Beverly Hills, 90210

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Beverly Hills, 90210
90210Logo.jpg
GenreTeen drama
Soap opera
Created byDarren Star
Aaron Spelling
E. Duke Vincent
StarringJason Priestley
Shannen Doherty
Jennie Garth
Ian Ziering
Gabrielle Carteris
Luke Perry
Brian Austin Green
Tori Spelling
Douglas Emerson
Carol Potter
James Eckhouse
Mark Damon Espinoza
Tiffani Amber Thiessen
Joe E. Tata
Jamie Walters
Kathleen Robertson
Hilary Swank
Vincent Young
Vanessa Marcil
Lindsay Price
Daniel Cosgrove
Theme music composerJohn E. Davis
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons10
No. of episodes293 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Aaron Spelling
E. Duke Vincent
Charles Rosin
Darren Star
Steve Wasserman
Jessica Klein
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time45–48 minutes
Production company(s)90210 Productions
Propaganda Films
Spelling Television
Torand Productions
DistributorWorldvision Enterprises (1993–1999)
Paramount Domestic Television (1999–2006)
CBS Paramount Domestic Television (2006–2007)
CBS Television Distribution (2007–present)
Broadcast
Original channelFox
Audio formatMonaural (1990–1991)
Stereo (1991–)
Dolby Surround (1992–)
Original runOctober 4, 1990 (1990-10-04) – May 17, 2000 (2000-05-17)
Chronology
Followed byMelrose Place
Models Inc.
90210
Melrose Place (2009)
 
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Beverly Hills, 90210
90210Logo.jpg
GenreTeen drama
Soap opera
Created byDarren Star
Aaron Spelling
E. Duke Vincent
StarringJason Priestley
Shannen Doherty
Jennie Garth
Ian Ziering
Gabrielle Carteris
Luke Perry
Brian Austin Green
Tori Spelling
Douglas Emerson
Carol Potter
James Eckhouse
Mark Damon Espinoza
Tiffani Amber Thiessen
Joe E. Tata
Jamie Walters
Kathleen Robertson
Hilary Swank
Vincent Young
Vanessa Marcil
Lindsay Price
Daniel Cosgrove
Theme music composerJohn E. Davis
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons10
No. of episodes293 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Aaron Spelling
E. Duke Vincent
Charles Rosin
Darren Star
Steve Wasserman
Jessica Klein
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time45–48 minutes
Production company(s)90210 Productions
Propaganda Films
Spelling Television
Torand Productions
DistributorWorldvision Enterprises (1993–1999)
Paramount Domestic Television (1999–2006)
CBS Paramount Domestic Television (2006–2007)
CBS Television Distribution (2007–present)
Broadcast
Original channelFox
Audio formatMonaural (1990–1991)
Stereo (1991–)
Dolby Surround (1992–)
Original runOctober 4, 1990 (1990-10-04) – May 17, 2000 (2000-05-17)
Chronology
Followed byMelrose Place
Models Inc.
90210
Melrose Place (2009)

Beverly Hills, 90210 is an American drama series that originally aired from October 4, 1990 to May 17, 2000 on Fox and was produced by Spelling Television in the United States, and subsequently on numerous networks around the world. It is the first series in the Beverly Hills, 90210 franchise. The show followed the lives of a group of teenagers living in the upscale, star-studded community of Beverly Hills, California and attending the fictitious West Beverly Hills High School and, subsequently, the fictitious California University after graduation. The show was created by Darren Star and executive producers Charles Rosin (originally) followed in later seasons by Aaron Spelling, E. Duke Vincent, Paul Waigner, Steve Wasserman, and Jessica Klein. The "90210" in the title refers to one of the city's five ZIP codes.[1]

The original premise of the show was based on the adjustment and culture shock that twins Brandon (played by Jason Priestley) and Brenda Walsh (played by Shannen Doherty) experienced when they and their parents, Jim (played by James Eckhouse) and Cindy (played by Carol Potter) moved from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Beverly Hills.[2][3] In addition to chronicling the friendships and romantic relationships of the characters, the show also addressed numerous topical issues such as date rape, gay rights, animal rights, alcoholism, domestic violence, anti-Semitism, drug abuse, teenage suicide, teenage pregnancy, AIDS, bulimia and abortion.[4][5] Beverly Hills, 90210 was named one of the Best School Shows of All Time by AOL TV.[6]

The series gained popularity during the summer of 1991, when Fox aired a special "summer season" of the show while most other series were in reruns.[7] The series became one of Fox's top shows when it began its next season that fall. Viewership increased dramatically and the cast members, particularly Jason Priestley and Luke Perry, became teen idols, while the series would make actresses Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling household names in the US. The show also had many cast changes, though Garth, Spelling, Ian Ziering and Brian Austin Green were regulars during its entire run.

