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Can the new 'Beverly Hills 90210' get any awards respect?

September 2, 2008 |  8:56 am

TV critics are furious over the CW network's refusal to give them an early look-see at the new "Beverly Hills 90210," which debuts tonight.

Don't wonder why. Lisa de Moraes of the Washington Post does some ace TV archeology, digging up some early reviews of the original "Beverly Hills 90210," which eventually became a cult sensation during its heyday on the tube (1990-2000).

Howard Rosenberg of the L.A. Times said, "The 90-minute premiere of 'Beverly Hills, 90210' . . . (gives) you the feeling you've been watching for 90 days."

Tom Shales of the Washington Post: "It's apparently part of a new experiment in comatose television -- a show where things almost happen but never quite do. You keep checking your pulse to make sure you haven't died."


However, de Moraes adds, once the show "really got rolling — slumber party rape revelations, lesbian stalker episodes, etc. — the show became a bona fide TV phenom. Series stars Shannen Doherty, Jason Priestley and Luke Perry became household names; behind-the-camera antics were as closely followed as on-screen melodrama. The series hung on for a whopping 10 seasons, nearly 300 episodes."

But how did it do at awards?

The Emmys — ha! — never appreciate these angst-ridden teen tearjerkers, of course, even when they're brilliant (I'm talking about you, "Dawson's Creek"). The only Emmy nomination "Beverly Hills 90210" ever received was for graying showbiz legend Milton Berle, who, seven years before his death, portrayed a graying showbiz legend who's confined to a nursing home by Alzheimer's disease. Berle competed in 1995 — that's 45 years after he won the Emmy for most outstanding kinescope personality and "Texaco Star Theater" beat "The Goldbergs" and "Studio One" for best kinescope show. In 1995, Berle lost to Paul Winfield, who portrayed a tough judge who tosses Kathy Baker in the pokey for interfering with a busing order on "Picket Fences."

The Golden Globes are much more hip and teen-friendly, natch. "Beverly Hills 90210" was at least in that game. It was nominated for best drama series of 1992 and 1993, losing both bids to "Northern Exposure." Jason Priestley was nominated for best actor twice, but lost to Sam Waterston ("I'll Fly Away") in 1993 and to Dennis Franz ("NYPD Blue") in 1995.

One award the original "Beverly Hills 90210" actually won was the People's Choice prize as favorite TV series among young people in 1992.

Now back on the derby track: returning stars Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty, who reprise their roles as Kelly Taylor and Brenda Walsh.

Hey, maybe they can even win Academy Awards?! Don't laugh (too hard). Undefeated double Oscar champ Hilary Swank had her break-out acting gig on "Beverly Hills 90210," portraying single mom Carly Reynolds. Initially, the role was supposed to last two years, but Swank got written off after 16 episodes in January 1998, making her think, "If I'm not good enough for '90210,' I'm not good enough for anything."

However, the axing suddenly freed her up to audition for "Boys Don't Cry."

Read Kate Arthur's feature article in the L.A. Times about the new, retooled "Beverly Hills 90210," CLICK HERE

(Photo: ABC)

The comments to this entry are closed.


I was a fan of the original 90210 and I was glad they made a new series. I was getting attach to the new series and it went off the air. I was happy to see kelly & Brenda and heard they were bringing dillon back. What happen a loyal viewer wants to know?

Jer, I was thinking the EXACT same thing about the South of Nowhere similarities when I was watching it!

When Annie (aka Spencer) was befriended by outcast (Ashley) Silver and then dragged away by btichy Naomi (Madison) I wondered if they'd just borrowed the script!

I wasn't impressed with the new show. They hyped it up too much. The original 90210 was great and it seems like they are taking advantage of how well the other show did and just trying to make these kids even wilder. It seems a little too extreme and not beleivable with the new one.

I am a huge fan of the original 90210 and was skeptical about a new series. I think that they are doing a great job tying the past into the present. It did seem like we are catching up on the lives of the former cast and meeting the new kids as well. The pilot was slow but they gotta start somewhere. I do hope that they continue to incorporate more of the 90210 Alumni. I can't wait to see more!

I watched 90210 and it wasn't good. The charachters are stale and the plot is boring. I am so bummed because I was totally looking forward to them all coming back with the new people. This sucks.

which channel is is going to be shown on?

I thought the new show was great...and actually, south of nowhere copied the original 90210, yeah, Grimes is from Degrassi, so what?
I LOVE the old 90210, and I am sure I will LOVE this one too. Remember, when the original came out, no one thought it would last.......

Is this really what Beverly Hills is like? BJ's in your car, drugs in the parking lot, private jets to dinner, etc etc...teaches kids they need to be skinny, dress sexy, have sex, etc. etc....this is not real life for most kids. The old 90210 was WAY better.

This new 90210 could have been any other NEW show with a different name. They are trying to live off the majic of the old show. The new ones falls short of that majic and it's just not infectous at all.
Maybe, after watching it, it could grow on me, but for a first pilot, it sucked.

The plot surrounding the family and the show was stolen from a show on The N or Noggin network called "South of Nowhere". That show came out in '05 and is about a family who moves from the midwest to LA, because the father gets a new job. The main girl on 90210 is the same as the girl on "South of Nowhere", and the having the black kid adopted into the family and joining the sports team was even stolen from "South of Nowhere". When i was watching 90210 I keep thinking to myself this show seems familiar to me, and not because of the old 90210. Its kind of ironic because the main girl on 90210 comes from a show on The N network called Degrassi. Look up the show "South of Nowhere" show, and you will see what im talking about.

Slow news day, Tom?

I was disappointed that there was a problem with the music and their voice were not insiink!!!!!!!!what happened.did anybody edit this or review this?I loved that they had Hanah sukerman and erin Silver in the show are we going to see David and AndrA?WE NEED MORE OF THE ORGINAN CAST!

Just watched "90210" and have to say they have a long way to go, but bringing back oldies but goodies may just do it. Poor nat and his coffee maker. Can't wait to see mommy Taylor and what a surprise to see Erin sorry Silver.

Ok, I'm watching this 'new' 90210......I have to say as a loyal viewer of the original show, this one sucks. I won't waste my time with it again.



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