Still smarting from NBC's cancellation last fall of his Dynasty update, Titans, mega-producer Aaron Spelling reveals that he's turning his back on the suds genre. "Soaps are something you're going to find only in my bathroom," he deadpans.
Instead, Spelling is turning his attention to another seemingly done-to-death fad: horror. But he points out that All Souls his new UPN supernatural drama set at a haunted hospital is not your standard cookie-cutter frightfest. "It's sort of the dark side of Charmed," he says, referring to his hit WB spooker. "[It] will tap into the fascination viewers seem to have with horror and the occult.
"Instead of calling it ER, we're calling it 'ES' for 'Everything Scary,'" Spelling adds of All Souls, which debuts April 17 at 9 pm/ET. "It's being shot in an old gothic hospital in Montreal, which definitely adds to the atmosphere."
Still, Spelling says that the show is nothing compared to another spine-tingler in the Hollywood pipeline: The imminent writer and actor strikes. "You're going to see almost nothing but reality shows," sighs the TV titan. "I think you'll be stunned at how many will go on the air. I'd hate for that to happen. My big problem with reality shows is that they don't use actors and writers, and those are the people I work with... I don't know if I'd ever want to do one."
Spelling reluctantly admits that he thinks a Hollywood work stoppage is all but certain. (Writers have until May 2 to negotiate a new deal; the actors' deadline is July 1.) "I hope the two sides can get together, but time's running out," he says. "It's the last thing our industry needs right now. I pray it doesn't happen."