Series overview[edit]

The series began with the introduction of the Walsh family—Jim, Cindy, Brandon, and Brenda—who had recently moved from Minnesota to Beverly Hills, California as a result of Jim's job promotion. In the first episode, Brandon and Brenda began attending West Beverly Hills High School, where they were eventually introduced to several friends who composed the remainder of the cast: Kelly Taylor, Steve Sanders, Andrea Zuckerman, Dylan McKay, David Silver, Scott Scanlon, and Donna Martin. The show followed the dramatic lives of its characters through high school, college, and ultimately the adult world, while introducing several additional characters as its seasons progressed.[8][9]

Cast[edit]

Main cast
ActorCharacterSeasonsYear
Jason PriestleyBrandon Walsh1–91990–1998
Shannen DohertyBrenda Walsh1–41990–1994
Jennie GarthKelly Taylor1–101990–2000
Ian ZieringSteve Sanders1–101990–2000
Gabrielle CarterisAndrea Zuckerman1–51990–1995
Luke PerryDylan McKay1–6; 9–101990–1995; 1998–2000
Brian Austin GreenDavid Silver1–101990–2000
Douglas EmersonScott Scanlon1–21990–1991
Tori SpellingDonna Martin1–101990–2000
Carol PotterCindy Walsh1–51990–1995
James EckhouseJim Walsh1–51990–1995
Joe E. TataNat Bussichio1–101990–2000
Mark Damon EspinozaJesse Vasquez4–51994–1995
Kathleen RobertsonClare Arnold4–71994–1997
Tiffani-Amber ThiessenValerie Malone5–91994–1998
Jamie WaltersRay Pruit5–61994–1996
Hilary SwankCarly Reynolds81997–1998
Vincent YoungNoah Hunter8–101997–2000
Lindsay PriceJanet Sosna8–101997–2000
Daniel CosgroveMatt Durning9–101998–2000
Vanessa MarcilGina Kincaid9–101998–2000

Departures[edit]

The show was known for frequent casting changes. This was especially true during the show's later years:

Shannen Doherty[edit]

Following reported on-set friction[citation needed], Shannen Doherty left the show at the end of the fourth season. Doherty's character, Brenda Walsh, was written off the show as moving to London to attend school at the Royal Academy for Dramatic Arts. While the character's absence was originally described as only being for a year, she never actually returned, despite being mentioned from time to time during the show's remaining seasons. She was replaced with former Saved by the Bell star Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, who played the bad-girl character Valerie Malone. Shannen Doherty has appeared as Brenda Walsh in the 2008 spin-off series, 90210 along with former costars Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling, Ann Gillespie, and Joe E. Tata.

Gabrielle Carteris[edit]

Gabrielle Carteris left the show following the fifth season.

Her character, Andrea Zuckerman, changed radically from high school to college. In high school, Andrea was the brainy editor of the West Beverly Blaze, had a crush on Brandon, and secretly lived out of district. During the fourth season (freshman year of college), Andrea becomes pregnant, and gets married to someone she barely knows (Jesse Vasquez) before the year is out. Her plot lines chronicled the struggles of trying to juggle college, marriage, and a baby (including affairs by both Andrea and Jesse). While the pregnancy plot line was written at Carteris' request, so as to incorporate her real life pregnancy, this was a major shift for the character, and also caused her to become somewhat isolated from the other characters on the show. Andrea Zuckerman eventually left the show during the end of the fifth season because she finally decided to go to Yale.

After her original five-year contract ended, Carteris voluntarily left 90210 for her own self-titled talk show, which lasted only one season. Carteris returned to 90210 for guest appearances during the sixth, eighth, and tenth seasons.

James Eckhouse and Carol Potter[edit]

Both actors left the show following the fifth season at the end of their original five-year contracts. During the high school years of the show, Jim and Cindy Walsh played secondary roles, offering advice to Brenda and Brandon, along with their friends, but were rarely given plot lines of their own (one exception to this would be the episode "The Seventeen-Year Itch," during season one). They generally would spend most of their time reacting to various things that Brenda, Brandon and later Valerie did. As the show entered the college years, Jim and Cindy were moved even farther into the background as the show took on a much more soap operatic tone and the characters grew up, reducing their need for parental oversight. Following the fifth season, both characters left Beverly Hills for Hong Kong, making occasional guest appearances in the sixth, seventh and eighth seasons. Even though all the Walshes eventually left the show, the Walsh home continued to play a central role in the series. The show explained this by having Brandon tell Steve his parents had given the green light for Steve to keep living in the house.

Luke Perry[edit]

Luke Perry left Beverly Hills, 90210 towards the beginning of the sixth season.

Perry's character Dylan McKay plans to marry Antonia Marchette (Rebecca Gayheart), the daughter of the mob boss (Stanley Kamel) who ordered Dylan's father's death during the third season. Dylan had, at first, attempted to use Antonia to get to her father, but falls in love with her instead. Because Antonia's father is not comfortable with the idea of his daughter marrying Dylan, he orders Dylan's death. He hires a hitman to kill Dylan, but inadvertently kills Antonia who is driving Dylan's car at the time of the planned hit.

Dylan is heartbroken and decides to leave town, after his father-in-law reluctantly agrees to a truce in the wake of his daughter's death. During the seasons where Perry is absent, it is explained that his character Dylan has reconciled with Brenda and is living with her in London.

Perry returned permanently during the ninth season of the show, but was credited as a "Special Guest Star"—much like Heather Locklear was on Melrose Place. He admits on the beach to Kelly that he returned because he missed his friends, but most of all because he missed her.

