Beverly Hills 90210

Beverly Hills 90210

Synopsis of TV Show

It's rare for a teen-themed show to live long, since the core audience for such shows usually move on to more mature-themed entertainment when they get older. Beverly Hills 90210 was a rare exception to this rule. This slice-of-rich-people's-life managed to stay on television for many years by straddling the line between being a relevant drama and fulfilling everyone’s idealized teen fantasy.

The show began with the move of the Walsh family from Minneapolis to Beverly Hills. The parents of the family, Jim and Cindy, were paragons of old-fashioned values: he was the breadwinner, she the faithful housewife. Their children, fraternal twins Brenda and Brandon, had it tougher. These fish out of water had to fit in with the hip, jaded students of West Beverly Hills High.

Brenda became best friends with the gorgeous but vain Kelly, and Donna was the insecure friend of both girls. Steve was Kelly’s often-arrogant ex-boyfriend and the adopted son of a TV star. Dylan was the moody surfer-type that Brenda fell for, Andrea the school’s resident brain, and freshman David just wanted everybody to like him. Fellow student Scott Scanlon was another early regular, but he died in a handgun mishap not far into the show’s run. The only other major character at the series' start was Nat, an adult who owned the local student hangout the Peach Pit.

Other characters would be added to the show as the students of West Beverly Hills High finished their secondary education and moved on to college. Herbert, a student added in 1992, became the show’s first African-American character. Brenda left the show after the 1993-94 season and was replaced by Valerie, the daughter of the Walshes' family friends from Minnesota. She quickly became the show’s resident bad girl. Dylan eventually left the show after the 1995-96 season.

The show was wildly popular with teens early on because it was one of the few programs willing to deal with relevant teen social topics in its stories. Over the years, the show tackled issues as diverse as teen alcoholism, drug abuse (both teen and parental), a parent's addiction, teen sexuality, date rape, eating disorders, drunk driving, racism, classism, child abuse, adoption, obsessive relationships, AIDS, and teen suicide. No character was immune from trials—Brenda had to agonize over whether or not she was pregnant after having sex with Dylan, and Donna discovered she was dyslexic.

At the same time, the show never became too dramatically heavy for viewers, because it dealt with all these problems in an idealized fantasy setting where everyone was rich and beautiful. The mixture of melodrama and fantasy appealed to an ever-growing cult of non-teen viewers who approached the show as a campy pleasure. It wasn’t uncommon for a teen fan of the show to grow older and cross the line into the show’s following of kitsch devotees. This guaranteed the show a long life.

Beverly Hills 90210 aired its final episode on May 17th, 2000, after running for a little under a decade. During its run, it spawned a noticeable spin-off success in the long-running Melrose Place. They may not have been dreamy teens any more (in fact, most weren't really teens when the show started), but topical stories played out by beautiful people made Beverly Hills 90210 one of the most popular zipcodes on television.

Release History of Prime Time Show

10/4/90 - 5/17/00 Fox

TV Sub Categories

drama

Television Network

FOX

Television Studio

Spelling Television

TV Cast

Brandon Walsh (1990-98) Jason Priestley
Brenda Walsh (1990-94) Shannen Doherty
Kelly Taylor Jennie Garth
Steve Sanders Ian Ziering
Andrea Zuckerman / Vasquez (1990-95) Gabrielle Carteris
Dylan Michael McKay (1990-95, 1998-2000) Luke Perry
David Silver Brian Austin Green
Donna Marie Martin / Silver Tori Spelling
Cindy Walsh (1990-95) Carol Potter
Scott Scanlon (1990-91) Douglas Emerson
Jim Walsh (1990-95) James Eckhouse
Valerie Malone (1994-98) Tiffani-Amber Thiessen
Nathaniel "Nat" Bussicio Joe E. Tata
Jesse Vasquez (1994-95) Mark D. Espinoza
Ray Pruit (1994-95) Jamie Walters
Clare Arnold (1993-97) Kathleen Robertson
Carly Reynolds (1997-98) Hilary Swank
Noah Hunter (1997-2000) Vincent Young
Janet Sosna / Sanders (1998-2000) Lindsay Price
Matt Durning (1998-2000)  Daniel Cosgrove
Gina Kincaid (1998-2000)  Vanessa Marcil
Antonia Elisabeth "Toni" Marchette / McKay (1995) Rebecca Gayheart
Samantha Sanders (1991-99)  Christine Belford
Rick (1992)   Dean Cain
Rush Sanders (1994-2000)   Jed Allan
Emily Valentine (1991)  Christine Elise
Susan Keats (1995-96)   Emma Caulfield
Jackie Taylor   Ann Gillespie
Mel Silver (1991-2000)   Matthew Laurance
Dr. John Martin (1992-2000)  Michael Durrell
Felice Martin (1991-2000)   Katherine Cannon
Chancellor Milton Arnold (1993-97)   Nicholas Pryor
Colin Robbins (1995-96)   Jason Wiles
Joe Bradley (1995-96)   Cameron Bancroft
Mark Reese (1996-97)   Dalton James
Tracy Gaylian (1996-97)  Jill Elizabeth Novick
Iris McKay (1991-93, 1995)   Stephanie Beacham
Zach Reynolds (1997-98)  Myles Jeffrey
Mrs. Yvonne Teasley (1992-93)   Denise Y. Dowse
Josie Oliver (2000)   Sydney Penny
Jack McKay (1990-93, 2000)   Josh Taylor
Ryan Sanders (1996-97, 2000)   Randy Spelling
Sheila Silver (1995-96)   Caroline Lagerfelt
Erica Steele (1993-94) Noley Thornton
Erin Silver (1997-2000)  Mercedes Kastner
Erin Silver (1993-94)   Arielle Peterson
Erin Silver (1993-94)  April Peterson
Erin Silver (1994-95)   Paige Kettner
Erin Silver (1994-95)  Ryanne Kettner
Tony Marchette (1995)   Stanley Kamel
Joan Diamond / Bussicio (1996-97)   Julie Parrish
Prof. Lucinda Nicholson (1993-94)  Dina Meyer
Tara Marks (1996)  Paige Moss
Laura Kingman (1993-94)  Tracy Middendorf
Rose Zuckerman (1990-92)  Lainie Kazan
Rose Zuckerman (1994)   Bess Meisler
Suzanne Steele (1993-94)  Kerrie Keane
Kevin Weaver (1994)   David Hayward
John Sears (1993-94)   Paul Johansson
Stuart Carson (1993-94)  David Gail
Jordan Bonner (1992-93) Michael Anthony Rawlins
Tony Miller (1992-93)  Michael Cudlitz
Roy Randolph (1994)  Jason Carter
Leslie Sumner (1993)   Brooke Theiss
D'Shawn Hardell (1993-94)   Cress Williams
Sue Scanlon (1992)  Nicholle Tom
Christine Pettit (1992-94, 2000) Valerie Wildman
Camille Desmond (2000) Josie Davis
 
