Reunited ‘BH90210’ cast straddles fact and fiction in Fox’s new take
Most of the familiar faces of “Beverly Hills, 90210” are back together, but not in the “90210” you may remember.
The notion of a series revival – which that show actually has had already – gets turned on its head as the franchise returns to Fox with “BH90210,” premiering Wednesday, Aug. 7. Original stars and close friends Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling helped devise the concept of what might happen if the cast attempted to bring back “90210,” so they play fictionalized versions of themselves ... as do Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris and Brian Austin Green.
Garth reprised her Kelly Taylor role in The CW’s 2008-13 “90210” reboot, and she says making “BH90210” has been “a crazy journey and evolution, but we’ve managed to keep everybody going in the same direction, which is incredible to me. I wasn’t intrigued about doing something that had already been done, but this is something that’s a little fresh, marrying different things into the best of all possible worlds.”
Priestley, who’s given a wife other than his real-life one in the show (a publicist played by Vanessa Lachey), admits he thought “BH90210” was “the craziest idea I’d ever heard” at first. “Then we all started sitting around and really talking seriously about it, and I think what we all came to is something really original that people will find entertaining.”
The late Luke Perry might have appeared on “BH90210” had his “Riverdale” schedule enabled it. “It’s not easy,” Garth allows of making the new show without him. “His picture is up in the makeup trailer, and he’s in my thoughts. I can’t explain it, but he’s with me and with the show on a level that is undeniable.” Adds Priestley, “Luke was a big part of my life and of our ‘90210’ family, and his absence leaves a big vacancy. And we all feel it, every day.”
For Garth, “BH90210” holds to her being admittedly choosy about what she does professionally and who she does it with: “I don’t really like working, and I’m very selective about who I spend my time with when I have to be away from my family. Tori and I realized we wanted to work together again and produce together, so we set out on a mission, and this is our second foray into that world (after the short-lived sitcom ‘Mystery Girls’).”
The appeal of seeing “a bunch of middle-aged actors who aren’t the youngsters they were on their hit show in the ‘90s” is noted by Priestley, who also has directed the third “BH90210” episode. “And let’s make it a (pseudo-)reality show, and let’s make it funny. That’s what we decided to do.”
The sequel series “BH90210” premieres Wednesday on Fox.