TV scooper Michael Ausiello dishes on Shannen Doherty's return to ''90210,'' a ''Criminal Minds'' spin-off, and more

One of the biggest mysteries surrounding The CW’s hotly anticipated Beverly Hills, 90210 update for the fall is (aside from whether or not the years have turned Joe E. Tata into a shriveled peach pit): Who will inherit the bad-girl mantle from Shannen Doherty? Well, if the network has its way, how about…Shannen Doherty?

Reliable sources confirm that Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah, the producers behind el nuevo 90210, recently met with the tempestuous tabloid mainstay to gauge her interest in returning to the zip code from which she was banished in 1994. And by all accounts, she’s interested. ”But,” whispers an insider with close ties to the reboot, ”she wants to know what the story is going to be first.”

Creative issues may not be the biggest obstacle standing in the way of a Brenda Walsh homecoming. The anger-management poster gal has left a long list of enemies in her wake, among them once and possibly future costars Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth. Doherty and Garth, in particular, got along so badly, they were like a teen-TV version of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford: Their fistfight was chronicled in Spelling’s recent memoir. So while Doherty’s willingness to return suggests she’s ready to let bygones be bygones, is the feeling mutual? ”A lot of time has passed,” says Garth. ”I’m a big girl. I’d have no problem with her coming on the show.”

But if she hits the wrap party with Dylan, all bets are off!

Your Burning Questions

Q: Got any scoop on the new season of Grey’s Anatomy? —Alex
A: Seattle Grace is adding another hot M.D. to its rotation: an ex-Iraq-war doc who may or may not jump-start Cristina’s ailing heart. And here’s a hint about the actor currently circling the role: He comes with his own built-in McMoniker.

Q: I can’t wait until the fall — please tell me whose SUV exploded in Criminal Minds‘ season finale! —Jessica
A: I’ll ignore your question (too spoilery!) and give you a bigger scoop instead: Exec producer Ed Bernero confirms that ”substantive” discussions are taking place between CBS and producer ABC Studios to launch a Minds spin-off. ”We’re looking at all of the things the FBI does and how we can work that into the Criminal Minds world,” he says, adding that he’s reluctant to pluck one of the show’s current castmates to headline the offshoot because ”we’re pretty happy with the team we have. But all options are open.” Except for the one labeled ”Mandy Patinkin,” I’ll bet.

Q: With Mary Lynn Rajskub’s baby due soon, how does 24 plan to explain Chloe’s absence next season? —Charlie
A: I hear that at around midday, an emergency involving Chloe’s now 4-year-old causes Jack’s perpetually pouty secret weapon to clock out for a few hours. Her temporary replacement? Ex-husband?and presumed baby-daddy?Morris O’Brian (Carlo Rota), who’s returning for a handful of episodes.

The Ausiello Files are updated daily.

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