Kathleen Robertson[edit]

Kathleen Robertson left the show at the end of the seventh season. In the show, after graduating from C.U., Clare is forced to choose between moving to Paris with her father (her only living relative) or staying with Steve. Initially choosing Steve, she changes her mind and moves to Paris. Clare is mentioned several times up to and including the series finale, but is never seen again. Robertson chose not to renew her contract as she had been working in television since 1990 and wished to pursue her interest in independent films. She would later star with former 90210 cast members Tori Spelling in Scary Movie 2 and Shannen Doherty in Nowhere.

Jason Priestley[edit]

Jason Priestley left the show at the beginning of the ninth season. However, he remained credited as an executive producer for 90210 until the end of the series, and directed occasional episodes. In the show, Brandon is still recovering from his aborted wedding with Kelly when he is offered a job in Washington which he accepts. Brandon was the final Walsh family member to leave Beverly Hills, departing after Brenda and his parents, and his only other appearance on the series following his departure is by video to Donna and David at the time of their wedding. Priestley was the first cast member to direct episodes of the show.

Tiffani Thiessen[edit]

Tiffani Thiessen (credited as Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, late of Saved By the Bell) replaced Shannen Doherty after her departure following the fourth season. Thiessen portrayed Valerie Malone, an old Walsh-family friend from Buffalo, New York who moves into Brenda's old room. While Valerie is meant as a replacement for Brenda, the characters are very different, and Valerie has a rocky relationship with most of the gang during her time on the show. Valerie leaves Beverly Hills soon after Brandon, saying that she is going to return home to Buffalo. Thiessen returned to the show for the series finale for Donna and David's wedding. Thiessen had discussed the option of leaving with Priestley and left two episodes after Priestley's departure. She was then replaced by Vanessa Marcil who plays Gina Kincaid, Donna Martin's half-sister (initially thought to be her cousin) and a former ice skating champion.[10]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Tentative titles for the show included Class of Beverly Hills. The show's episodes were originally issue-based until the producers decided it should become a teen soap opera.

Jennie Garth had to audition fives times for the role of Kelly Taylor[11] and was the first to be cast on the show.[12] Gabrielle Carteris felt that she was too old to play a high school student. She first auditioned for Brenda because she thought that being a real life twin would help her chances, but the producers felt that she would be better for the part of Andrea.[13] When Tori Spelling auditioned for the show, she used the name Tori Mitchell and auditioned for the role of Kelly Taylor, but she was eventually recognized and was instead cast as Donna Martin.[14] Lyman Ward was originally cast as Jim Walsh in the pilot but was replaced by James Eckhouse, and the scenes were cut and re-shot with Eckhouse. Kristin Dattilo was also up for the role of Brenda Walsh, but she turned it down. She would later guest star as Melissa Coolidge in an episode of the first season. Additionally, Luke Perry had auditioned for the role of Steve Sanders, but the role eventually went to Ian Ziering before Perry was cast as Dylan McKay. His character was not an original cast member of the show, and he was first featured in the show's second episode. He was originally intended to only appear in one story arc, for one or two episodes. Fox was initially reluctant to have him included as a regular, but Aaron Spelling felt differently and gave Perry a bigger role during the first two years until the network was won over.

In the first season, when Donna tries out for school D.J., she is referred to as Donna Morgan. Throughout the entire show, her name is Donna Martin. In addition to this, in the first season Donna's mother was named Nancy Martin and played by actress Jordana Capra. When she was reintroduced in season two, she was named Felice Martin and was played by actress Katherine Cannon. In the pilot episode, the role of Jackie Taylor was first played by Pamela Galloway and then by Ann Gillespie for the rest of the series. Terence Ford and Arthur Brooks portrayed Dylan's father, Jack McKay, in two episodes before Josh Taylor assumed the role.

Filming[edit]

Torrance High School was used as a primary filming location for the fictional West Beverly High School.

The series was produced in Van Nuys, California. During the 10 years the series was in production it was filmed in a warehouse complex in Van Nuys, the interiors of the series as well as the exteriors of the Peach Pit parking lot and P.P.A.D. club entrance were all located off the 15000 block of Calvert St in Van Nuys, CA. An unmarked gated studio entrance now stands at this address, but the exterior brick facing of the P.P.A.D. is still visible down the alley on the side of the building. The studio building complex has since been the home to various projects including the CBS series Jericho, which guest starred James Eckhouse in one episode. Until February, 2010 the CW series Melrose Place was also produced at the original 90210 Calvert studios. Post-production services for Beverly Hills, 90210 were provided by LaserPacific for all seasons.

Many changes were made after the pilot episode. The producers first used a location that was used only once during the pilot episode for the Walsh house that was located in a gated community of Brentwood, California.[citation needed] After the pilot episode the Walsh house was moved to Altadena, California.[citation needed] The house used for Dylan's home in the show, is also located in Altadena, California, in the same neighborhood of the Walsh Home.

Three different locations were used for the frontage of "The Peach Pit" during the show's ten-year history. The original location was only used in first few episodes of season one and is located on Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles. It was changed to a different location for the rest of season one. When the Peach Pit was fictionally remodeled during season two, the producers used Rose City Diner in Pasadena, California to film the exterior of the gang’s hangout and it remained the same throughout the rest of the show's run.[citation needed] Most of the filming during the second season of the summer season at the Beverly Hills Beach Club took place in Santa Monica, California at the old Sand and Sea Beach Club. The beach club used in the show was the very same beach club that was used during one summer season of Saved by the Bell.

