News Roundup: Gossip Girl, 90210, The O.C. and More

10 05 2010
  • A number of teen drama stars made Maxim’s Hot 100 list: Blake Lively (Serena, Gossip Girl) is number 4. Leighton Meester (Blair, Gossip Girl) is 17. Olivia Wilde (Alex, The O.C.) is 20. Hilary Duff (Olivia, Gossip Girl) is 27. Rachel Bilson (Summer, The O.C.) is 46. Kristen Bell (Gossip Girl, Gossip Girl) is 52. AnnaLynne McCord (Naomi, 90210) is 67. Monica Keena (Abby, Dawson’s Creek) is 69. Danneel Harris (Rachel, One Tree Hill) is 72. Maria Menounos (Jules, One Tree Hill) is 80. Navi Rawat (Theresa, The O.C.) is 81.
  • Korbi posted the UK promo for the last two Gossip Girl episodes of the season (tonight’s and next week’s). Watch at your own risk!
  • Ausiello has comments from Stephanie Savage (executive producer, Gossip Girl) regarding the above promo and more spoilish details on the season finale.
  • Another spoiler alert: the first two episodes of Gossip Girl’s fourth season will be filmed in Paris. Beware, there’s even more spoilers in the article!
  • The Toronto Sun has an interview with Savage.
  • Us Weekly has an interview with Bobby Strom, who is helping Lively get in shape for Green Lantern.
  • Gossip Cop busted a Now Magazine story about Chace Crawford (Nate, Gossip Girl) using JDate. (Though part of me wishes it were true!)
  • SoapNet will have a “Star Spangled Marathon” of Beverly Hills 90210 on Memorial Day, featuring 10 episodes of  “famous faces before they were stars.” I will post a reminder that morning.
  • Gossip Cop has some more details on Tori Spelling (Donna, Beverly Hills 90210) and Dean McDermott renewing their vows.
  • Crushable has an interview with Emma Caulfield (Susan, Beverly Hills 90210).
  • Michael Steger (Navid, 90210) will make an interesting guest appearance on True Blood. Don’t forget: Joe Manganiello (Owen, One Tree Hill) will also be on the show’s new season.
  • Jessica Walter (Tabitha, 90210) and Kelly Rowan (Kirsten, The O.C.) were each named one of EW.com’s Beloved TV Moms for their roles on Arrested Development and The O.C., respectively.
  • Colin Hanks (Grady, The O.C.) got married on Saturday.
  • Examiner.com has a spoilish interview with Kate Voegele (Mia, One Tree Hill).
  • Gossip Cop busted a Star story about Katie Holmes (Joey, Dawson’s Creek) and hubby Tom Cruise.
  • Jensen Ackles (C.J., Dawson’s Creek) referenced DC and Joshua Jackson (Pacey, Dawson’s Creek) in an interview with The Toronto Sun.




Exclusive: Melinda Clarke Reflects on The O.C., Dishes on The Vampire Diaries and Nikita

9 05 2010

Last June I did a TDW series called “Teen Drama’s Villainous Characters,” looking at the villains of each series. Included in part three was The O.C.’s Julie Cooper. (Though, oddly enough, I forgot to include her in my Biggest Vixens series!) But a recent interview with Julie’s alter-ego, Melinda Clarke, reminded me that there was also something endearing about Julie. As Clarke told the Los Angeles Times last month, “Julie Cooper, though flawed and motivated by the wrong things, strived to be the best parent that she could be.” I thought today, Mother’s Day, would be an interesting day to reflect on that.

In my own exclusive interview with Clarke, we discussed Julie’s series-long transformation, where she thinks the character might be today and how Julie might be connected to Clarke’s character on The Vampire Diaries. Clarke also dished on her CW pilot Nikita.

TeenDramaWhore: Do you remember what your audition for The O.C. was like?

Melinda Clarke: Oh, yes. Actually, my first audition was for the role of Kirsten Cohen [who ended up being played by Kelly Rowan].

TDW: Wow, I don’t think I knew that!

