pre-network era, where with the television of the 50s, companies–Chesterfield Cigarettes, Lucky Strike, Kraft, General Electric–would come in and buy the half-hour or the hour and be totally associated with the show, whether it be variety or comedy or drama. They all had that. That’s how the revenue was derived. I started to think about what company had the resources to do this and is currently not an advertiser on network television. I realized that anyone who was going to put their name above an entertainment project was going to do it and want total ownership and control and then go to a network or then go wherever they want to go.

So I approached Starbucks about a project called Starbucks Presents. We did this in the winter-spring in 2006. We were trying to create a social network for the people who use Starbucks, in store or at home, and program hours of different ways to do things. At the core of it was a daily soap opera about what goes on in a coffee house. Showbizzle is the distillation of that idea. By the way, Starbucks’ response was “Don’t bother us. Come back to us in 5 years. We’re in the music business.” They’re no longer in the music business. They’re still in the coffee business.

TDW: Where does the name come from?

Rosin: Well, we wanted to call it hollybizzle for a while but it was taken. So, showbizzle, not quite show business. And certainly Snoop Dogg is very “fo shizzle” and made my kids laugh. We were sitting around the dinner table–I have two other children besides Lindsey–and we came up with that and said let’s see if that one will work. We like the name quite a bit. It’s friendly and open.

TDW: What is your role on a day-to-day basis? Is this now your full-time gig?

Rosin: I teach at UCLA and I still develop shows. I was very active in the business from the late ‘70s to about 2005. Found my name wasn’t on the lists that I liked anymore and this was a place to do it on my own. The idea to get more sponsorships, provide things for the community–that is where I spend a lot of my time [with showbizzle]. I think like 85, 90 percent of the time I still do other forms of writing and developing other projects as well. I like teaching and I like doing this. If J.J. Abrams called, I’d answer.

TDW: What is Lindsey’s role?

Rosin: I get to refer to her as “the talent.” She’s the writer and director. The other woman who did a lot of writing and directing for the first season is a woman named Arika Mittman and Arika just won a Humanitas Prize for an episode of South of Nowhere that she did. Arika was my assistant on Dawson’s Creek. She’s terrific and very talented and gets along very well with Lindsey. Arika, she’s someone who in a different lifetime would’ve been head of daytime. She plotted the serial a little bit with Lindsey. But Lindsey, I say to her–sometimes to her consternation; it’s a family business and all–anytime she’s involved with the site, it’s better on all levels.

TDW: What has been the response you’re getting from people in the business?

Rosin: I think they admire the effort and realize we’re pioneers. This is not formed. People haven’t done things like this. They always ask, “How are you going to finance this?” and I kind of talk about it but steer away from it a little bit. It’s designed to be branded entertainment and we’re here in New York now to try and find brands. We’re hopeful that we can and we present something that has potential and is different. There’s certain things we did in the first year–we did a lot of monologues; we didn’t emphasize the cinema. We’d like to have a little more production value. Lindsey has a lot of ideas for the second season. We know where to pick up the show and what kind of sponsors we’re looking for. Forms follows function, after all…

TDW: You mentioned finding sponsors. Is that what you did on this trip?

Rosin: One of the most difficult aspects of doing webseries is, whether you’re doing six episodes with friends in your dorm room or if you’re trying to do something to ultimately become a daily habit on the web, is to get the levels of support that you need. When you do branded entertainment, you want to get to brands. Brands have not been oriented to this. So we’re starting to see the change and transition as more and more brands advertise or consider sponsorships and realize that it might be worthwhile to look at certain web series, to brand projects and put their name above the title and all that. It’s a question, though, of “how do you get access to that?” One of the ways is you do something and it goes viral and they come to you and say, “How do you do that?” The other way is to do some work, you put it together, you have more ideas, you go to the brand and say, “With your marketing support, we do A, B, C, D and E” and that’s the method we chose. Creatively, I think showbizzle is somewhere in a middle ground or at least between premium high content and user-generated. We want it have the feel of an independent but be scripted.

There was an event [this week] called Brand In Entertainment, which was an event to meet people who are independent purveyors of content and meet brands and those that are interested in the sector or interested in tipping their toe in. It’s a risk-adverse world, especially after the financial meltdown. It’s all going very slowly. But I had meetings with one or two other people who have access to brands and I wanted to let them know what we’re doing. It was a business-oriented trip.

TDW: You mentioned that you have people who are just starting out in Hollywood playing the characters in the webseries. Is anyone getting “noticed” from it? Any success stories?