Beverly Hills High School is actually located in the ZIP code 90212. There are three zip codes in Beverly Hills and the most affluent homes lie within the mostly residential 90210, while the high school does not. (Most of the 90210 zone is in fact the Beverly Hills Post Office section of Los Angeles despite the name.) However, the characters attended the completely fictitious West Beverly High School, which could have been located in any ZIP code. The filming location for West Beverly High School was in the middle class community of Torrance, California at Torrance High School located in the 90501 zip code. Torrance High can also be seen in other shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The characters later began attending the then-fictitious California University in the show's fourth season, and the scenes around campus were actually filmed at Occidental College in Eagle Rock, California. Kelly and Donna's beach house used in the show is located in Hermosa Beach, California.[15] The Golden Oak Ranch outside Santa Clarita, California was also used for filming.[16]

Specials[edit]

Beverly Hills, 90210 also yielded 6 specials that were produced during and after the show's run.

001- 05/26/1993- Beverly Hills, 90210: Behind the Scenes. This aired the week after the 3rd season finale. This special was hosted by Katie Wagner. It showed behind the scenes interviews with all 8 younger cast members. This special was included in the VHS release of "Graduation" from 1993, but has not been released on DVD.

002- 12/19/1994- Beverly Hills, 90210: A Christmas Special. This showed all of the 5th season cast members and what their plans for their Christmas holiday would include.

003- 01/24/1996- The Best Moments of Beverly Hills, 90210. Hosted by Tori Spelling. This was a retrospective of the first five and a half seasons.

004- 10/14/1998- Beverly Hills 90210: Our Favorite Moments. This was a retrospective of the first eight seasons.

005- 05/10/2000- Beverly Hills 90210: The Final Goodbye. This was a retrospective of the entire series and also filming the final episode.

006- 05/11/2003- Beverly Hills, 90210: 10 Year High School Reunion. This was a retrospective of the entire series. All of the primary cast members that were on the show in May 1993 were invited. This marks the first reunion of Shannen Doherty with her former cast mates in 9 years.

There was also a video that was released on September 18, 1992. It was called 90210...Behind the Zip Code. Unlike the above 6 specials, this never aired on television and was only available on VHS.

Opening sequence[edit]

The opening credits of Beverly Hills, 90210 went through various changes during its ten-year run.

Pilot[edit]

The pilot episode shows Brandon and Brenda Walsh driving to West Beverly High on their first day of school. The title card appears on the screen as various videos of Beverly Hills are shown. The opening credits begin rolling as the scene gradually shifts to West Beverly High, where the rest of the lead cast members make their first appearances as students arriving at the school.[17] The only name missing was that of Luke Perry, who made his first appearance in the following episode "The Green Room". The theme music used here is later used in seasons 2 and 3, and was composed by John E. Davis.

Season 1[edit]

The opening credits start with a postal worker walking up to the Walsh home in Minnesota. The worker then writes "Please forward to 953 Hillcrest Drive Beverly Hills CA, 90210." The text "Beverly Hills, 90210" then jumps from the letter onto the screen on top of various videos of Beverly Hills (this was later removed after a couple of episodes). Then, footage from the show of each cast member is shown with their names. The last few scenes in the opening are of the Walsh family together. The theme was composed by John E. Davis and the opening was designed by Kathie Broyles. The cast shown in this version are Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, Luke Perry, Brian Austin Green, Douglas Emerson, Tori Spelling, Carol Potter and James Eckhouse. The first two episodes of the season had a cold opening, but the opening credits started the show for the remaining episodes.

Seasons 2–4[edit]

The opening credits start with the younger cast gathered around a white background (mainly playing around and having fun). The opening then flashes white (turning the live action film into a still picture) and then goes to a title card. Footage from the show (and during the summer episodes, footage from a beach photo shoot taken in 1991) is shown with the word "starring". Then video taken from a photo shoot (from the shows first and fourth seasons respectively) of the cast is shown with each cast members' name.

Noticeably missing is Douglas Emerson, whose character Scott Scanlon was dropped to recurring and then killed off midway through the second season. This caused the original footage of the cast that was taken from the photo shoot which Emerson participated in not to be used and replaced with the new footage. The episode in which he was killed off was the fourteenth of season 2, entitled "The Next 50 Years".

At the end of the opening, the cast is shown shaking hands and then walking away from the camera. In season 4, the footage is replaced with the ending scene from the show's third season finale, "Commencement". The opening(s) were designed by Luise Hollowell. The theme used is a remixed version of the Season 1 theme by John E. Davis, although it was also used in the pilot episode "Class of Beverly Hills". The theme is later remixed once again by John E. Davis in Season 4. The cast shown in these versions are Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, Luke Perry, Brian Austin Green, Tori Spelling, Carol Potter, and James Eckhouse. A cold start was used for season 4, episode 3 but the opening credits started the show for the other episodes.

