CW: No 'Gossip' spinoff

CW President Dawn Ostroff feels no shame in her network being a little sexist. After all, the CW's focus on 18-to-34-year-old women paid off last season with the growth of "Gossip Girl," the resurgence of "One Tree Hill," and the success of the freshman "90210."

"There's nothing wrong with us specifically going after young women," Ostroff said Tuesday at the Television Critics Assn.'s press tour in Pasadena. "It's really helped us to define this network since we've only been on the air under three years."

But Ostroff also emphasized that her network has many male fans -- who will probably be as disappointed as the network's female viewers to learn that the "Gossip Girl" spinoff will not happen.

"I think we have a lot of things to offer men over 35," she said. "There are a lot of men who watch 'Gossip Girl, 'One Tree Hill,' 'Smallville' and 'Supernatural,' and even ['America's Next] Top Model.' And maybe they don't always admit it, but you'd be surprised at how many 35-year-old men come up to me and say, 'I love your network.' "

Continuing its glamorous, youthful bent, the network introduced three new fall series: "Melrose Place," "The Beautiful Life" and "The Vampire Diaries." The CW also held a news conference for "Life Unexpected," which is scheduled for mid-season.


Locklear not back on 'Melrose'

Amanda Woodward won't be back on the CW update of "Melrose Place" any time soon, but don't rule it out entirely. Producers have already signed Laura Leighton, back as red-headed troublemaker Sydney Andrews, and Thomas Calabro, who returns as diabolical doctor Michael Mancini, as series regulars. Josie Bissett and Daphne Zuniga will also be back as guest stars.

But all involved, it would seem, are still holding candles for Heather Locklear's strong-willed landlord, Amanda.

"The door is always open for Heather Locklear," executive producer Todd Slavkin said. "We're huge fans and have a great way for her to come into the show."


Barton is among the 'Beautiful'

Despite her recent medical woes, Mischa Barton is in no danger of being recast on the CW's upcoming model drama "The Beautiful Life."

"She's in New York today, working on the show," executive producer Ashton Kutcher said. "She was never unavailable for a day of work." (Production on the series began Tuesday, Barton's first scheduled day of work).

In the series, Barton plays an embattled supermodel fighting to remain hot while the star of a younger newcomer (Sara Paxton) is on the rise.

In fact, Barton has been indispensable to the production, continued Kutcher.

"She's done this before. In 'The O.C.' she was one of the leads in this big soap opera drama. Her navigation and guidance for the rest of the cast is essential for us as a unit."

The producers were also asked about another possible source of controversy for the show: too-skinny actresses playing too-skinny models on a network aimed at young women.

Since body image is part of the modeling industry the issue would be dealt with honestly, said executive producer Karey Burke.

"We are going to address it," Burke said. "It's a struggle for these girls. And we'll deal with it in a responsible way but as authentically as possible."

Kutcher revealed that the show's lead character, a newcomer to New York and the fashion world, is partly based on his own experiences going from his hometown in Iowa to the modeling biz.

"I didn't even know guys modeled when I was first approached," he said. "New York is just daunting, and you're surrounded by some of the most beautiful and eccentric people you've ever seen."


Meet Stefan, a new vampire

First, Edward Cullen took the world by storm. Then came Bill Compton and his little Sookie. Soon, the world will be introduced to Stefan Salvatore, a 150-year-old vampire who is stuck in puberty.

As if sleeping in a coffin all day were not challenging enough!

Stefan, played by Paul Wesley ("Fallen"), is one of the lead vampires in the CW's "The Vampire Diaries." His brother, Damon, played by Ian Somerhalder ("Lost"), is the other one, the one we are led to believe in the pilot is the more sinister one.

The vampire brothers both dig the same girl, Elena, played by Nina Dobrev ("DeGrassi: The Next Generation").

But this is not a high school show, says creator Kevin Williamson. It's the story of the small town of Mystic Falls, populated by pretty girls and pretty vampires.

The show is based on the series of books of the same title by L.J. Smith, but the series will use the first three books as a backdrop and then pursue its own stories, Williamson said.


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