9021-Oh No They Didn't: Jessica Walter Taken Off Contract

It looks like 90210‘s martini-swilling granny may be headed for another stint in rehab. Sources confirm to me exclusively that Jessica Walter has been dropped as a series regular.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that the MVP won’t be leaving the show. Not yet, anyway.

A 90210 insider says while it’s true that Walter’s contract option was not picked up for the second half of the season, the Arrested Development grande dame has agreed to appear on a recurring basis, her schedule permitting.

“Fans have not seen the last of Tabitha,” assures executive producer Gabe Sachs. “We love Jessica.”

According to my moles, the decision to take Walter off contract was made purely for financial reasons. As the show continues to evolve, it didn’t make sense to, as one 90210 insider puts it, “pay her all that money to utter two funny lines an episode.”

Instead, 90210 will continue to invest in headline-grabbing vets like Shannen Doherty, as well as characters that drive story, such as Jessica Lowndes’ Adrianna (who was just made a series regular).

Ironically, Walter’s status change comes as 90210 is about to morph into a show more worthy of her considerable talents. Upcoming episodes under its new exec producer, Gilmore Girls vet Rebecca Kirshner, have been a “vast improvement,” raves a setsider. “The writing is sharper and the characters much more interesting.”

And with all the dough they’ll save on faux vodka — not to mention what already has to be a minuscule craft-services budget — maybe now they’ll be able to afford Luke Perry!

Thoughts? I know you have ‘em. So share ‘em. Below. Now.

More 90210:
Jason Priestley returns…and he’s not alone!

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  • Mike

    Well, I can’t say I’m surprised. But as much as I love her I’d rather see her taken off contract than kept around and wasted with nothing to do. The one problem is that the Wilsons moved to BH to take care of her, which will make it problematic if she’s not even there!

  • Stacey

    Simple, rehab. I agree, or she gets a job out of town and the family stays to take care of the place. And really, Tabitha was such a little presence, I can see why it was a waste of the actress to appear unless the character had something to do.
    I am glad that word is that the show is getting better. I loved the show, but some of the dialogue could have been better and characters better defined. I still careless if Luke comes back. I believe him in his adamant No way to 90210 policy. They should have made Sammy’s Brandon’s. Because apparently the show just needs to convince Jason to appear on-screen because at least Jason has appreciation for the franchise that gave him a leg up in the business.

  • Anonymous

    I guess that means Adrianna didn’t die then…

  • Peach Pit

    Their ratings are mediocre and they can’t afford an all-star cast. The last two episodes have been better than the first few and the Rebecca Kirshner era is now something to look forward to. If there is money to be spent, it should be to keep Jennie Garth in every episode and bring back other cast members from the original.

  • Alex

    Aw! Shame! She was easily on of the highlights… But it’s true she was being wasted and if it means they can bring back some of the original gang then I guess it is for the best.
    Though I can’t help but wonder… is she maybe the one who’s dying?

  • JBF

    Good for her- now she’ll have the time for the “Arrested Development” movie!!! Can’t wait for that!

  • old salty

    Brings to mind this class AD moment:
    Michael: Get rid of the Seaward.
    Lucille: [stunned] I’ll leave when I’m good and ready

  • Conor

    oh no, I thought with Gilmore Girls writers coming on board that she would be the next Emily Gilmore in the making, and we know Jessica can do it, so maybe she won’t be in it often, but when she is, maybe she”ll have great one-liners and some stingers thrown at her daughter-in-law, I do hope they don’t let a potencialy great character go to waste!

  • Alex (correction)

    Sorry for the mistake below…
    I mixed up the Jessicas and the “overprileged band of teenagers” shows!!!

  • tim

    As long as it frees up time for the Arrested Development movie, I don’t mind!

  • Mikey M

    Jessica was the best part of the lifeless show. I removed it from my tivo list two weeks ago.
    Gossip girl is the show to watch, not this one.

  • Nikki

    Why can’t they fire Aunt Becky to save money and keep Jessica on with a real storyline?? It’s not like we don’t want to see more of her! But I’m glad to hear that the writing has improved and that Adrianna was bumped up to series regular. She’s great and I’m loving her storyline.

  • Allie

    That was the only reason I tuned in… oh well, she’s totally slumming it on that show anyways

  • ollie

    And there goes any interest in watching this sorry excuse of a show again.
    It’s their loss, Walter could do so much better.

  • Jadelynne

    What? She’s the best part of the show.

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