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9021-Oh No They Didn't: Jessica Walter Taken Off Contract

Oct 15, 2008, 05:20 PM | by Michael Ausiello

Categories: 90210 Casting News!

Jessicawalter_dl It looks like 90210's martini-swilling granny may be headed for another stint in rehab. Sources confirm to me exclusively that Jessica Walter has been dropped as a series regular.

That's the bad news.

The good news is that the MVP won't be leaving the show. Not yet, anyway.

A 90210 insider says while it's true that Walter's contract option was not picked up for the second half of the season, the Arrested Development grande dame has agreed to appear on a recurring basis, her schedule permitting.

"Fans have not seen the last of Tabitha," assures executive producer Gabe Sachs. "We love Jessica."

According to my moles, the decision to take Walter off contract was made purely for financial reasons. As the show continues to evolve, it didn't make sense to, as one 90210 insider puts it, "pay her all that money to utter two funny lines an episode."

Instead, 90210 will continue to invest in headline-grabbing vets like Shannen Doherty, as well as characters that drive story, such as Jessica Lowndes' Adrianna (who was just made a series regular).

Ironically, Walter's status change comes as 90210 is about to morph into a show more worthy of her considerable talents. Upcoming episodes under its new exec producer, Gilmore Girls vet Rebecca Kirshner, have been a "vast improvement," raves a setsider. "The writing is sharper and the characters much more interesting."

And with all the dough they'll save on faux vodka -- not to mention what already has to be a minuscule craft-services budget -- maybe now they'll be able to afford Luke Perry!

Thoughts? I know you have 'em. So share 'em. Below. Now.

More 90210:
Jason Priestley returns...and he's not alone!

Iluvtof4rt Fri, Oct 17, 2008 at 03:27 PM EST

hay so what i don't get it whatever

AJ Thu, Oct 16, 2008 at 11:03 AM EST

First, I love Jessica Walter, but really what could the show do with her to keep her busy. Some of you say they can create a better storyline? What would that be that would appeal to the CW set? They can't give her a love story. Is she going to volunteer at West Beverly High? Maybe she can be a cafeteria lady (actually that's be hilarious, I bet). But seriously, it's probably for the best. Maybe she'll find a sitcom to be on. I bet she'd be great on that new Alyssa Milano comedy on ABC where her parents get divorced. That'd be a great role - not the background character she is on 90210. (Yes, I know that role is likely cast already, just giving an example)

BHM1304 Thu, Oct 16, 2008 at 10:58 AM EST

So they are taking the best thing about this heaping mess of a show out of it. Ridiculous.

Brittney Thu, Oct 16, 2008 at 10:19 AM EST

All I've got to say is WTF? Tabitha is the best character on the show...With this and Shannen Doherty's time almost being up, I'm doubting how much time this show has left.

Kim Thu, Oct 16, 2008 at 09:17 AM EST

1. Uh, how about instead of "paying her all that money to say two funny lines an episode," give her more lines??? Everyone knew she was the best actress on the show. Bizarre logic.

2. I am so glad Adrianna didn't die and will be a series regular. Since she's not in the opening credits, I always assumed she was temporary -- especially since they made her a million times more interesting than any of the main characters. Good actress, and a character with an abyss of "issues" to play. Much better than "boring pretty girl likes a boy and says clever things to her cool parents." I just hope they keep it NON-afterschool-special-y.

Jennifer Thu, Oct 16, 2008 at 09:11 AM EST

that is such BS, she's the 2nd best thing on the show, the best being the origional characters' story lines... BRING BACK MORE OF THE ORIGIONAL CHARACTERS!!!!!!!!! I mean they show us Jesse and Andrea's daughter in the first episode and then NOTHING.... WTF???

Craig Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 11:55 PM EST

Jessica Walters was the ONLY reason to watch this lame show. I stopped watching weeks ago so it really doesn't matter to me. Btw Gossip Girl rules.

anonymous Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 10:47 PM EST

I'm glad to hear that Jessica Lowndes is getting bumped to a series regular. I think the character of Adrianna is the best element of the show so far. The actress does an amazing job and I'm relieved she's finally becoming a regular. (And bring on some better writing!)

