Jessica Walter: Not dropped from ‘90210’


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Michael Ausiello of Entertainment Weekly wrote yesterday that Jessica Walter, the alcohol-damaged grandmother on the CW’s ‘90210,’ has been ‘dropped as a series regular’ and that her ‘contract option was not picked up for the second half of the season.’ Insiders told him so!

On Oct. 8, we met up with Jessica Walter, best known to the kids today as the acerbic matriarch on ‘Arrested Development,’ at her Upper West Side Manhattan apartment, shortly before she went out west to shoot an episode of ‘90210.’ (She would be shooting a karaoke scene! Oh, boy.)


By then, a couple of weeks had already passed since she and the producers hadn’t re-upped the contract for her as a series regular. She will be recurring, which is what she wants, she said.

‘I’m just recurring on ‘90210,’ not a regular,’ she said. ‘I come in, drop a glass and goodbye. Actually she’ -- drunk grandma Tabitha Wilson -- ‘hasn’t dropped a glass yet! And I recur on ‘Saving Grace’ too, as Holly Hunter’s mother. So it’s sort of ideal because I’m bicoastal and, of course, I’m available for other things because I’m not committed on the show. When you’re recurring, you’re not exclusive.’

The show is shooting Episode 10 now, and Walter has three more to shoot under her current contract. (Episode 11 begins shooting Tuesday.) And the episodes she may or may not be in for the rest of the season don’t start filming until March.

‘It’s just an agreement,’ Walter said of her relationship with the show’s producers. ‘It’s been very nice for me these past few.’

She noted that she is rarely a figure of gossip, trade or otherwise.

‘I’m so not fodder for the tabloids. I don’t know if I’ve even been mentioned in the tabloids,’ she said.

Well, you’re getting closer!

-- Choire Sicha