Season 5[edit]

With Shannen Doherty as Brenda now gone, the opening credits went through some remodeling. The theme song was cut down to 58 seconds instead of 1 minute and 38 seconds. And new cast members Tiffani-Amber Thiessen and Mark Damon Espinoza were added. Also, a new logo and text effect. Jennie Garth also moved up to the lead actress spot in the opening (vacated by Doherty). The opening originally featured scenes from the show, but this was later replaced by more footage from a photo shoot. After Andrea (Gabrielle Carteris) and Jesse (Mark Damon Espinoza) left the series on the second to the last episode of the season, their footage remained in the opening for the next episode which was the season finale. The opening was designed by an unknown person, whose name is not listed in the end credits for this season, though William Brown has been speculated by many as the designer. The cast shown in these versions are Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, Luke Perry, Brian Austin Green, Tori Spelling, Mark Damon Espinoza, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Carol Potter and James Eckhouse. From season 5-10, a cold start was used on every episode.

Seasons 6 and 7[edit]

With new executive producers, the opening once again went through some major changes. In were Kathleen Robertson (Clare Arnold), Jamie Walters (Ray Pruit), and for the first time Joe E. Tata (Nat Bussichio). Out was Darren Star's name at the end of the credits (due to Star's selling of all his shares in both Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place). A new logo was introduced (which unlike previous logos, overlaid on top of a cast shot), as well as another text effect (which was very similar to the one used in Season 5). The opening(s) were designed by William Brown. The cast shown in these versions are Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Luke Perry (Season 6, episodes 1–10 only) Brian Austin Green, Tori Spelling, Tiffani Thiessen, Joe E. Tata, Jamie Walters (Season 6, episodes 1–13 only) and Kathleen Robertson.

Season 8 and 9[edit]

With a new executive producer, the departure of Kathleen Robertson, and the cast of characters now out of school, the opening credits were once again revamped. New cast members Hilary Swank (Carly Reynolds) and Vincent Young (Noah Hunter) were added (and later Daniel Cosgrove and Lindsay Price in season 9). And footage of the cast together at a photoshoot received a blue hue, instead of the traditional grainy film look. The opening(s) were designed by Brian Dollenmayer. The cast shown in these versions are Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Brian Austin Green, Tori Spelling, Tiffani Thiessen, Joe E. Tata, Hilary Swank (season 8, episodes 1–19 only) Vincent Young, Lindsay Price (starting in season 9) and Daniel Cosgrove (season 9).

Season 9 and 10[edit]

With the departure of the series leading man Jason Priestley (Season 9, Episode 5), the opening credits were once again revamped, starting in Episode 6 of the ninth season. This time featuring more or less the same effects from previous seasons (blue hues, grainy film effects). Season 9 also saw the departure of Tiffani-Amber Thiessen (Season 9, Episode 7). There were also two additions to the cast: Vanessa Marcil and the return of Luke Perry (now being credited as a special guest star). Season 10 saw the departure of Vanessa Marcil (Episode 17) and the on-again/off-again presence of Joe E. Tata in the opening credits. S9, Ep. 6-S10 cast: Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Brian Austin Green, Tori Spelling, Tiffani Amber Thiessen (S9, Ep. 6–7), Vincent Young, Vanessa Marcil (S9-S10, Ep. 1–17), Lindsay Price, Daniel Cosgrove, Joe E. Tata and Luke Perry (Special Guest Star beginning on S9, Ep. 7).

Additional notes[edit]

Torand Productions was used by the production company for several seasons on the show. Torand productions came from the first three letters of Aaron Spelling's first child, Tori and the first four letters of his second child, Randy's, name.

Entertainment Weekly named the show #20 on its list of top 100 TV shows in the past 25 years.[18] The magazine also named the theme song #15 on its list of top 25 TV theme songs in the past 25 years,[19] and the "90210 Sideburns" #50 on its list of Pop Culture Moments that Rocked Fashion.[20]

Shannen Doherty's departure from the show would be the longest the continuity had seen with a lead cast member not making another guest appearance after they had left the show. Spanning for a time of 14 years, Brenda Walsh was not seen in any 90210 incarnation until September 2, 2008 in which she reprised her role in the CW's spinoff, 90210.

The initial diner used as The Peach Pit in the first episodes of the series is actually The Apple Pan, a veritable Los Angeles institution. Located in West Los Angeles, it is blocks away from the city of Beverly Hills. The Peach Pit was fashioned after this restaurant.

In May 2003, a majority of the original cast came together for the retrospective television special, Beverly Hills, 90210: 10 Year High School Reunion. The special reunited Jason Priestley (Brandon Walsh), Shannen Doherty (Brenda Walsh), Jennie Garth (Kelly Taylor), Ian Ziering (Steve Sanders), Gabrielle Carteris (Andrea Zuckerman), and Luke Perry (Dylan McKay). James Eckhouse (Jim Walsh), Carol Potter (Cindy Walsh), and Joe E. Tata (Nat Bussichio) joined the reunion during the last segment. Douglas Emerson (Scott Scanlon), Brian Austin Green (David Silver), and Tori Spelling (Donna Martin) did not appear on this TV special. This marks the first reunion of the Walsh family since Doherty's departure nine years earlier in 1994. The reunion took place in a mocked set of the Walsh living room and even had a Walsh family photo on a table. The photo is from c. 1990.

