About Darren Star
The idea for "Beverly Hills, 90210" was actually spawned in the executive suites at Fox, but Star--hired because of his reputation in writing screenplays about teenage characters--conjured boy-girl twins, Brandon and Brenda, moved by the their parents from Minnesota to Beverly Hills, and forced to attend West Beverly High where they quickly become the social deacons of the "In" crowd. From its debut, "90210" followed its core characters from high school through college into the working world. Meanwhile, Star's second effort produced through Spelling debuted in 1992. A spin-off of "90210", "Melrose Place" followed the ongoing story of a host of twentysomething Los Angelenos trying to find love and career success and was reputedly inspired by Star's own experiences living in a motel-style West Hollywood apartment building while working at a public relations firm by day and writing scripts at night. Additionally, one of the leads was a former UCLA roommate, Daphne Zuniga, although the most publicized performer was Heather Locklear, who joined the cast in its second season. Star was enticed by CBS to leave the Spelling empire in 1995 to create, write and executive produce "Central Park West", another ongoing primetime sudser, based and shot in New York amidst the backdrop of a publishing empire. It premiered in the fall of 1995, but failed to spark the same enthusiasm from viewers and was pulled from the schedule a few months after its premiere for "revamping", subsequently airing in June 1996 under the title "CPW". The name change didn't do much to attract viewers, and "CPW" left the airwaves in 1996.
With his Fox franchises aging and succumbing to eroding viewership ("Melrose" ended in 1999 and "90210" in 2000), Star turned his attentions to a new series, the frank HBO comedy "Sex and the City" (1998- ). Based on the book of the same name, a collection of New York Observer columns written by Candace Bushnell, the NYC-lensed series followed the lives and loves of four single Manhattanites riding through their thirties in the fast lane: libertine publicist Samantha (Kim Cattrall), jaded corporate lawyer Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), idealistic art dealer Charlotte (former "Melrose Place" resident Kristin Davis) and the central character, lifestyle columnist Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker). The cable network offered writer and sometime director as well as series creator Star creative freedom that regular broadcast television could not, resulting in "Sex in the City" containing more explicit sex scenes and racy dialogue. Rather than use this freedom simply to titillate, Star drew characters who were refreshingly more realistic than his previous creations, and audiences responded well despite the fact that these affluent, sexually adventurous socialites live a life quite foreign to the average viewer. The series hit its stride in 1999, with an especially inspired second season that earned a handful of Emmy nominations and scored two Golden Globe Awards, including one for Star in the category of Best Television Series (Comedy or Musical).
Not satisfied to rest on his laurels, Star endeavored further into television, with two pilots developed for the 2000-2001 season, "The Street" (Fox), a Wall Street-set serial drama starring Adam Goldberg and Christian Campbell that met an early demise, and "Grosse Pointe" (The WB), a quirky single-camera comedy focusing on a twentysomething ensemble that barely held on for the year.
|Dennis Erdman. Together since c. 1996|
|Winston Churchill High School, Potomac , Maryland|
|University of Southern California, Los Angeles , California|
|University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles , California|
|First produced screenplay, the sci-fi comedy "Doin' Time on Planet Earth"|
|Created the FOX drama series, "Beverly Hills, 90210"; also penned several episodes and executive produced until 1995|
|Scripted the pilot for animated series based on the film "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure"|
|Wrote the Richard Grieco action-comedy, "If Looks Could Kill"|
|Created the "90210" spinoff series, "Melrose Place" (FOX); also produced and scripted episodes from 1992-1995|
|Created (also wrote and produced) the short-lived series, "Central Park West" (CBS)|
|Produced (also wrote and directed episodes) the hit HBO series, "Sex and the City"; show inspired by Candice Bushnell's New York Observer articles and book of the eame name|
|Created the NBC series "Miss Match" starring Alicia Silverstone as a lawyer/high-end matchmaker|
|Produced the FOX series, "Kitchen Confidential"; based on the non-fiction book by Anthony Bourdain|
|Executive produced the film version of his HBO series, "Sex and the City: The Movie"|
|Executive produced the short-lived ABC series, "Cashmere Mafia"; competed indirectly with NBC's "Lipstick Jungle," created by Star's former creative partner from "Sex and the City" Candace Bushnell|