Jennie Garth on her new show and a ''90210'' reunion
If it’s hard to believe that it’s been 12 years since ”Beverly Hills, 90210” debuted, here’s some proof: The producers of Jennie Garth’s new WB sitcom hired the erstwhile Kelly Taylor in hopes of reaching ”older people.” ”What I Like About You” (Fridays, 8 p.m.), which debuted to promising ratings last week, stars 30-year-old Garth as a New York publicist who reluctantly takes custody of her accident-prone younger sister — played by another blonde, 16-year-old Amanda Bynes.
Thanks to Bynes’ Nickelodeon shows and movie success (”Big Fat Liar”), the perky junior comedienne is as familiar to 2002-model teens and tweens as Kelly, Brandon, and the gang were to Gen-X (now known as those ”older people”). But Garth doesn’t mind playing straight woman to a teen sensation — she’s got bigger concerns, like trying to keep her character from looking like she’s seven months pregnant (Garth’s second baby is due later this year).
Garth tells EW.com about her first ongoing series since ”90210,” working with a 16-year-old, and why she’s not ready for a reunion with her old pals.
How did you get involved in ”What I Like About You”?
I was not looking forward to doing a drama again. I was looking to do a comedy, but no one thought I had it in me. You sort of get stereotyped — people had seen me do a lot of drama. There were other [sitcoms] where it was down to me and one other person, and the other person got it because of people’s lack of confidence in my comedic ability based on one cold read in a room. They didn’t give me the chance, but luckily those shows didn’t get picked up.
At what point did you get hooked up with Amanda?
Amanda was attached to the show before me. It was a little bit of a different show at that point. But the WB wanted to appeal to another audience, and not just have it be a teenage show. They wanted to bring someone in to bring an established audience of older people, and I kind of fit that bill. And we met and they liked me, they really liked me!
How does it feel to be working with someone who was three years old when ”90210” debuted?
At least I’m the sister — thank God I’m not her mother. We get along great. There’s no weird, ”she’s 16 and I’m 30” vibe. It’s just easy.