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March 18, 2008 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | March 18, 2008 |

Last week I was sitting at work, minding my own business and drafting a reply brief (yes ladies, being a lawyer is as glamorous as they show on TV), when I got an e-mail from our illustrious Dustin. The subject said simply: “What the ….” Curious, I immediately opened it. There was but one line of message text: “Rob Thomas?” And then there was a Hollywood Reporter link. Well “what the” indeed. If you haven’t heard this story yet, hold on to your hat — it seems that Rob Thomas, he of “Cupid” and the dearly beloved “Veronica Mars,” has started talking with the CW about doing a modern-day spinoff of “Beverly Hills 90210.” Not much word on what all this would entail yet, whether we’d see certain characters return and how this would fit into the world of the wonderfully cheesy piece of ’90s nostalgia, but folks are expecting the CW to green light a pilot in the next few weeks. Creator Darren Star is not supposed to be involved, which is probably a good thing. As for “90210 2008” or whatever they decide to call it, I really don’t know how to feel. I have an inexplicable fondness for the original, as do many of my generation, I suspect (it was also my main Hangover Theater viewing of choice in the college and law school years). But not the kind of love that calls out for new episodes. And yet … Rob Thomas. The dude gave us “Veronica.” How can I not be excited about something he’s involved with? And between “Veronica Mars,” “The OC” and “Gossip Girl,” I guess the well for potentially interesting/entertaining high school shows isn’t dry yet. So … I dunno. It’s been almost a week since I heard this story, and I still can’t put it together. Intriguing, though. Definitely intriguing.

And speaking of Rob Thomas — good week for that guy, as ABC also gave him the go-ahead to shoot a pilot for his proposed “Cupid” remake. Many assume, likely correctly, that this came on the heels of the CW story, as the Alphabet got nervous about losing Mr. Thomas to those spoiled high school kids. Not much word on this yet, either, although we do know the show will now be set in LA rather than Chicago, which is a shame. And no word on who will be cast in the roles originally played so wonderfully by Jeremy Piven and Paula Marshall but here, especially, I’m willing to take things on faith, given how solidly cute and amusing the original was.

But for the opposite of cute and amusing, we turn to freaking MTV, which is giving Paris Hilton another god damned reality show. “Paris Hilton’s My New BFF.” The title likely tells us everything we need to know about the show and, honestly, I couldn’t read past the second line of the press release: “Wannabe besties can upload video entry on” What the hell will it take to keep this tramp permanently off my TV?

…I was going to make some reference to J.D. from Heathers moving to Hollywood to kill Paris in a wonderfully faked accident perhaps involving cornnuts, using this as an ever-clever transition to my next story. But instead, I’m just calling myself out on the stupid idea and moving on. So yeah, Christian Slater is in the TV news, as NBC is considering ordering up an untitled spy drama that he would star in. This is part of the new NBC approach, so there won’t be a pilot — rather, NBC is considering the pickup based simply on the script and a pitch. The show would be about a suburban father who’s also a spy, and it comes from writer Jason Smilovic (who was responsible for the poor “Bionic Woman,” but also the decent “Kidnapped” and the solid “Karen Sisco”). Folks describe the series as a cross between The Bourne Identity and Jekyll & Hyde, which doesn’t really mean much of anything. But Smilovic is two-for-three in my book, and when Slater is good, he’s still pretty entertaining, so if this sucker gets picked up, I’ll definitely give it a shot.

Fox, meanwhile, is still sticking with pilots, having just ordered up a pilot (plus five additional scripts) for “Boldly Going Nowhere.” The good news here is that this pilot is coming from Charlie Day, Rob McElhenney and Glenn Howerton, the boys behind the recently-renewed “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” They won’t be starring in the show, which is about the boring day-to-day life of a spaceship crew, because of their primary focus on “Sunny” — in fact, the pilot won’t even be shot until October, when they wrap up post-production on Season Four for “Sunny.” So I guess Fox is looking at this as a mid-season replacement, and if it weren’t for the fact that I have zero faith in Fox, I’d be really excited about this. But, you know, it’s Fox.

And lastly, a friendly reminder. Tonight is the premiere of “Miss Guided” on ABC, and it’s getting pretty good reviews, so it might be worth checking out. Plus, it’s Judy “Say Goodbye to These” Greer, and that’s good enough for me. And, over on FX, “The Riches” returns to start its shortened Season Two run. Spiffy.

Seth Freilich is Pajiba’s television editor. He’s still grossed out by the fact that, at the Paley Festival, “Pushing Daisies” creator Bryan Fuller said that Ned is a vegetarian because … ewwww … as he digests meat, it might come back alive.

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Seth is a Senior Editor and sometime critic. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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