Live Press Tour Diary: CW Day One (Shannen's Officially Returning!) | EW.com

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Live Press Tour Diary: CW Day One (Shannen's Officially Returning!)

Shannen_l

Duh’nuh-nuh-nuh, Duh’nuh-nuh-nuh – swoosh swoosh

90210 Panel

The Players: Rob Estes, Lori Loughlin, Shenae Grimes, Tristan Wilds, Jessica Stroup, Dustin Milligan, AnnaLynne McCord, Michael Steger, Ryan Eggold, Jessica Walter and exec producers Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah

MIA: Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling, Shannen Doherty, David Silver, Steve Sanders, Brandon Walsh, Dylan McKay, Andrea Zuckerman and Valerie Malone.

9:25 am: Joe E. Tata was good enough to be a “special guest” at this morning’s Peach Pit-themed breakfast, but not good enough to partake in the official panel? For the record, his TaTas have held up just fine over the years.

9:26 am: Meta moment of the week: CW PR head Paul McGuire just made some snarky comment about my live blog in his opening remarks and I’m blogging about it!

9:32 am: Stop the presses! Sachs kicks off the session by announcing that, “Shannen Doherty will be returning to 90210…. She will be the director of our musical.” Huh?

9:34 am: Sachs clarifies that “there will be a musical in an episode and Shannen will be the director. She’ll be the guest drama teacher.”

9:36 am: As of now, Doherty, Garth, Spelling and Tata are the only 90210 vets returning. As previously announced, Garth’s Kelly is now a guidance counselor at WBH High and Spelling’s Donna is the owner of an upscale boutique.

9:41 am: McCord says her 90210 character is basically the PG-version of Nip/Tuck’s slutastic Eden (who will be back, she confirms).

9:43 am: Further clarification about Doherty’s return: She will be reprising her role as Brenda Walsh, ending widespread speculation that she’d be playing Prue Halliwell.

9:48 am: Walter is asked how her boozy 90210 granny, Tabitha, differs from her boozy Arrested Development alter ego, Lucille. “Lucille likes vodka and Tabitha likes scotch,” she cracks.

9:54 am: The Peach Pit today is like “a cool coffeehouse where a lot of kids hang out,” says Judah. “But it’s not going to be like the old show where it’s, “Hey, It’s Color me Badd!”

9:59 am: 90210 is a “total AFTRA show” and, therefore, strike-proof. Phew!

10:14 am: The session ends, the gaggle stampede ensues and the official Doherty press release gets circulated. Here are the major points: Following Brenda’s move to London more than a decade ago, she became “a successful theater actress” and then transitioned into directing. West Beverly High “approaches her to return as a guest director for the school’s musical production.” No word on whether Kelly and Donna will be attending said production.

Privileged Panel

The Players: JoAnna Garcia, Lucy Kate Hale, Ashley Newbrough, Michael Cassidy, Brian Hallisay, Kristina Apgar, Allan Louis, Anne Archer and exec producers Rina Mimoun (Everwood!) and Bob Levy.

10:36 am: Mimoun boils down the premise for the soundbite-thirsty crowd: “Sometimes if you want to change the world, you have to start with two spoiled teenagers and take it from there.” Put another way, “What if the Gilmore Girls were teaching the Gossip Girls?” We haven’t seen the pilot, but based on the promising trailer – not to mention the kick-ass pedigree (Rina!) – I’m going to go ahead and endorse this thing.

10:40 am: Garcia’s transformation from a blonde to a redhead is a key plot point in the premiere.

10:43 am: Lots of discussion about whether Garcia’s character is more “Rory” or “Lorelai.”

10:46 am: How does Archer feel about being on the youth-centric CW? “There’s nothing like being around a lot of young people,” she says. “I feel kind of like a mentor. I love it.” Enjoy it while it lasts!

10:48 am: A reporter likens Archer’s character to Emily Gilmore.

10:55 am: Hallisay, who made his feature debut opposite Paris Hilton in Bottoms Up, is asked to critique his former leading lady’s acting prowess. “She’s committed, she shows up when she’s supposed to, she’s says what she’s supposed to… She’s very sweet.” Translation: “Yeah, I hit that.”

10:58 am: A reporter suggests to Mimoun that she cast Gilmore guy Scott Patterson as the show’s MIA dad.

11:01 am: A reporter asks Mimoun if she has spoken to Gilmore creator Amy Sherman-Palladino lately. Let it go people, the show is over! Move on! Geez.

Executive Session

The Player: Dawn Ostroff

12:08 pm: Ostroff presents a trailer for 13: The Fear is Real, a new non-scripted series described as “The Blair Witch Project as a reality show” in which 13 contestants are stranded in a haunted bayou and then “killed” off one by one. “We’ll do anything to get attention here at the CW,” Ostroff jokes. The last man (or woman) standing will win $66,666. Get it?

12:13 pm: One Tree Hill’s four-year leap forward was a resounding success, Ostroff declares. “The show had a renaissance,” she says. “It was a great idea and it really paid off for us.”

12:14 pm: Reaper will be back at mid-season. “It’s a show we believe in,” says Ostroff. “That’s why we picked it up.”

12:20 pm: Ostroff artfully dodges a question about the network’s ailing health, saying only that she hasn’t been given a deadline to turn things around. Also, she notes that Good Morning America recently did a segment on Gossip Girl, a clear sign that things are looking up!

12:35 pm: Isn’t someone going to ask about the status of the long-gestating Spike TV movie? Anyone? Bueller?

12:38 pm: Guess not, ‘cause the session just ended!

Coming up Monday: NBC!

(For more on The CW’s press tour day, head over to the Hollywood Insider blog.)