New 'Melrose Place' lands writer

7:00 PM PST 12/14/2008 by Nellie Andreeva, AP

'One Tree Hill' creator Mark Schwahn to pen project

Mark Schwahn is in negotiations to pen the script for the CW's new "Melrose Place" incarnation.

The "One Tree Hill" creator emerged as a top candidate to write the project shortly after the network and CBS Paramount TV announced in late October that they are planning a contemporary take on "Beverly Hills, 90210's" spinoff.

Because of Schwahn's commitment to "Hill," a deal for "Melrose" is taking longer to make.

Schwahn signed a two-year overall deal with CBS Par in early October, but it does not start until June. Until then, he is under a pact at Warner Bros. TV, where he runs "Hill." His agreement with WBTV also calls for him to continue as executive producer and showrunner on "Hill" if the series is picked up for a seventh season next fall.

The move to tap Schwahn to conceive a contemporary "Melrose" resembles the CW and CBS Par's decision to have "Veronica Mars" creator Rob Thomas pen the original script for "90210." As with that project, which Thomas then handed over to Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah, Endeavor-repped Schwahn is not expected to stay with the potential "Melrose" series.
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