1 ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ Star Initially Thought the Show Was ‘Superficial’

Beverly Hills, 90210 became the teen TV show to watch in the ‘90s. Chronicling the lives of West Beverly High students, the program made stars of the cast. Years later one of the Beverly Hills, 90210 actors admitted they didn’t think much of the script for the pilot. 

Tori Spelling, Brian Austin Green, Ian Ziering, Jennie Garth, Jason Priestley, Gabrielle Carteris, Luke Perry, Shannen Doherty
Tori Spelling, Brian Austin Green, Ian Ziering, Jennie Garth, Jason Priestley, Gabrielle Carteris, Luke Perry, Shannen Doherty | Mikel Roberts/Sygma via Getty Images

Ian Ziering thought ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ focused on ‘obnoxious kids’

Beverly Hills, 90210 premiered on Oct. 4, 1990. At that time not even the cast could predict that it’d become a popular TV series, let alone one of the defining shows of the ‘90s. 

In 2007, Ian Ziering (Steve Sanders), looked back on the program during an interview with Entertainment Weekly. A contestant on Dancing with the Stars at the time, Ziering admitted he didn’t think much of the show when he read the script for the pilot. 

“When I read the script for 90210, I thought, ‘Boy, this is very superficial,’ and it was,” he said. “I mean, the pilot was all about the glitz and the glamour of Beverly Hills, the obnoxious kids, and the fish-out-of-water story of Brenda (Shannen Doherty) and Brandon Walsh (Jason Priestley). I couldn’t discern from that first script that the show would become very issue-oriented.”

Ziering signed on to play Steve Sanders. At the start of the series, he’d been 28 portraying a 16-year-old. And, as the actor recalled, he never discussed the big age gap between himself and his character. “I just thought, if they’re going to buy, I’m going to sell it,” he said. 

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‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ tackled topics such as murder, drugs, and sex

Although Beverly Hills, 90210 focused on teens, it addressed topics that, up to that point, had been covered by TV shows for older audiences. The kids at West Bev handled teen pregnancy, eating disorders, and rape. 

One of the show’s most memorable moments happened early on. Brenda (Doherty) decided to have sex for the first time with Dylan McKay (Luke Perry) on prom night.

They ditched the dance early and went to a hotel room where they dispelled the tension with laughs. And afterward, there were smiles. From there, the show’s rating began to climb. 

As Beverly Hills, 90210 became a more established show, it continued making its mark as issue-oriented. Kids were popping pills and drinking alcohol. A woman accused Steve of rape. There was even a murder-suicide storyline.

RELATED: Tori Spelling Felt ‘Really Insecure’ While Filming ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ — Here’s Why

Ian Ziering reunited with the ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ cast in 2019

Ziering revisited his most popular role in 2019. He reunited with his fellow West Bev students to participate in a reboot. BH90210 followed him and other original stars as themselves in a heightened reality where they are trying to get a reboot made. 

BH90210 only lasted for six episodes before getting canceled by Fox. Although Tori Spelling (Donna Martin) hinted it wouldn’t be the end. 

Watch Beverly Hills, 90210 and BH90210 on Hulu and CBS All Access.

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