Clarke: I was younger than the character. I was younger than both the characters, actually. But it was a regular role. In the pilot, Julie was only a guest star. I read for [Kirsten] but I was asked to come back for the other character. When I came in for the Julie role, I made sure that [executive producer] Josh Schwartz and the casting director knew that I grew up in Orange County. I was literally going to the audition and then driving to my mom’s house down in Orange County. And, of course, it was a completely different world. I did not grow up in the “O.C.” world. I grew up in kind of a liberal artsy family and on the beach, which is beautiful. But it definitely wasn’t the Julie Cooper world. And I just remember having so much fun with the Julie role. She was clearly just such a money-digging whore. To me, it’s so funny now to see The Real Housewives of Orange County because you realize it exists and that’s what Julie was. Julie was obviously the original housewife. Except they have a lot more plastic on their bodies than Julie did! Thank goodness. And I remember when I got the role, it went down to the last minute. The casting director, Patrick Rush–I had actually been in an episode of Everwood.

TDW: I know! That was one of my favorite shows.

Clarke: He was able to show a scene or two from that to the network, so they could offer me the role. I was up for the role but I got a role in Battlestar Galactica, the one that Tricia Helfer ended up doing. And of course she’s a perfect, beautiful, stunning swimsuit model who can act her butt off. She ended up doing that role but they wouldn’t let me out of the contract. When you audition for a show, you sign a contract. And they can decide between however many people they want. They weren’t letting me out of the contract to do The O.C. It was literally down to the last hour before they finally let me go so I could go do The O.C. And the rest is history. It turned into a great role.

TDW: It did. When did you realize that the show was a hit?

Clarke: There were a lot of different reasons why people gravitated to it. It was a good script. It was a great script.  We had Josh Schwartz writing great scripts. Great cast. We also had the advantage of being after American Idol on Wednesday nights. I think the first time we realized it was a really big hit was at a fan appearance down on one of the piers, I think down in Redondo Beach. We were each put into limos and driven up over the hill and down to the pier and there were thousands and thousands of kids and fans–and the show had only been on like a month or two. I think that’s when we all realized, “Woah! This is something that people are responding to. Very much so.” It was very soon.

TDW: When you look back on the show today, do you have a favorite storyline?

Clarke: The first thing that comes to mind is Julie living in the trailer park [in season 3]. Because it was just, would she do it or not? There’s one particular scene where Julie’s in cowboy boots, a cut-off jean skirt, a tank top, and a thong, chewing [tobacco] and watching Nascar …and Kirsten shows up [Episode 3.10, The Chrismukkah Bar Mitz-vahkkah]. That was one of my favorite scenes of the whole show. And the first season, I remember reading a script where she has this little affair with Luke [Chris Carmack] and she picks up the phone and calls him very stealth-like [Episode 1.20, The Telenovela]. It’s that scene in particular where she says like, “Meet me at the hotel. Knock twice. I’ll be there. And Luke, this is a booty call.” When I read that, I was like “I officially love this show!” The lines [in the show] were just fantastic. It’s so about creating culture instead of reflecting it. We were creating pop culture.

TDW: You were. You guys definitely left a mark.

Clarke: And there was a scene, I think in the same episode, when Caleb [Alan Dale] shows up late at night with the flowers and I say, “Is this a booty call?” And he goes, “What’s a boo-tee…call?” “When you show up unannounced with the crappy carnations from Ralph’s with the idea that I might just want (blank).”

TDW: Yes! So funny.

Clarke: And the last season, Marissa [Mischa Barton] gave me a lot to do emotionally. It was definitely an incredible arc for me as an actress to start with this woman who was so superficial but, of course, she’s not just one-dimensional, she’s multi-dimensional. Starting in her pink Juicy sweat suit outfit and then by the end she’s graduated from college and moving on with her life. She’s a survivor. And I miss her.

TDW: Julie was obviously very affected by Marissa’s death. Did you have any reservations about how that would go over with the fans?

Clarke: Oh my goodness, everyone was shocked. From what I understand, the official story is that they just felt like they couldn’t do any more to this character or any more with the character. She had been through hell and back. She’d been through so much. What more could they write? Or at least that’s what I heard. I don’t really know if it ended up being the best idea. It definitely gave me a lot to do, which was fantastic. I think the last season was really interesting. I don’t know. I think the show could’ve gone longer than it did. It didn’t even finish a full fourth season. But I don’t know. You’d have to ask those involved. There’s a lot of different reasons why people think it ended. We were also moved from Wednesdays at 9 after American Idol to Thursday at 8 against Friends. And then we were moved to Thursday at 9 against CSI. It’s a little bit tough to keep up with those.

