LOS ANGELES — The drama has already begun with "90210," which is giving TV critics the brushoff.
Pre-broadcast copies of the new CW series won't be distributed to TV reviewers and reporters, the network said Monday.
Movie critics tend to get suspicious when a new release skips review screenings, but CW said the move merely represents a "strategic marketing decision" by it and studio partner CBS Paramount Network Television.
"We're not hiding anything" by declining to make the Sept. 2 debut episode of the "Beverly Hills 90210" spinoff available beforehand, according to a network statement.
Instead, CW said, it's "simply keeping a lid on `90210' ... riding the curiosity and anticipation into premiere night, and letting all our constituents see it at the same time."
Distribution of most new fall show pilots has lagged because of the 100-day Hollywood writers' strike that ended in February and disrupted TV's usual production schedule for the 2008-09 season as well as the previous one.
But it's unusual for TV networks to withhold pilots for other reasons.
CW's drama about two high schoolers from the Midwest who move to California and enroll in West Beverly Hills High School echoes the hit 1990s Fox drama whose cast included Shannen Doherty and Jennie Garth.
Doherty and Garth are among original cast members set to appear on the new series.
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