In FOX’s summer event series BH90210 (Wednesdays at 9pm ET/PT beginning Aug. 7), the cast of the hottest teen soap of the 1990s gathers to put a new spin on an old favorite. Tori Spelling, Jennie Garth, Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Ian Ziering, Brian Austin Green and Gabrielle Carteris star as heightened versions of themselves who reunite and attempt to create a reboot of Beverly Hills, 90210. The series promises a lot of irreverent fun as the actors poke fun at themselves and their lives. When we caught up with Garth and Spelling (who serve as co-creators and executive producers), they hinted at what viewers can expect, courtesy of America’s most famous zip code.
How does it feel to be back in the world of Beverly Hills, 90210?
Tori Spelling: It’s like reliving your childhood! You never think you could get a do-over or chance to go back, and we actually get that. On one hand, I started when I was 16, so I get to turn into my 16-year-old self with all of my high school friends; on the other hand, you’re like, “Wow, now we’re all talking about our kids and our lives, and everything has evolved so much!”
Jennie Garth: There’s just that comfort level we all have with each other that it’s hard to build up that kind of trust and familiarity with a new group of people, so coming back together again has been really a good feeling.
How did this concept come together?
Spelling: Jennie and I co-created it with Chris Alberghini and Mike Chessler, but the cast are all EPs, all seven of us. That was really important because we wanted to do a show that we’re all on the same page, and that was a conversation when we all got together, like we’re either all in or all out. I loved that everyone was so into kind of owning it. They were excited to make fun of media’s misconceptions about them and poke fun at what people believed to be their persona and go for a heightened version of that.
What can viewers of this new series and longtime fans of Beverly Hills, 90210 expect?
Garth: We’re showing people a glimpse into what they think they know, but they don’t really know. … There are moments where we get to see how being on that show and being a part of such a wild ride at such an early age in all of our lives, how that impacted us and affected everyone differently. It’s really an interesting sort of look at that and at the same time giving that love to the fans of the original show and doing all kinds of really fun, campy callbacks and homages to the OG show.
What kinds of callbacks can you tease?
Garth: Let’s see. Well, we do end up back at the Peach Pit. You do get to see the characters playing their characters from the original show. We use the lines that we remember or some sort of wardrobe choices here and there that are sort of throwbacks or, in a way, redesigned to be more current.
Spelling: I still have a couple of original outfits, and I might be wearing one in the new show. I was very excited that I still fit into it.
How has the death of Luke Perry affected this reboot?
Spelling: It’s definitely devastating in our lives, and in our friendships, and obviously on the show. It came so out of the blue, and it’s still devastating for any of us to even think about or talk about, and we’ll definitely honor him in the show respectfully the best we can.
Garth: I think each of us feels his presence in different ways. I know there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wish he was here or tangible in person, but I can feel him with us. … I think that the awesome part of the show is that we for some reason got put together at an exact moment in history when we all probably really needed to be together.
Jennie, how does the amplified BH90210 version of you differ from the real you?
Garth: She’s much fancier. She’s a better dresser, I’d say that. She’s more probably interested in the business than the real me, and also she’s a bit more sardonic, I would say. In my real life, I have a kind of twisted sense of humor; maybe some people see it as dark.
What was the energy like at the first table read for BH90210?
Garth: It was as if no time had passed even though so much time had passed and so much had happened to us in the last 20 plus years individually as far as just growth as human beings and events of our lives. It’s as if nothing has changed in a weird way.
Spelling: The best part was watching other people watching us do the table read. You could see the true fan in people coming out on their faces. They just looked so happy.
Tori, your late father Aaron produced Beverly Hills, 90210. What would he think of what you’re doing?
Spelling: I totally believe that he knows, and I feel like he’s definitely been a driving force behind me finding my beliefs and being passionate about going forward and creating what I wanted to make a reality. It’s no easy feat in this business getting something made; nothing’s a no-brainer. Many people would say, “Oh, it’s 90210, it’s a hit show, of course they would want to remake that.” But you know, there’s logistics, there’s pieces to the puzzle that you have to do right. I think Jen and I really stuck to our guns and made that a reality, and I think my dad would be super proud of both of us.