TDW: As you said, the show ended with Julie getting her degree [Episode 4.16, The End’s Not Near, It’s Here].

Clarke: Which I actually have as a prop!

TDW: Oh, wow, you got to take that home?

Clarke: Yes. I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone what it actually says, what she got her degree in.

TDW: I would love to know!

Clarke: It wasn’t ever part of the script but the prop guys had fun with it. It says she got a degree in psychology but she also double majored in paranormal studies.

TDW: That’s really funny. So, if you had to guess, where do you think Julie is today?

Clarke: Well, let’s see. They did the “years in the future” thing, so I think, chronologically, she’d still be getting her degree.

TDW: True.

Clarke: But if you wanted to start from there, she’s probably…she’s probably still unmarried and dating when she wants but being a good mom to her son, who would have to be somewhere around 10 now or something like that. I think she probably opened her own business and has been very successful with it. I don’t know if she was able to do anything with her degree or not. Oh my goodness, maybe she’s a psychic now, like John Edwards!

TDW: You know, that would make her a great fit for The Vampire Diaries. You could just go right over.

Clarke: Kelly Donovan’s basically Julie Cooper now! But [unlike Julie], she’s drinking away.

TDW: On The Vampire Diaries, you worked with Paul Wesley [Donnie] and he appeared on one episode of The O.C. [Episode 1.05, The Outsider].

Clarke: Yes, it was very memorable.

TDW: Did you meet him back then?

Clarke: No, we actually met in Atlanta back in January. He’s good friends with Ben McKenzie [Ryan]. We said hello and I definitely remembered him, even though we never actually met. So we got to meet in Atlanta in 20 degree weather at night.

TDW: Ooh, that sounds fun.

Clarke: Yes. It is absolutely fun. It was an extreme winter in Atlanta this year.

TDW: Now you’re back in California, I hope.

Clarke: Yes. I was in Atlanta for two weeks, came home for a while, went back for another week, came back for a while, and then went back for two more weeks and them came back for a while and then went to Toronto for three weeks. So this California girl has definitely learned I can survive in cold weather but it’s not my favorite!

TDW: Were you already familiar with Kevin Williamson’s work on Dawson’s Creek and the Scream movies?

Clarke: Yes. I was fan of Dawson’s Creek. I was always very impressed with the characters on that show, their development and how smart he made the characters. Their conversations, their situations. They definitely had a very talented cast and a lot of them have moved on to do really amazing work.

TDW: I always saw The O.C. as the next step in the genre after Dawson’s Creek.

Clarke: There were things that Dawson’s Creek did that were a little more cerebral and The O.C. was a little bit more humorous. Very intelligent humor.

TDW: Right. I think the Dawson’s Creek had a philosophical intelligence whereas The O.C. had wit.

Clarke: Wit. Exactly.

TDW: With The Vampire Diaries, I have to ask: are you Team Damon or Team Stefan? Or, you can be Team Kelly, too!

Clarke: It was fun to work with Ian [Somerhalder] because there’s a looseness to him, to his character. He definitely brings a lot to the character. It’s not just lines on the page. And I think Kelly is similar to that. We don’t really know why Kelly is such a bad mother, why she does what she does, like drinking, and where she’s been. They definitely didn’t explain that so that leaves a lot to be explored in the future if she comes back.

TDW: That’s what the hope is. That we’ll see you again next season and delve into that.

Clarke: I’m not dead yet! I don’t think they have any intention of killing her. But it was definitely a little bit of a taste or a tease to have this character around to make her son’s life miserable but then ultimately leave town as a sacrifice, realizing she doesn’t make her son’s life any better.

TDW: You were cast in the pilot Nikita, which is also on The CW. So if Nikita is picked up, would you be able to do both shows?

Clarke: Technically, yes. Legally, yes. They’re both on the same network. It would probably be more of a scheduling situation. It would be up to the powers that be, the producers on Nikita, the producers on The Vampire Diaries. They’re such different characters and they don’t conflict as far as characters go but you would have to be within certain parameters. It’s more of a scheduling thing.

