A 90210 event series has officially been announced by Fox. Beverly Hills, 90210 found acclaimed success on Fox in the 1990s, running for ten seasons and redefining the primetime soap opera. As arguably one of the most popular TV teen dramas in television history, the series inspired a string of other prime time teen/20-something dramas such as Party of Five, Melrose Place and Dawson’s Creek.
Debuting in 1990, Beverly Hills, 90210 focused on a group of teenage friends, played by Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Luke Perry, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Tori Spelling, Gabrielle Carteris and Brian Austin Green, as they struggled with life in one of the most elite zip codes in America. Though Doherty - who played Brenda Walsh, the fraternal twin sister of Brandon (Priestley) - left the hit series in 1994 after her character was written off, 90210 continued its popular run until 2000. Eight years later, the series had a reboot of sorts with a new cast and a new title that dropped the “Beverly Hills” to just become 90210. That series ran for five seasons, and while it introduced a new generation to the trials and tribulations of life in the glitzy titular area code, it couldn't match the popularity of the original.
In 2017, rumors began to circulate that a new Beverly Hills, 90210 series starring the original cast, was in the works. There wasn’t a lot of evidence to substantiate the claim, though near the end of 2018, things became a little more real when it was reported that the concept was being shopped around. Now, Fox has revealed via press release that 90210 is indeed returning with its original cast, in the form of a six-episode event series that'll air in the summer of 2019. This time, however, there’s a twist. Billed as having “heightened” versions of the original characters, the new series – which, incidentally, will also dump the “Beverly Hills” from its title to become the more streamlined 90210 – will have a slight reality TV tone. According to Fox:
Having gone their separate ways since the original series ended 19 years ago, Jason, Jennie, Ian, Gabrielle, Brian and Tori reunite when one of them suggests it’s time to get a “Beverly Hills, 90210” reboot up and running. But getting it going may make for an even more delicious soap than the reboot itself. What will happen when first loves, old romances, friends and frenemies come back together, as this iconic cast – whom the whole world watched grow up together – attempts to continue from where they left off?
Long time fans of the original series will undoubtedly notice that this new incarnation is missing two essential elements: Perry and Doherty. As of this writing, it doesn't appear that either are involved with the project. While Perry's motives for not taking part are unclear, it's long been rumored that Doherty’s personal problems during Beverly Hills, 90210 caused strife both on and off the set, though the fact that she cut her hair halfway through filming the finale to season 4 (thereby throwing off her character’s continuity) reportedly lead to her dismissal.
Without Perry or Doherty, fans of the original series may feel that this new “event” series can’t truly be billed as having reunited the original cast. While this is technically true, the fact that Fox has reunited the remainder of the original cast for a different sort of reboot is likely to intrigue far more fans than it'll put off. It’s hard to say just how real the interactions between cast members will be or if it'll all just be another reality TV show without the actual reality. But if 90210 is to be filled with real interactions, then given her past involvement with the show, Doherty’s presence will absolutely be missed.