Dennis Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 10:29 PM EST

That sucks! I love Jessica Walter and you could of done so much more with that role. But no they invest the story lines right from the beginning in characters like Audrianna, who really is a reason to stop watching this show. How sad...

Lisa Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 08:21 PM EST

She wasn't even in some of the episodes already anyway, or barely in them, so I don't think it's much of a change. I mean, I like her, but if anyone's watching the show JUST to see her, they must be desperate to get a look at her. It's just two or three minutes of airtime a week, most of the time. Any big fan of this actress would be better off hunting up something where she's a bigger part of things. A teen soap just isn't going to be it.

Ashley Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 08:16 PM EST

If they had to drop someone it should have been Naomi. Overall I like the show but Naomi annoys me to no end.

Jadelynne Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 07:49 PM EST

What? She's the best part of the show.

ollie Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 07:37 PM EST

And there goes any interest in watching this sorry excuse of a show again.

It's their loss, Walter could do so much better.

Allie Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 07:05 PM EST

That was the only reason I tuned in... oh well, she's totally slumming it on that show anyways

Nikki Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 06:52 PM EST

Why can't they fire Aunt Becky to save money and keep Jessica on with a real storyline?? It's not like we don't want to see more of her! But I'm glad to hear that the writing has improved and that Adrianna was bumped up to series regular. She's great and I'm loving her storyline.

Mikey M Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 06:27 PM EST

Jessica was the best part of the lifeless show. I removed it from my tivo list two weeks ago.
Gossip girl is the show to watch, not this one.

tim Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 06:26 PM EST

As long as it frees up time for the Arrested Development movie, I don't mind!

Alex (correction) Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 06:15 PM EST

Sorry for the mistake below...

I mixed up the Jessicas and the "overprileged band of teenagers" shows!!!

Conor Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 06:06 PM EST

oh no, I thought with Gilmore Girls writers coming on board that she would be the next Emily Gilmore in the making, and we know Jessica can do it, so maybe she won't be in it often, but when she is, maybe she''ll have great one-liners and some stingers thrown at her daughter-in-law, I do hope they don't let a potencialy great character go to waste!

old salty Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 06:01 PM EST

Brings to mind this class AD moment:

Michael: Get rid of the Seaward.
Lucille: [stunned] I'll leave when I'm good and ready

JBF Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 05:59 PM EST

Good for her- now she'll have the time for the "Arrested Development" movie!!! Can't wait for that!

Alex Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 05:38 PM EST

Aw! Shame! She was easily on of the highlights... But it's true she was being wasted and if it means they can bring back some of the original gang then I guess it is for the best.

Though I can't help but wonder... is she maybe the one who's dying?

Peach Pit Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 05:13 PM EST

Their ratings are mediocre and they can't afford an all-star cast. The last two episodes have been better than the first few and the Rebecca Kirshner era is now something to look forward to. If there is money to be spent, it should be to keep Jennie Garth in every episode and bring back other cast members from the original.

Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 05:09 PM EST

I guess that means Adrianna didn't die then...

Stacey Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 04:51 PM EST

Simple, rehab. I agree, or she gets a job out of town and the family stays to take care of the place. And really, Tabitha was such a little presence, I can see why it was a waste of the actress to appear unless the character had something to do.

I am glad that word is that the show is getting better. I loved the show, but some of the dialogue could have been better and characters better defined. I still careless if Luke comes back. I believe him in his adamant No way to 90210 policy. They should have made Sammy's Brandon's. Because apparently the show just needs to convince Jason to appear on-screen because at least Jason has appreciation for the franchise that gave him a leg up in the business.

Mike Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 04:32 PM EST

Well, I can't say I'm surprised. But as much as I love her I'd rather see her taken off contract than kept around and wasted with nothing to do. The one problem is that the Wilsons moved to BH to take care of her, which will make it problematic if she's not even there!

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