Chris Suiter  Michael St. Gerard
Henry Thomas (1991-92)  James Pickens Jr.
Nikki Witt (1992)  Dana Barron
Mr. Hutchins (1992)   Jeff Doucette
Gil Meyers (1992-93)  Mark Kiely
Herbert Little (1992)  Cory Tyler
Josh Richland (1993-94)   Joshua Beckett
Arnold Morton Muntz (1993-97, 2000) Ryan Thomas Brown
Dixon (1993-94)  Brandon Douglas
Celeste Lundy (1993-94)   Jennifer Grant
Keith Christopher (1993-94)   Robert Leeshock
Prof. Corey Randall (1993-94)  Scott Paulin
Dan Rubin (1993-94) Matthew Porretta
Howard (1993-94)   Zachary Throne
Artie Devers (1994)  Todd Bryant
Student (1994-96)  Jennifer Ann Caubet
Nadine (1994-97, 2000)   Nancy Fernandez
Willie (1994-97)  Wesley Gullick
Charlie Rawlins (1994-95)  Jeffrey King
LuAnn Pruit (1994-95)   Caroline McWilliams
Dana (1994-95) Kristine Mejia
Alex Diaz (1994)   F.J. Rio
The Dean (1994)   William S. Taylor
Griffin Stone (1994)   Casper Van Dien
Dr. Peter Tucker (1994-95)   James C. Victor
Dr. Molly Campbell (1995)  Jane Daly
Ginger LaMonica (1995-96)   Elisa Donovan
J. Jay Jones (1995)   Wings Hauser
Luisa Dixon (1995-96)  Tembi Locke
Dan McGrath (1995)   Gerald McCullouch
Prof. Patrick Finley (1995)  Alan Toy
Bruno (1995)  Cliff Weissman
Barbara (1996)   Amanda Anka
KEG brother (1996)   Charles Carpenter
Jonathan Casten (1996)   Carl T. Evans
Richard "Dick" Harrison (1996-97)  Dan Gauthier
Kenny Bannerman (1996)   Joey Gian
Prince Carl (1996)  Nick Kiriazis
Joy Taylor (1996-97)   Ruth Livier
Diane Bannerman (1996)   Sydney Coale Phillips
Bill Taylor (1996-97)  John Reilly
Linda Barnes Hill (1996) Amy Ryder
Michael Bannerman (1996)  George Schroeder
Cliff Yeager (1996-97)  Greg Vaughan
Austin Sanders (1996-97)  Travis Wester
Eric Budman (1996)   Michael Woolson
Emma Bennett (1997-98)   Angel Boris
Chloe Davis (1997)   Natalia Cigliuti
Dr. Monahan Becker (1997-98)   George Del Hoyo
Rusty (1997)  Brian Donovan
Evan Potter (1997) Trevor Edmond
Det. Woods (1997)   Robert Gossett
Rob Andrews (1997)  Jason Lewis
Terri Spar (1997)   Fatima Lowe
Ellen Fogarty (1997)   Julie Nathanson
Cooper Hargrove (1997)  Christopher Orr
Tom Miller (1997)  Kane Picoy
Band leader/singer (1997)  Brian Reardon
Bandmember #3 (1997)   Jeff Van Atta
Jeff Stockman (1998)  Michael Reilly Burke
Robert Gwinnet (1998)   Robert Curtis-Brown
Sophie Burns (1998)  Laura Leighton
Jasper McQuade (1998)   Paul Popowich
Unknown Wendy Rader
Unknown Alissa Branch Stamatis

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