TDW: For those that aren’t familiar with the original La Femme Nikita show or even for those that are, what will this show be about?

Clarke: Well, Nikita was a runaway girl with no life, who was forced into becoming an assassin. There’s been different versions: a French film, American film, Canadian television show. This version is an updated version. Nikita is now not within the Division. She got out. She’s now played by Maggie Q. Brilliant casting. People may remember her from Mission Impossible 3. So she’s now out of the Division and she’s trying to make things very difficult for the Division. And we’ll also be focusing on the new young recruits who are trained to be assassins for the Division. But they’re essentially held against their will. They have to become an assassin or die. There’s a new young nikita and her character is played by Lyndsy Fonseca. People will remember her from Desperate Housewives but she’s now in Hot Tub Time Machine, which is a very cute movie. I think she’s in Kick-Ass, too. So she’s a hot actress right now. She’s our second lead. And my character is Amanda, one of the operatives and mentors within Division. She’s definitely not going down to the bar drinking shots. She’s a very strong and calculating and tough woman.

TDW: So are you doing action stunts?

Clarke: I would expect so. I would expect every single person on this show would have some action. It seems very alien [to the network] but there’s a lot of younger characters who will fulfill the CW demographic. I think the character of Alex, Lyndsy’s character, is supposed to be 19 years old. But there’s a lot of action, so I think young men will like it, too. Not just the young ladies.

TDW: Are you feeling confident about a series pick-up? Have you guys heard anything yet from The CW?

Clarke: Maybe I’m just jinxing everything by even talking about it. But, no, we don’t know. I have the highest of high hopes. Whenever you do a pilot and the network’s studios put money into the pilot, you’re going to hear positive feedback because they wouldn’t want to spend the money unless they’d like to get it on television. So hopefully this isn’t speaking before I should be talking about it but I think The CW is really behind it and I hope it does end up on the network, that they give us the chance.

TDW: I do, too. When you were cast in The Vampire Diaries, there were a lot of comments from people who were happy but who also want you back on their screen more permanently, not just guest roles.

Clarke: I like the ensemble situation [with permanent roles]. It’s nice to be able to have a life with my daughter and still work.

TDW: Right. And it means we’re seeing you regularly. We’re not waiting for the next guest role.

Clarke: I did one episode of Entourage last year but it was probably one of my favorite things I’ve done in a long time. It was a great scene with Jeremy Piven. I played myself. It was a brilliant thing. It was a fictitious version of Melinda Clarke. They had me come out of the Paramount lot and, of course, there’s these huge posters for my own television show. [The character] is a spy by night and a mom by day. I just thought that was very clever. I love that show. I would love to do a show like that more often. The industry is recovering from the single worst time in history. From the writer’s strike to the potential SAG strike. The lack of material. All of these things. The numbers of everything have gone down in every way, shape and form. It’s just a matter of finding the right thing and I’m really happy Warner Bros. and McG are producing Nikita and Danny Cannon from CSI is directing.

TDW: I forgot McG was doing it! He executive produced The O.C. as well. So it’s kind of like a little reunion.

Clarke: And, of course, he produces Chuck and Supernatural, [the latter of] which is on The CW, too. It all sounds like a wonderful recipe and I feel like Warner Bros. is behind it. Very much so. But you never know. You never know. Some great pilots never get on television. It’s a shame. But I think they feel good about this. And if it doesn’t go, you go after the next thing. Maybe I’ll go to Atlanta, Georgia more often.

TDW: Last question: There have been a few Twitter accounts claiming to be you and they’re not you. Can you just state for the record whether you’re on Twitter?

Clarke: I am not on Twitter in any way, shape or form.

TDW: Good, thank you.

Clarke: In fact, Kelly Rowan sent me a text not too long ago saying, “Did you know you and I are having conversations on Twitter?”

TDW: Yes! I saw that! There were two accounts that talked with each other, claiming to be you guys.

Clarke: We had a good laugh over that because neither one of us have the time for Twitter. Maybe we should. But I haven’t ever done anything like that.

Come back next Sunday for another exclusive interview!