Broadcast[edit]

Beverly Hills, 90210 originally aired from October 4, 1990 to May 17, 2000 on Fox in the United States; later SoapNet aired reruns seven days a week. Unlike the DVD releases, the syndicated episodes still featured the show's original music. The show was aired on:

Prior to the premiere of Beverly Hills, 90210, Glory Days was airing on Thursday's at 9:00 pm. After the show had moved on Wednesday, where Fox did not have regular programming, The Heights took over the timeslot. After Beverly Hills, 90210 left the air in 2000, it was replaced by Malcolm in the Middle and Normal, Ohio.

Seasons 2 and 3 featured all new summer episodes that aired during July and August before the regular fall episodes started in September. At the beginning of the third season, in July and August 1992, all new summer episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210 were playing during the series new time slot of Wednesdays at 8pm but viewers could see repeats from Beverly Hills, 90210's first season in the original time slot of Thursday's at 9pm. The Fox Network was heavily promoting the new time slot so the viewers could find the show. The 7th season started earlier than usual because of the 1996 Olympics and the MLB Playoffs on FOX during the month of October.

Various networks around the world subsequently aired Beverly Hills, 90210.

Ratings[edit]

SeasonTimeslot (EDT)Season PremiereSeason FinaleTV SeasonRankViewers
(in millions)
Average rating
per episode (%)[21]
1Thursday 9:00 P.M. (October 4, 1990 – Aug 20, 1992)October 4, 1990May 9, 19911990–1991#8814.26.4
2July 11, 1991May 7, 19921991–1992#4817.611.7
3Wednesday 8:00 P.M. (July 15, 1992 – May 17, 2000)July 15, 1992May 19, 19931992–1993#4218.311.1
4September 8, 1993May 25, 19941993–1994#4121.711.3
5September 7, 1994May 24, 19951994–1995#46[22]14.7[22]11.2
6September 13, 1995May 22, 19961995–1996#53[23]14.5[23]9.9
7August 21, 1996May 21, 19971996–1997#61[24]13.2[24]8.3
8September 10, 1997May 20, 19981997–1998#59[25]11.4[25]8.2
9September 16, 1998May 19, 19991998–1999#75[26]9.7[26]6.9
10September 8, 1999May 17, 20001999–2000#82[27]8.33[27]5.9

After a poor first season, seasonal average rating per episode increased and was maintained above 11% until season five; the departure of Shannen Doherty at the end of the fourth season did not actually affect the ratings. From season six until the end of the show average rating gradually decreased; the departures of Jason Priestley and Tiffani Thiessen in the early episodes of the ninth season gave the final blow to the show, with average ratings tumbling at 6.9% in season nine and 5.9% in the last season. During the entire Beverly Hills, 90210 airing, the episodes with the highest rating points (all of them at 14.1%) were the closing episodes of seasons two and three and the opening one of season five, which featured Tiffani Thiessen debuting as Valerie Malone.

SeasonSeason peak (episode)Rating (%)Notes
1
"Home Again"
9.2
Season's last episode.
2
"Wedding Bell Blues"
14.1
Season's last episode.
3
"Commencement"
14.1
Season's last episode.
4
"Mr. Walsh Goes To Washington"
13.9
Season's last episode.
5
"What I Did on My Summer Vacation & Other Stories"
14.1
Season's first episode. Debut of Tiffani Thiessen.
6
"Earthquake Weather"
12.9
7
"Straight Shooter"
9.8
8
"The Wedding"
10.0
Season's last episode.
9
"Brandon Leaves"
8.1
Departure of Jason Priestley.
"You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello"
8.1
Departure of Tiffani Thiessen, return of Luke Perry.
10
"The Penultimate" and "Ode to Joy"
9.6
Series' finale (two episodes aired together).

Series ending[edit]

When Beverly Hills, 90210 began, the show was heavily issue-oriented with the Walsh twins facing a different teen issue nearly every week in largely self-contained episodes. As the show progressed, it became more character-driven with the characters entering into various love triangles, while dealing with general adult issues.

Ratings for the tenth season declined to an average of 10 million viewers per episode (according to a May 2000 issue of Us Weekly). The ratings were small compared to previous seasons. The lower ratings, along with the high costs associated with any television show in its later seasons led Fox to end the series in January 2000. Though there were many cast changes, over 25 million people tuned in to watch the final episode which aired in May 2000. All of the original younger cast, excluding Shannen Doherty and Douglas Emerson, appeared in the series finale. Gabrielle Carteris and Tiffani Thiessen also returned in the series finale.[28]

Soundtracks releases[edit]

DVD releases[edit]

Spin-offs[edit]

Melrose Place[edit]

The series Melrose Place was a spin-off from the show, as actor Grant Show (who played Jake on Melrose Place) appeared for a multi-episode run at the end of the series second season as Kelly's love interest, and a friend of Dylan's. Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling, Brian Austin Green and Ian Ziering made appearances as their Beverly Hills, 90210 characters in the first few episodes of Melrose Place.

Models Inc[edit]

Models Inc., a series about the personal and professional struggles of several young models, spun off from Melrose Place. The series was introduced via the characters Hillary Michaels, the mother of Melrose Place's Amanda Woodward, and model Sarah Owens—both of whom had appeared in a multi-episode run on MP. In addition to his role in Melrose Place, Jake Hanson was the only character to appear in both Beverly Hills, 90210 and Models Inc.