Rosin: The thing that’s interesting is remember my original definition: digital showcase, emerging talent away from the immediate career pressures of the marketplace. So really, it’s only about a creative expression. Too much discussion in Hollywood has moved away from any form of creative satisfaction and is only based on business elements. That’s why you always hear about returning an investment and all that. Well, what about creative satisfaction? So the goal of [participating] is not necessarily to further a career but to allow them to perform. We are going to try and accelerate it. We’re going to formally announce soon that we’ll have a rotating group of casting directors as residents and we’ll supply short little monologues and encourage our community to perform them, upload the video and guarantee them that the ones the casting directors like the most, they will comment on them and be on the homepage. You get on the digital showcase. You’re in our community and now you get to be singled out. That might help.

This time last year, a cute little blonde came in and started [working for us], making calls to colleges for outreach. She was really nice. One weekend she told me she had to go to New York. For my class at UCLA, I was putting together a list of what [new] shows [the networks] had ordered so we could [evaluate] them and I saw the girl’s name. It was Brittany Robertson [Lux on Life Unexpected]. She was the girl making our calls. I had Subway sandwiches with her for weeks. I sent her an e-mail and said, “Either you get major kudos or someone has stolen your name!” Now she didn’t perform on showbizzle and I don’t think necessarily that people have seen someone on showbizzle and said, “I need that girl or that guy,” but I think it gives people the confidence to be that girl or that guy.

In the second season we may go after a few names that people know to play little characters. It’ll probably make a difference. Two of the biggest names so far have been Fran Kranz, who was on Dollhouse and was just terrific, and James Eckhouse [Jim], who isn’t in the same demographic. But people can come [to showbizzle] for various reasons. As Lindsey likes to say, they can choose their own adventure. They can focus on getting industry resources or they can focus on the show, they can express themselves, they can take a bizzle break from all the troubles in life.

TDW: What lessons from Beverly Hills 90210 have you been able to apply to showbizzle?

Rosin: The main thing I learned from [executive producer] Aaron Spelling is you make a show for an audience. The audience satisfaction really matters. We continue to adjust to what our audience is looking for, what they say they want. The other thing, which I always like to say, is showbizzle is low-budget production. We were able to do a little content for not very much money but still paid people and all that. 90210 was lower-budget production. We had much less money in the first two or three years than what was there afterward. When we built the college set, that was a big thing for us. We didn’t have big restrictions. The first few years we did. We learned how to do something economically and you learn how someone is paying for all this. Usually that someone is your corporation, whether it’s Disney or Fox or Aaron Spelling. In the case of showbizzle, it’s us. You have to be prudent. Production we were able to handle very well. It’s the digital stuff, the Web site stuff that sometimes spirals out of control.

TDW: I was curious to know if you and Karen were already married when you started working on the 90210 or if the relationship was born out of the show.

Rosin: I met a really cute girl in 1976. We were married a year later in 1977. We’ve been together a long time.

TDW: That is a long time.

Rosin: Yes, we’re very old.

TDW: I know she’s had a career of her own but she wrote close to 20 episodes of Beverly Hills 90210.

Rosin: She wrote the best ones. It was an interesting thing. Mr. Spelling had had a bad taste in his mouth about putting a married team on a show from when he did Dynasty. He never really wanted to let Karen come on the staff and be a permanent part. It allowed her to stay home and raise our kids, which is a great thing but at the same time, she really deserved a lot more recognition as a writer, as a writer-producer, and didn’t really get that from 90210 and I always feel badly about that. But it was circumstances beyond our control. I really love collaborating with her, and I really love collaborating with Lindsey, because you find out with writers, all writers have strengths and all writers have weaknesses. A lot of writers who really excel at dialogue have trouble organizing the story, the scene dynamics. That’s what I do in my sleep. But I’ll struggle over dialogue for hours and hours. So it was a really nice fit with us. One thing I would to say anyone who is starting out and is thinking about collaborating, is that you have to feel whomever you’re collaborating with brings more to the party than you do. You’re not carrying them but you’re benefiting from them. And that’s my relationship with Karen as a writer. Anytime we work together, it gets better.

TDW: I know you did commentary for the earlier seasons of the DVD sets.

Rosin: Karen and I were asked to do it on season 3 and I did an interview for season 4.

TDW: Since season 4, there’s been no extras. We’ve had seasons 5-9 with no extras.