TDW Interview Index





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

3 03 2010
  • Have you taken the TDW Survey yet?
  • Zap2it has an article on Gossip Girl, 90210 (and Melrose Place) returning, with some quotes from Chace Crawford (Nate, Gossip Girl).
  • Korbi has a spoiler-filled interview with Stephanie Savage (executive producer, Gossip Girl).
  • New York Magazine has a few Gossip Girl spoilers, as does Kristin.
  • PEOPLE.com has an exclusive sneak peek at the first new Gossip Girl episode while Kristin has an exclusive sneak peek at the following episode.
  • An EW.com writer says Rufus Humphrey (Matthew Settle, Gossip Girl) would be her choice real-life dad from TV. I saw some commenters picking Sandy (Peter Gallagher, The O.C.) and Kirsten (Kelly Rowan, The O.C.)
  • Jessica Szohr (Vanessa, Gossip Girl) is on the cover of the April issue of Lucky.
  • Matt Lanter (Liam, 90210) will participate in a live chat with TV.com.
  • The new issue of TV Guide Magazine has an interview with Rumer Willis (Gia, 90210).
  • In the April 2010 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, Megan Fox apparently talks about Brian Austin Green (David, Beverly Hills 90210) and Kassius, the son he has with Vanessa Marcil (Gina, Beverly Hills 90210).
  • A Dancing With The Stars producer jokes that he’d like to have a Beverly Hills 90210 all-star cast on the show in  a future season.
  • Radar Online (ugh) has a video interview with Jana Kramer (Alex, One Tree Hill) about her fashion style.
  • In an MTV interview, Benjamin McKenzie (Ryan, The O.C.) says, “I don’t know that we’d really ever do an ‘O.C.’ movie. I think most people have moved on.”
  • TV.com has an interview with McKenzie about Southland.
  • Zap2it has an article on James Van Der Beek (Dawson, Dawson’s Creek).
  • John Wesley Shipp (Mitch, Dawson’s Creek) will star in a movie called Daddy’s Girl.
  • EW.com has a fun interview with Carolyn Hennesy (Mrs. Valentine, Dawson’s Creek).




Favorite Holiday Episodes, Pt. 3

23 12 2009

MONDAY: Beverly Hills 90210

TUESDAY: Dawson’s Creek

TODAY: The O.C.

1. Episode 1.13, The Best Chrismukkah Ever

It’s impossible to look at holiday shows on The O.C. and not include (almost) every one. So sit tight because that’s what I’ll be doing here. We begin in season one where the idea of Chrismukkah is first introduced. Seth explains that with his Jewish dad and WASPy mom, he created the holiday to get the best of both worlds. Ryan has trouble embracing the holiday when he is reminded of his horrible years growing up (via a drunk Marissa) and Seth receives presents from both Summer and Anna, after which they ask him to choose which girl he wants to be with. A pivotal episode for both that triangle and because it sets up the Chrismukkah tradition.

2. Episode 1.14, The Countdown

Like in the real world, the very next week brings New Year’s Eve. Seth plans to stay home so he can avoid the Anna-Summer issue and Ryan is thrown for a loop when Marissa says she loves him and introduces a new friend, Oliver. Sandy and Kirsten end up at a swingers party where temptation just ends up reaffirming their love for each other. The episode culminates in Ryan’s mad dash to kiss Marissa at midnight–and tell her he loves her, making one of The O.C.’s most memorable endings.

3. Episode 2.6, The Chrismukkuh That Almost Wasn’t

It’s a year later and Ryan isn’t with Marissa and Seth isn’t with Anna (or Summer). Seth’s Chrismukkuh dinner gets bigger and bigger with plans for the Cooper-Nichols to attend, plus Marissa, Summer and Ryan’s newish girlfriend, Lindsay. Lindsay’s enthusiasm surprises Ryan, who worries what will happen when a long-hidden truth is revealed: Caleb is her father. When the truth comes out and major drama ensues, Seth thinks they should cancel the holiday–until Summer comes to the rescue. I’ve never been a Lindsay fan but she deserves credit for creating a Chrismukkah prop: the Yamuclaus

4. Episode 3.10, The Chrismukkah Bar Mitz-vahkkah

Though Ryan & Marissa and Seth & Summer are all back together, this year’s Chrismukkah doesn’t seem to be shaping up any better than season two’s. Marissa is preoccupied by a hurt Johnny and Kirsten is sad that it’s her first Chrismakkuh without her dad (despite last year’s drama between them) and her last with Seth and Ryan still in high school. The episode is a win for me because the Judaism factor is at a higher level with the incorporation of both Seth and Ryan’s Bar Mitzvahs. We see Seth’s via flashback, adding a layer of goodness to his lifelong love of Summer, and we see the gang come together to give Ryan one (though it’s real purpose is to raise money for Johnny’s surgery).

