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Ziering Uninterested in Appearing on ‘90210′

hollywoodexclusive1It's that time of year when series that were launched with high hopes and hoopla in September are tagged for termination. With the meltdown of traditional primetime TV viewing habits, this year's lot of losers is a big and painful one.

Already, the glossy "Eastwick" with Rebecca Romijn, Lindsay Price and Jamie Ray Newman is beyond the help of even the most potent spell — or fan campaign — particularly after it became the first major network show to be beaten by Jay Leno's nightly NBC'er in the ratings last week. Leno, by the way, has dropped to well under half his 12 million opening numbers.

Christian Slater's "The Forgotten" mystery drama and the big-budget action-medical series "Trauma" with Derek Luke are in trouble ratings-wise, as are med dramas "Three Rivers" and "Mercy." But whatever the future of that latter show, we're bound to hear more from the gifted and gorgeous Taylor Schilling.

On the half-hour comedy side, Kelsey Grammer's "Hank" has failed to score with audiences or critics, while the widely panned "Brothers" is not looking good for Fox. The fact that Daryl Mitchell-Michael Strahan vehicle, along with Fox's animated "The Cleveland Show," are the only prominently African-American shows on the networks makes its probable demise all the more unfortunate.

Amy Poehler's "Parks and Recreation" did not get off to a good start in grabbing audience numbers this season — its second — but the show, from "The Office" producers Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, has been garnering huge raves as television's most improved half-hour. Anything upbeat these days has to be a plus.

YOU CAN CHECK OUT, BUT YOU CAN NEVER LEAVE: Ian Ziering tells us he's keeping busy with new projects, but fans are always asking if the former "90210" star is going to finally make an appearance on the CW's contemporary spin-off of the show. So far, Steve Sanders hasn't changed his mind. "Not right now. If they came to me with a good story line, possibly, but it would have to be a quid pro quo. I don't want to just go there to aggrandize their product," Ziering tells us. "It has to be fashioned creatively. Give me something really challenging to do and a great story line, and then we can talk, but to pull me in there to do something that is ridiculous doesn't really appeal to me."

Still, despite his decisions about the show, Ziering continues to get recognized for his "90210" days. "I get that every day. Sometimes a person's enthusiasm can be a little overwhelming, but generally, I'm flattered by it. I've been lucky. People really responded to ‘90210' and then ‘Dancing With the Stars,' and hopefully, they'll respond to my next movie, ‘The Christmas Hope,'" he says about his upcoming TV movie on the Lifetime Movie Network, premiering Dec. 12. "I got to work with fantastic actors on this project and anytime I get to work with people I respect, it really raises my game."

In the meantime, "I've got a project I've been shopping around, which I'd love to get developed into a TV or web series. The success of ‘90210' has opened a lot of doors so if I want to get in to pitch a series to a network, I can do that now," he says. "I've always believed life is too short to only do one thing and luckily, in this business, there are a lot of different outlets."

FLYING HIGH: Virginia Madsen, who has a small role in Hilary Swank's "Amelia" movie, opening tomorrow (10/23), admits that she used to dream of playing the legendary aviatrix herself. "You can imagine that Amelia Earhart is a role every actress wants to play," Madsen points out. "About a decade ago, I realized I was not going to be able to realize that part of my dream. So hats off to Hilary. She is really responsible for getting this movie made. And hats off to Fox Searchlight for making a film about a woman." The Oscar-nominated ("Sideways") actress plays Dorothy Binney, ex-wife of Earhart's husband, George Putnam (Richard Gere) — which was a fun character part, she says. She also says the size of her role didn't dissuade her one bit. To work with "Amelia" director Mira Nair, "I would have done it if I had just had one line."

ART IS ONE, KINDS A THOUSAND: It will be Isabella Rossellini throwing the switch that will launch the Babelgum Metropolis Channel's Times Square Art Video Spectacular Dec. 17 — the premiere screening of video art pieces that are in competition for some $30,000 in prizes, flashing over the Times Square jumbo monitors. The actress/model/artist is also serving as head judge for the contest. Other judges on the panel include Time Out New York art critic Howard Halle and noted curator Cedar Lewisohn of Tate Modern. To view some of the entries, visit www.babelgum.com/metropolisartprize. The public can also vote for their favorites beginning Nov. 2

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2009 MARILYN BECK AND STACY JENEL SMITH

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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