When Beverly Hills, 90210 debuted in 1990, it was the first nighttime soap about and for teens. I was in 8th grade, and immediately became obsessed, although after the first couple of seasons it became uncool among my circle of friends, and I didn't pick it up again until my last year of college. Without "Nine-oh," as a friend of mine calls it, would there never would have been Dawson's Creek or The OC. Not to mention Melrose Place and MTV's oeuvre of reality-based young-adult soaps.
When the first, comparatively boring season of The Real World premiered in 1992, it was slotted to air right after 90210, and was promoted as an antidote to the increasingly far-fetched storylines of the scripted show. 90210 ran for 10 seasons, long enough for us to see the gang go from juniors in high school (and they were juniors twice!) to college graduates with budding careers and marriages.
This season, The CW has come into its own as a network with Gossip Girl, a show about the exploits of super-rich, over-privileged teens in a high-prestige neighborhood. Sound familiar? Last week, rumors began to surface that the network would try to strike gold again next season with a revival of Beverly Hills, 90210. Rob Thomas, who is going to be a very busy boy next season, will helm the new show.
Rumors have been circulating about participation of former cast members, but nothing is confirmed yet. Ian Ziering and Tori Spelling have both expressed interest (not surprising, considering that at this point those two would be likely to express interest in appearing in a local carpet store ad). Two of the main characters will be have the last name Silver, but there's no solid reason to suspect that they are related to David Silver.
Instead of bringing back old characters, the new 90210 will focus on a new group of teens who follow basically the same archetypes as the original cast in the early seasons. There's a family transplanted from the Midwest: The Mills family, consisting of Mom, Dad, and kids, Dixon and Annie. This time, however, there are some differences that could lead to a racier show. Dixon is adopted (and may be played by an actor of color, rectifying a common criticism of the original show), and Grandma is an alcoholic actress. The two kids, Annie and Dixon, will befriend Navid, a school paper journalist (no offense to Gabrielle Carteris, but hopefully this time one that will be played by someone younger than 29), and spoiled rich kids Daphne and Max Silver.
Ever since the success of Battlestar Galactica, remakes of nostalgic TV favorites have been all the rage. This season, the trend didn't fare so well with The Bionic Woman and the Knight Rider movie. Next season, in addition to the new 90210, Thomas is also planning to revive his prematurely canceled series, Cupid. Let's hope that next seasons revivals fare a little better than this year's duds.
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Amy Kane spends as much quality time with her television as possible, when she's not busy at her day job as a cube dweller.