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How Can I Miss You If -- Oh, Thanks, You Did Go Away...

By RD Heldenfels Published: July 21, 2005

UPN today had a press conference for ''Love, Inc.,'' a comedy premiering this fall, and the early questions focused on someone who isn't even in the show anymore.

Shannen Doherty was supposed to be in the cast of the show about a dating service. But, after UPN picked up the show, it decided things would be much better without the former ''Charmed'' star in it.

UPN President Dawn Ostroff said the network decided to go in a different direction with Doherty's character, but the people doing the show didn't seem to have any direction other than straight ahead. The concept's the same. The character is basically the same. The lines are even going to be the same. The only difference will be the new actress, who hasn't been cast yet.

So why no love for Shannen? I'd have to guess that her bad reputation has made her less likable to those focus-group audiences networks screen their pilots for.

After all, if you believe the people from ''Love, Inc.,'' she was well-liked during her brief time on the show. Executive producer Warren Littlefield said ''we had a great working relationship with Shannen. ... The show (episode) that she was in got us picked up.''

Holly Robinson Peete, who costars on ''Love, Inc.,'' said she and Doherty became friends: ''We had a terrific relationship. ... We had so much fun.'' When Doherty was axed, Peete said, ''I was really bummed.''

But Peete has been through this on shows before, noting that Johnny Depp was a replacement for another actor on ''21 Jump St.'' ''Now we've got to move on,'' she said.

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