'Tree' topper will pen new 'Melrose'


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 said in late October that they are planning a contemporary take on the "Beverly Hills, 90210" spinoff.

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

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

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 series. (partialdiff)