LOS ANGELES--What's the expression--life is all about showing up? I showed up late at the NBC press tour party last night and missed out on a big deal--the surprise appearance of Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott. Their celebrity reality show, Tori & Dean: Inn Love, airs here on the Oxygen Network, an over-looked cable service recently acquired by NBC Universal, which has quietly been snatching up services like the U.S. Weather Channel (leading to headlines like "NBC Now Controls Weather.")
While the NBC party featured various cast members from Saturday Night Live, The Office and Heroes, Spelling and McDermott drew the largest scrum, according to colleagues who arrived on time at the crowded event.
Inquiring minds wanted to know: does she have a deal to join the new CW series 90210? The producers sure thought so when they announced on the weekend that Spelling and former Beverly Hills, 90210 co-stars Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty were on board the new series.
Trouble is, I happened upon Spelling and her hubby signing autographs at a Burbank autograph show one week earlier, where I asked Spelling a direct question: are the reports true that you are part of the new series? To which Spelling replied, "No. There is no deal in place. Nothing has been finalized."
I've written about my Hollywood autograph show Spelling siting both here and in last Saturday's Toronto Star. The Globe & Mail's Andrew Ryan also spotted Tori and Dean at the same show and has his take on the whole celebrity circus in this Saturday's Globe.
Anyway, word back from last night's NBC fest is that Spelling denied saying she was not under contract and has no memory of ever saying so to me. My fault for not being in the room last night to challenge her on that (I had snuck off campus with another critic to check out the new Simpsons' ride at Universal Studios, a deal offered to critics at press tour through NBC). We were late getting back to the Hilton and Spelling had already come and gone from the party.
Whatever. If I was in any way responsible in the past week for helping these kids squeeze a few extra bucks from the CW's pockets, I will have done my bit for billionaire heiresses everywhere.