5. Episode 4.7, The Chrismukk-huh?

We know I’m a sucker for flashbacks and, by extension, alternate universes, which makes this quite possibly my favorite of all the Chrismukkahs. Ryan and Taylor’s accident turns Newport on its head, looking at what might’ve happened if Ryan never existed. While most of it involves some comedic pairings, like Summer & Che and Sandy & Julie (plus Che & Julie), there’s also a surprising emotional component: Taylor finds out that, in this world, Marissa may be alive. The possibility prevents Ryan from wanting to return to the real world but he ends up losing her all over again when he learns that Marissa never survived her drug overdose several years back since he was never there to rescue her. Intelligent viewers knew there was no chance of Marissa/Mischa Barton coming back but the writing and editing sucked us in anyway, getting our hopes up and our hearts broken.

Tomorrow we look at another alternate holiday universe, this time on One Tree Hill.





News Roundup: 90210, One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl and The O.C.

26 08 2009
  • There’s lots of new season photos for all the current teen dramas circulating the ‘net but these are the first ones I’ve seen with Rumer Willis (Gia, 90210) so I figured I’d post ’em.
  • Jason Priestley (Brandon, Beverly Hills 90210) and Tiffani Amber Thiessen (Valerie, Beverly Hills 90210) are both participating in Home Design Hollywood.
  • Daemon’s TV has a spoilish interview with Trevor Donovan (Teddy, 90210).
  • Ausiello has details on a potential new 90210 character.
  • Hilarie Burton (Peyton, One Tree Hill) is in the latest SoGoPro podcast.
  • Blake Lively (Serena, Gossip Girl) spoke with PEOPLE.com about her birthday plans and the new season.
  • E!Online has semi-spoilish article on Carter (Sebastian Stan, Gossip Girl).
  • The next round of the Gossip Girl tournament is available.
  • Zap2it did a poll on the best television characters from the past decade, and there were 3 teen drama winners: Blair (Leighton Meester, Gossip Girl) for Best Mean Girl, Seth (Adam Brody, The O.C.) for Best Son/Daughter and Kirsten (Kelly Rowan, The O.C.) for Best Boozer.




YouTube Video of the Week

29 03 2009

This week’s video has two purposes.

First, I wanted to show The O.C.’s Sandy and Kirsten a little love.  They were the first adult teen drama couple viewers really latched on to and became invested in.  They set the groundwork for the adult-oriented storylines we’ve since seen on One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl.

Then with the news that Kirsten’s younger self might be mixed in with the Gossip Girl spin-off, I figured it would be good to revisit The O.C. clip that showed her that way.





News Roundup: Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, The O.C. and More

20 03 2009
  • This could make teen drama cross-over history!  Apparently Josh Schwartz is thinking about including an ’80s era Kirsten and Jimmy from The O.C. on the Gossip Girl spin-off as friends of Lily.
  • Korbi at Zap2it has a preview clip of Monday’s Gossip Girl.
  • Tons of fans showed up where One Tree Hill is filming, presumably, Lucas and Peyton’s wedding.
  • President Obama briefly mentioned Gossip Girl in a recent Town Hall session.
  • Austin Nicholas (Julian, One Tree Hill) reads from The Fountainhead, one of his favorite books, in a video on the Southern Gothic Productions blog.
  • Joshua Jackson (Pacey, Dawson’s Creek) says being on the show didn’t leave him time to “grow up.”
  • Tristan Wilds (Dixon, 90210) will star in a movie about an all-black unit of the army serving in World War II.
  • Finally watched the Beverly Hills, 90210 reunion that aired on BIO in February.  Turns out, it WAS the same special that aired in 2003.  Despite the description saying it would include Tori Spelling and Brian Austin Green, it didn’t as they weren’t in it then and obviously aren’t in it now.  A bit disappointing, but still fun to watch it again and relive the memories!







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