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Clueless: Cher and Cher Alike

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Okay, let’s recap: Clueless was so totally the Betty of the summer box office season, blowing away all the thumb-challenged Barneys. It’s so majorly golden that it’s going tubal. As if, you say? Seriously!

For those not well versed in Clueless-speak, a translation: The $56 million summer hit is soon to be a TV series. Producer Scott Rudin and writer-director Amy Heckerling are in final negotiations with the networks for a half-hour sitcom. The series may debut as early as fall ’96.

Though Alicia Silverstone won’t be reprising her role as the charmingly clued-in Cher (her performance got her a two-picture deal with Columbia instead), Heckerling says the rest of the movie’s cast — Stacey Dash (Dionne), Brittany Murphy (Tai), Dan Hedaya (Dad), and Wallace Shawn (Mr. Hall) — is on board. Besides searching for a new Cher, Heckerling says she’s ”currently angsting over the pilot,” which will have ”Cher busy doing her thing—matching up people, solving problems, making people over.”

And that’s not all. Clueless, which was inspired by Jane Austen‘s Emma, has hit the literary circuit, too. This month Pocket Books releases the first of three new Clueless novelettes that follow the Beverly Hills High gang through wardrobe changes, boy troubles, and cellphone conversations.

The only bummer? There won’t be Clueless the Movie Part Deux. ”It’s hard to muster the creative energy [for a sequel] and make the same kind of magic,” says Rudin. Heckerling also nixes the idea. ”I’ve done two sequels and they’ve both been unsatisfying,” she says. ”It’s not like Cher is Batman or anything.” Whatever. —JS