‘Beverly Hills, 90210’: How Shannen Doherty ‘Upset the Cast Members Tremendously’, According To Aaron Spelling

One of the most memorable TV shows of the ’90s, Beverly Hills, 90210 was the teen show to watch. Created by Darren Star in his pre-Sex and the City days, drama happened on the show and behind the scenes. One of the cast members at the center of it was Shannen Doherty. 

Shannen Doherty played Brenda Walsh on ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’

Jason Priestley, Tori Spelling, Aaron Spelling, Shannen Doherty, and Luke Perry at the 1992 People's Choice Awards
Jason Priestley, Tori Spelling, Aaron Spelling, Shannen Doherty, and Luke Perry at the 1992 People’s Choice Awards | Ron Davis/Getty Images

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An original cast member, Doherty was on Beverly Hills, 90210 from the beginning. She played Brenda Walsh, sister to Brandon Walsh (Jason Priestley). The two characters moved to Beverly Hills from Minnesota. Other original cast members include Tori Spelling (Donna Martin), Luke Perry (Dylan McKay), and Jennie Garth (Kelly Taylor). 

After four seasons, Doherty and her character left Beverly Hills, 90210. The show wrote Brenda off by having her pursue an acting career in London. By the start of the following season, Saved by the Bell’s Tiffani Thiessen (Valerie Malone) had become the show’s new troubled teen. 

Shannen Doherty’s tardiness upset the rest of the cast ‘tremendously’

Aaron Spelling, the producer of Beverly Hills, 90210, reflected on the series in 2000. He told Entertainment Weekly Doherty’s tardiness bothered the rest of the cast. 

“It wasn’t like she ruined the show or anything. It just upset the cast members tremendously,” he said. “I remember them calling me and saying, ‘Please, can’t you get her here on time?’”

Charles Rosin, a former executive producer on Beverly Hills, 90210, also talked about Doherty’s lateness. He said it indicated to him she wasn’t “very happy” being on the show. 

She had habitual lateness,” Rosin said. “Her lateness was appalling, and she had a callous attitude and an indifference. She was clearly not very happy on this show anymore.”

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Doherty, who also spoke to the publication, recalled only being late a few times. 

“There are things that I would call bulls**t, and [the lateness charge] is probably one of them,” she said. “I was late maybe four times in four years. A bunch of times [other cast members] were extremely late.”

Lateness aside, Doherty abruptly left the series in 1994. Years later, Spelling admitted she’d gone to her father, which resulted in Doherty getting kicked off the show

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Shannen Doherty later admitted she ‘did not want to be there’

In the same conversation with Entertainment Weekly, Doherty opened up about her on Beverly Hills, 90210. She explained that although the show had become a success, she’d been unhappy. 

“There was definitely a time that I did not want to be there,” she said. “I was unhappy. It sounds odd to say that I was on a hit show making a lot of money and I was unhappy, because it makes me sound unappreciative — I wasn’t.”

She continued, saying the constant media attention took a toll. 

“It’s just that the sacrifice at the time seemed too large to me,” Doherty explained. “The sacrifice of a camera pointed in my face 24 hours a day while I was desperately trying to grow up, to figure out my spirituality, to figure out my boyfriends. I mean, I was a teenager.”

Beverly Hills, 90210 ran for seven more seasons after Doherty’s departure. Ending in May 2000, the iconic series got a reboot in 2019, which she participated in. 

Watch Beverly Hills, 90210 on Hulu.