Fox parody irks Fox producer


HOLLYWOOD -- TV producer Aaron Spelling, upset at the way a new Fox TV show parodied his hit Fox series "Beverly Hills, 90210," is threatening to sue the producers unless they make a public apology and promise never to do it again.

In an unusual twist of events that puts the Fox network in the embarrassing position of having offended its top program supplier, Mr. Spelling says that a Sept. 26 episode of the sketch-comedy program "The Edge" contained a "tasteless take-off" of "90210" that depicted "acts of incest" among the characters.

Mr. Spelling produces "90210" and two other Fox series, "MelrosePlace" and "The Heights." "90210" also stars his daughter, Tori Spelling.

The threats came in a letter sent by an attorney for Mr. Spelling to John Feltheimer, president of TriStar Television, the company that produces "The Edge." Fox has ordered 13 episodes of the series.

Specifically, Mr. Spelling charges in the letter that the "Edge" spoof constituted trademark infringement and was meant to "cause confusion and deception among the viewing public concerning the source and sponsorship of your take-off."

Fox declined comment. A spokesman for TriStar Television said Mr. Spelling's claim was "totally without merit" and producers had no intention of stopping the parody.

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