IT’S not often a show that hasn’t been to air stokes the rumour mill with such fervour. But we’re not talking any old show. This is Beverly Hills 90210 for a new generation.
Much of the recent gossip centres on the original cast members who are returning to the postcode made famous when the show first screened in 1990.
Shannen Doherty, who played Brenda Walsh, and Jennie Garth (Kelly Taylor) will reprise their roles.
Doherty played Brenda from 1990 to 1994 but was allegedly fired from the series after reported on-set clashes with co-stars, including Garth. It seems time hasn’t healed old wounds.
‘‘I don’t get the feeling they like each other, but they’re both professionals and they both do their jobs and at the end of the day it’s about the finished product,’’ cast member Rob Estes says. Does the tension cause problems? ‘‘Oh, I don’t think so. Knowing there’s that in the room, people are like, ‘Ooh, what’s going to happen?’ ’’ he says.
Ryan Eggold, who plays new West Beverly High teacher Ryan Matthews, has 90210, M Channel 10, Monday, 8.30pm American super soap’s comeback Duration: 1 hour also found things can be a bit icy between Doherty and Garth.
‘‘You know I think any tension that exists between those particular two is probably something that has been there for ages and ages and we haven’t had to deal with any of it on set,’’ Eggold says.
Tori Spelling, daughter of the original show’s producer Aaron Spelling, played Donna Martin, and was slated to return to the show. But she is said to have pulled out after discovering Doherty and Garth were receiving twice her salary.
The Peach Pit will return as a new and improved hangout for the kids, as will Joe E. Tata, reprising his role as the owner, Nat.
Along with the original characters Estes, 45, is also on familiar ground. He joined Spelling’s Beverly Hills 90210 spin-off Melrose Place in 1997 as chef Kyle.
His ex-wife Josie Bissett— they divorced last year — played Jane on the show and they have two children together, Mason, 9 and Maya Rose, 6.
‘‘I have two kids and I really have been waiting a long time to get to be a father on a show . . . just because I have so many experiences that I think I can bring to the role,’’ Estes says. ‘‘I couldn’t be more excited about this.’’ Estes’ character, Harry Wilson, is the father of Annie Wilson (Shenae Grimes) and her adopted brother Dixon Mills (Tristan Wilds). The family moves from Kansas to Beverly Hills to keep an eye on its alcoholic grandmother Tabitha (Jessica Walter). Harry becomes the principal of West Beverly High.
Though many viewers will tune in to watch 90210 for a dose of nostalgia, the target audience was in nappies when the first series aired. It will need to draw on more than fond memories to secure strong ratings.
‘‘You know what’s so funny is that a lot of these kids (in the show) had parents who watched 90210,’’ Estes says.
‘‘If I look at the difference between what 90210 was and what it is now, there’s a sense of humour in a lot of situations that wasn’t there before. My mother Tabitha is a recovering alcoholic. The one-liners she gets are hilarious, so it doesn’t feel like a night-time soap opera.’’