Rosin: Want my opinion? Because there’s nothing to say. The show ended with season 5, in my opinion. Season 5, if you were going to do one, the person you’d need to talk to is Luke [Perry, Dylan] because Luke was so important in those first 12, 13 episodes where he has his money stolen and has his whole depression and anger, leading to the crashing of his car. Luke drove those first 13 and it was a pleasure to do them with him. He had such intensity. If he’s not going to talk about it, then what are you going to say? Tiffani [Amber Thiessen, Valerie] would’ve been the other person to talk to for season 5.

TDW: Some of us have also been upset with the cover art and that many songs have been replaced on the DVDs or scenes were cut because of songs issues.

Rosin: Knowing how much Mr. Spelling cared about the audience, the fact that the music isn’t up to the standards that we had, he’d understand it as a businessman but he’d be rolling over in his grave.

TDW: I heard you were once working on a 90210 spin-off concept with Aaron.

Rosin: When we were thinking about moving forward with the college years, we also proposed they could spin-off a West Beverly High series but they didn’t want to do that at that time. Then in the year 2000, Spelling wanted to do it and I was hired to do something on it but it didn’t turn out to be what they were looking for. It was like 90210, the next generation. I think it had the exact tone of the high school shows but it was just for a different generation of high schoolers. Instead we have this bastardized version that’s on now.

TDW: What was your reaction when you first heard about the one that’s on now?

Rosin: The first reaction was that it just shows how important the brand is and how much branding means. Every generation has the right to do anything. I don’t own it. It was Viacom, Spelling. Darren Star created the show. It was more his world than it was mine. I was there to do something much specific. But now I’m more excited by a show like Life Unexpected than recycling shows from a different era just because of their title. I don’t feel [the new show] has that much in common with the original other than it has a high school premise and it’s in Beverly Hills. But tonally, from what I’ve seen, it doesn’t have that much in common.

TDW: Not sure if you’re aware but they recently killed Jackie Taylor [Ann Gillespie].

Rosin: Why?

TDW: They did this whole cancer storyline.

Rosin: I understand that. When you run out of ideas, you get people sick. No offense to Joey [E. Tata, Nat], but we were struggling and had to do 32 episodes. So Nat’s going to have a heart attack [Episode 4.18, Heartbreaker]. If you see characters getting sick like that at random, it’s usually evidence of a bankruptcy of ideas, in my opinion.

TDW: It came out recently that Rob Estes [Harry, 90210] is leaving the show and people are very surprised. “He’s supposed to be our patriarch. He’s supposed to be our Jim Walsh.”

Rosin: I would imagine that you do things like that when you realize a few things have happened. After the 5th year when I left [the original], so did Gabrielle Carteris [Andrea] but so did Jim Eckhouse and Carol Potter [Cindy]. At a certain point, you get to be a mature show. You realize you have to cut your overhead a little bit. You realize the storylines are going to move into a different direction and things are going to be different. So you do make adjustments. Why did Estes leave? Maybe he was profoundly unhappy with what they’ve done with his character. I wouldn’t know that but that’s usually why actors leave. They weren’t satisfied. The show thought they were paying too much money. He wasn’t being utilized, etc.

TDW: It came out recently that Jennie [Garth, Kelly] is sort of cutting ties with the show as well. The media went crazy with it.

Rosin: I only have admiration for Jennie. I don’t see her that often but I know she’s raising a wonderful family. She has political and social issues she’s very committed to. I really admired her on Dancing With The Stars. She wouldn’t have been able to do that at 21, 22. To have that courage, I admire that a lot. Jennie was very loyal to Mr. Spelling, very loyal to 90210 and I’m sure that led her back to [the new show] in a way. One thing you realize is that people do for their careers what they think is best, both in getting in with things and getting out of things. And I never like to comment on that because at a certain point they thought it was a good idea.

TDW: Are you in touch with anyone else?

Rosin: I am. I’m in touch with the guys. Luke, not as much. Hopefully will get back in touch pretty soon. But Jason Priestley [Brandon] I consider a really good friend. I love Ian Ziering [Steve]. He actually helped on showbizzle, doing an interview. And Jim Eckhouse I actually put in front of the camera. So those are the guys pretty much. And I keep in touch with Gabby through her husband, who is my stock broker.

TDW: I spoke with [writer-producer] Larry Mollin recently and he expressed some interest in doing a panel to talk about the show.

Rosin: If you ever want to do something like that, you let me know.

Come back next Sunday for another exclusive interview!

TDW Interview Index








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