Kirshner, CBS Par ink deal

New '90210' producer in two-year pact

Rebecca Kirshner, who just joined the CW's freshman hit "90210" as an executive producer, has inked a seven-figure overall deal with the show's producer, CBS Par Network TV.

In the first of her two-year pact, she will focus on "90210," where she runs the writers room, working alongside executive producers/showrunners Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah. In the second year, she will segue into development while helping on "90210" as a consultant if it returns for a second season.

Following her stint as a co-executive producer on "Gilmore Girls," Kirshner shifted her attention to development in the past year. She was in the thick of prepping pitches when she got a call from CBS Par head of drama Julie McNamara; at first thought she was being approached to join a sci-fi show set in the year 90210.

"I was so focused on development I had ruled out staffing on a show," Kirshner said. But the chance to develop for CBS Par, whose slate includes character-driven shows like "Swingtown" that she is attracted to, and to be part of the new "90210" was just too tempting.

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Kirshner was the same age as the class from the original "Beverly Hills, 90210." She cut her bangs the same way Brenda (Shannen Doherty) did and even went to the prom in the same black dress with a big white bow that Brenda and Kelly (Jennie Garth) wore to their prom on the show.

"It was definitely a part of the cultural iconography of my age, so it's exciting to think I'll be part of creating something that might have cultural resonance for another generation," she said.

Working on "90210" and writing for Garth and Doherty already brings back high school memories for Kirshner.

"If I keep this up, pretty soon I'll be dancing to the Violent Femmes, wearing my old Doc Martens, drinking 'Scorpion Bowls' at the local Chinese restaurant and popping No-Doz to stay up all night studying for the SATs," she said.

After an very compressed production schedule for "90210's" first batch of episodes, the goal is to "let it breathe a bit," Kirshner said. "I'd like to make the voices and characters very specific and tell some jokes, too."

Characters and humor have always been Kirshner's specialty.

A Harvard graduate and Lampoon alumna, she got her start on "Freaks and Geeks" and went on to work on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Gilmore."

It was on "Freaks" where Kirshner met Sachs and Judah, who showed the novice the ropes.

When CBS Par brass brought up her name as a possible addition to "90210," Sachs said the two loved the idea.

"She has always had a great, funny, quirky voice, and she's good with story," Judah said.

With her acting training from Harvard and her Hollywood looks, Kirshner jokes that she might do a cameo on "90210" as a substitute teacher at West Beverly Hills High alongside former idols Garth and Doherty.

But her ultimate dream -- after she develops her own show -- is to write a novel.

Kirshner, who also is writing an indie feature, a character-driven thriller in the school of "Witness" or "Marathon Man" to be directed by her actor fiancee Harry Sinclair, is repped by UTA and attorney Ken Richman.
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