Monday, October 4, 2010

Happy 20th Beverly Hills, 90210!

Fire up a Mega Burger and raise a glass (just not on prom night) to the gang from West Beverly High. It was 20 years ago this very evening that Beverly Hills, 90210 made its debut on Fox. Despite its massive success though, the series didn't start off as a D'Shawn Hardell slam dunk (or Joe Bradley touchdown - choose your 90210 sports metaphor).

"A lot of people don't remember this about 90210, but the first year it was on, it was dead last in the ratings," remembered actor Matthew Laurance on Just My Show show back in 2006. "It almost didn't get picked up after the first season."

There was a fan base building though, that the numbers weren't picking up on. Laurance, who played the recurring role of Dr. Mel Silver recalled, "They asked Luke [Perry] to go down to Miami or somewhere in Florida and do a personal appearance and he got to this shopping mall and there was something like 15,000 people there, and all of a sudden Fox said 'Wait a minute. Somebody's watching this show,' and they started to promote it really heavily and they showed first run episodes during that summer when no other shows were, and all of a sudden it turned into this huge hit."

"It just hit at a time when the culture was changing to where, you know, all the stuff that was shown on that show was really starting to get important," Laurance concludes. "It just struck a chord started out probably with high school kids, but after that it turned into a whole phenomenon, as you know, that was really unlike anything that i've seen."

So here's to Brandon, Brenda, Dylan, Kelly, Steve, David and Andrea. And here's to Jimbo, Cindy and Nat. And what the heck, here's to Emily Valentine, Jesse Vasquez, Ray Pruit and the late Scott Scanlon...bless his soul. Don't play with guns, kids.

The original Beverly Hills, 9021o airs daily on SoapNet and can be seen online at if you haven't already, make sure to listen to our classic chat with Matthew Laurance, arguably the greatest TV dentist of all time.

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