90210[edit]

A third spin-off premiered in 2008, focusing on a family from Kansas who move to Beverly Hills when the children's grandmother suffers from alcohol addiction. It premiered on The CW Network on September 2, 2008.

In guest appearances, Jennie Garth, Shannen Doherty and Tori Spelling reprised their roles as Kelly Taylor, Brenda Walsh and Donna Martin, respectively. Joe E. Tata also reprised his role as Nat, owner of the Peach Pit, diner turned coffee house, for a couple of episodes at the beginning of the show's first season.

The show was canceled by The CW on February 28, 2013, putting an end to the 90210 franchise. The show ran for five seasons.

Melrose Place (2009)[edit]

A fifth series was officially picked up by The CW on May 21, 2009. The show is an updated version of Melrose Place, featuring a group of young adults living in a West Hollywood apartment complex. Smallville producers Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer wrote the pilot script and became the executive producers on the series. The series was canceled on May 20, 2010.

Parodies[edit]

The rap duo Insane Clown Posse released an EP titled Beverly Kills 50187 which featured a song titled "Beverly Kills" describing member Violent J killing the series' characters for being rich and prejudiced toward the "lower class".

Darren Star later produced the series Grosse Pointe, which satirized the production of a high-school soap opera being filmed in Los Angeles. It was inspired by 90210.

The short-lived The Ben Stiller Show did a parody of this show, The Heights and Melrose Place called Melrose Heights 90210-2420 that portrayed the cast as superficial, self-absorbed, and self-pitying. A typical episode's "issue" was a character getting a headache, which affected all the other characters. Each episode would end the same upbeat song (resembling The Heights hit single "How Do You Talk to an Angel") performed by the whole cast with new lyrics for each episode.

Another aspect of the show that was the subject of parody was the fact that a number of the show's cast members were in their mid-to-late 20s and not teenagers. In particular, Luke Perry and Gabrielle Carteris were singled out for most of the criticism regarding being too old to play teenage characters. Carteris was 29 during filming of the first season, Perry was 23, Jason Priestley turned 21 prior to the show's premiere, and Ian Ziering was 26. Brian Austin Green (then 17), Shannen Doherty (19), Tori Spelling (17) and Jennie Garth (18) were the only cast members to have started the show as teenagers who grow older later on in the show. This was the premise of the Family Guy parody, where Andrea is portrayed as a senile elderly woman.

Saturday Night Live did their own parody of the show when Jason Priestley hosted in 1992. In the episode, it is announced that the zip code 90210 would be changed to 90218. Several of the kids took offense to it and reacted in different ways (Kelly and Donna go shopping, Dylan gets drunk, Brandon keeps taking everyone's keys and putting them in a lock box feeling they are not able to drive, etc.). In the end, the zip code reverts to 90210 after protest.

The Fox sketch show The Edge did a parody of 90210 that mocked Tori Spelling. During the sketch, the character of Tori constantly says, "I can do whatever I want because this is my Daddy's show." Aaron Spelling took offense to this, and asked for an apology from the producers of the show.[29]

The Mickey Mouse Club did a parody sketch called Beverly Hillbillies 90210, combining the characters of both 90210 and The Beverly Hillbillies. In 1999, Christina Aguilera from the Mickey Mouse Club made a cameo performance on Beverly Hills 90210 as herself performing at the PPAD for David Silver's surprise birthday party, season 10 episode 2: "Let's Eat Cake". Music from former MMC members Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez of 'N Sync also was originally used during several opening title sequences during the mid-to-late seasons of 90210.

MADtv made its own parodies of the show as Beverly Hills, 90210 B.C. set in prehistoric Beverly Hills. When Luke Perry made his high profile return to the series, MADtv did a second parody entitled Beverly Hills 9021-H20 which had the characters being stalked and killed off by Luke Perry (Pat Kilbane), who had rejoined the cast as a masked killer who was a parody of Michael Myers of the Halloween film series.

Czech TV Nova parody show Tele Tele made parody of the show known as "Heverly Debils". Three mini-episodes (about 10 minutes each) were filmed.

GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan released a song called "Killah Hills 10304", an ironic reference to the show's title in a song about crime and a rough neighborhood.

A VH1 promo for I Love the 90s featured Hal Sparks and Michael Ian Black sitting in the Peach Pit, with Beverly Hills, 90210's theme music playing. Joe E. Tata also appears in the promo as Nat.

In 2009, The Simpsons aired an episode called "Waverly Hills 9021-D'oh", which features Lisa wanting to go to a better school and finding it in the very posh town of Waverly Hills.

Actors Ian Ziering and Brian Austin Green played parodies of themselves in director Tony Scott's film Domino, portraying themselves as stereotypical self-involved Hollywood actors.

