In a truly unexpected turn of events, The CW has decided to not make the premiere of its upcoming drama 90210 available to critics and members of the media prior to its scheduled premiere on September 2.
Is this any way to treat the most buzzed-about new series of the fall season? What about the press, which has embraced 90210 with an unbridled enthusiasm bordering on the absurd? Following their press conference last month at the Summer 2008 Television Critics Association gathering, the cast of young 90210 unknowns was surrounded by the biggest scrum of the entire tour!
Here is the statement the network sent to critics and reporters on Monday:
"The CW and our studio partner CBS Paramount Network Television have made the strategic marketing decision not to screen 90210 for any media in advance of its premiere. We're not hiding anything . . . simply keeping a lid on 90210 until 9.02, riding the curiosity and anticipation into premiere night, and letting all our constituents see it at the same time."
As the digitally empowered denizens of the same network's Gossip Girl might communicate, WTF? Actually, the young snobs on that show probably wouldn't be caught dead watching the spin-off of Beverly Hills 90210 because the original is so last-millennium. (Some good news: The CW is sending out the first three new episodes of Gossip Girl this week, so all must be well on that front.)
Even the most clueless moviegoer knows that if a studio decides to withhold a movie from the press prior to its release, then the powers that be have decided it's a dog. Surely 90210 can't be that bad!
Geez, The WB - one of the two networks that were mashed together to form The CW - couldn't wait to show off its new shows to the media. In 2004 it sent out the completed pilot of Greg Berlanti's Jack & Bobby in early May -- before Upfront week!
90210 is set to debut two weeks from today. It must be good to go by now. What are we to think?