Thesp gets development deal; Priestley plans exit
Luke Perry is moving back to his old primetime ZIP Code. The “Beverly Hills, 90210” star is returning next season to the Aaron Spelling-produced Fox drama and has inked a development deal with 20th Century Fox Television.
Perry has signed on for a minimum of 12 episodes, with the possibility of doing an entire season. His return is well timed, as series regular Jason Priestley will depart this fall sometime after the fourth to sixth seg.
Perry’s package is a joint deal between 20th Century Fox Television and the Fox Broadcasting Co. Under the agreement, Perry will develop and star in a series, for which Fox is committed to doing 13 episodes. Written into the deal is the potential to do other Fox projects, including a telefilm and a feature.
“Luke is a dear friend, and I’m thrilled to have him back,” said Spelling, executive producer on “90210.”
Fox Entertainment Group prexy Peter Roth had wanted Perry to return to the show, which this season will face tough competition from the WB’s “Dawson’s Creek.”
“I am delighted to welcome back Luke Perry, one of the original cast members of ‘Beverly Hills, 90210,’ ” Roth said. “I am certain fans of the popular series will share in our excitement.”
Perry left “90210” in 1995 to pursue a movie career. He just finished filming “The Florentine,” exec produced by Francis Coppola, and is currently shooting “Storm,” co-starring with Martin Sheen. Perry’s feature credits include “8 Seconds,” “Normal Life” with Ashley Judd and Luc Besson’s “The Fifth Element.”
The thesp has been under a development deal with ABC. The result of that agreement was the pilot “The Game,” which ABC didn’t pick up for its fall schedule.
Perry’s deal was brokered by CAA and his manager Steve Himber.
(Jenny Hontz contributed to this report.)