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAwardResultCategoryRecipient
1991Young Artist AwardsNominatedBest New Family Television Comedy Series
WonBest Young Actor Supporting or Re-Occurring Role for a TV SeriesDouglas Emerson
NominatedBest Young Actor Supporting or Re-Occurring Role for a TV SeriesBrian Austin Green
NominatedBest Young Actress Supporting or Re-Occurring Role for a TV SeriesJennie Garth
NominatedBest Young Actress Starring in a New Television SeriesShannen Doherty
1992WonOutstanding Young Ensemble Cast in a Television Series
NominatedBest Young Actress Starring in a Television SeriesShannen Doherty
WonBest Young Actor Co-starring in a Television SeriesBrian Austin Green
WonBest Young Actress Co-starring in a Television SeriesJennie Garth
NominatedBest Young Actress Co-starring in a Television SeriesTori Spelling
1993WonFavorite Young Ensemble Cast in a Television SeriesJason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, Luke Perry, Brian Austin Green, Tori Spelling
NominatedBest Young Actor Recurring in a Television SeriesCory Tyler
WonBest Young Actress Recurring in a Television SeriesDana Barron
1994NominatedBest Youth Actress Guest Starring in a Television ShowSabrina Wiener
1998NominatedBest Performance in a TV Drama Series – Guest Starring Young ActressDanielle Keaton
1992Golden Globe AwardNominatedBest TV-Series – Drama
1993NominatedBest TV-Series – Drama
NominatedBest Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series – DramaJason Priestley
1995NominatedBest Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series – DramaJason Priestley
1992TP de OroWonBest Foreign Series
1993WonBest Foreign Series
1995ASCAP Film and Television Music AwardsWonTop TV Series
1995Emmy AwardNominatedOutstanding Guest Actor in a Drama SeriesMilton Berle
1996BMI Film & TV AwardsWonBMI TV Music Award
1999Teen Choice AwardsNominatedTV – Choice ActressJennie Garth
2004TV Land AwardsNominatedFavorite Greasy Spoon
NominatedFavorite Teen Dream – MaleLuke Perry
2006NominatedMost Happening Greasy Spoon or Hangout
2007NominatedBreak Up That Was So Bad It Was GoodLuke Perry and Shannen Doherty

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "Beverly Hills, 90210 - The Complete First Season". DVD Talk. Retrieved August 25, 2010. 
  3. ^ Quintanilla, Michael (October 3, 1991). "Trends: Real Beverly Hills kids say they like '90210' and its plots. What they don't like is being portrayed as snobs.". LA Times. Retrieved August 24, 2010. 
  4. ^ James, Caryn (August 4, 1991). "TV VIEW; '90210' Goes To the Head Of the Class". New York Times. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  5. ^ Bernstein, Sharon (February 6, 1992). "Beverly Hills' Teen-Agers Petition for Condoms". LA Times. Retrieved August 24, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Best School Shows of All Time". AOL TV. Aol, Inc. August 26, 2008. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  7. ^ Herbert, Steven (July 13, 1991). "Fox 'Hills' Strategy Pays Off". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Beverly Hills, 90210 overview". MSN. Retrieved July 15, 2009. 
  9. ^ Horovitz, Bruce (December 22, 1992). "Marketers Rethink Show's Teen Appeal". LA Times. Retrieved August 24, 2010. 
  10. ^ Stated on "Whatever happened to?", Episode: 3 drama queens.
  11. ^ "Sherelle's Beverly Hills 90210 Cast Page – Jennie Garth" FortuneCity Retrieved on June 12, 2009.
  12. ^ Gliatto, Tom (May 11, 1992). "The Other Garth". People (magazine). Retrieved June 12, 2009. 
  13. ^ Jessica Shaw (May 19, 2000). "90210: Their Number's Up". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 12, 2009. 
  14. ^ Gliatto, Tom (August 24, 1992). "Tori De Force!". People (magazine). Retrieved June 12, 2009. 
  15. ^ "TV Locations of the 90s" Retrieved on June 12, 2009.
  16. ^ http://studioservices.go.com/goldenoakranch/history_and_news.html
  17. ^ Beverly Hills 90210- Pilot Title Sequence. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AmgA7fiA0Y
  18. ^ "The New Classics: TV". Entertainment Weekly. June 27, 2008. 
  19. ^ "25 Perfect TV Theme Songs". ew.com. June 13, 2008. 
  20. ^ "50 Pop Culture Moments That Rocked Fashion". Entertainment Weekly. June 17, 2008. 
  21. ^ "Ratings". bh90210.co.uk. Retrieved December 22, 2012. 
  22. ^ a b "Complete TV Ratings 1994-1995". Retrieved December 2, 2010. 
  23. ^ a b "Complete TV Ratings 1995-1996". Retrieved December 2, 2010. 
  24. ^ a b "Complete TV Ratings 1996-1997". Retrieved December 2, 2010. 
  25. ^ a b "The Final Countdown". Entertainment Weekly Published in issue #434 May 29, 1998. May 29, 1998. Retrieved December 2, 2010. 
  26. ^ a b "TV Winners & Losers: Numbers Racket A Final Tally Of The Season's Show (from Nielsen Media Research)". GeoCities. June 4, 1999. Archived from the original on October 29, 2009. Retrieved December 2, 2010. 
  27. ^ a b "Top TV Shows For 1999-2000 Season". Variety. Retrieved December 2, 2010. 
  28. ^ Brownfield, Paul (May 17, 2000). "Class Dismissed!". LA Times. p. 6. 
  29. ^ Lippman, John (October 19, 1992). "Television: The Fox network is in the position of having offended its top program supplier.". LA Times. Retrieved August 24, 2010. 

External links[edit]