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90210
90210 Logo

Format:

Teen Drama

Developed By:

Rob Thomas
Gabe Sachs
Jeff Judah

Starring:

Shenae Grimes
Tristan Wilds
AnnaLynne McCord
Dustin Milligan
Jessica Stroup
Michael Steger
Jessica Lowndes
Matt Lanter
Trevor Donovan
Gillian Zinser

No. of Seasons and Episodes:

5 Seasons
114 Episodes

Executive Producer(s):

Gabe Sachs
Jeff Judah
Rebecca Sinclair
Patricia Carr
Lara Olsen
David S. Rosenthal
Rob Thomas
Mark Piznarski

Location(s):

Beverly Hills, California
Mount St. Mary's College
Raleigh Manhattan Beach
Studios
Tropicana Bar

Distributor:

CBS Television Distribution

Original Channel:

The CW

90210 is an American teen drama television series developed by Rob Thomas and Gabe Sachs, that aired on The CW from September 2, 2008 to May 13, 2013. It is the fourth series in the Beverly Hills, 90210 franchise created by Darren Star. 90210 is the first series produced by CBS Productions under the company's re-launch, but is now produced by CBS Television Studios.

The series originally revolved around several students at the fictional West Beverly Hills High, including new Beverly Hills residents Annie and Dixon Wilson. Their father, Harry Wilson, has returned from Kansas to his Beverly Hills childhood home with his family to care for his mother, former television and theater actress Tabitha Wilson, who has a drinking problem and clashes with his wife Debbie Wilson. Annie and Dixon struggle to adjust to their new lives while making friends and yet adhering to their parents' wishes. The series later focuses on the same group of friends as they graduate from West Beverly and begin their lives in the adult world. Some attend college at California University, while others begin exploring avenues beyond post-secondary education.

During its first two seasons, 90210 featured cast members from the original series that aired years before the new edition, including: Jennie Garth, Shannen Doherty, Tori Spelling, Ann Gillespie and Joe E. Tata.

Production

Conception

Once pitched, the project was put on the fast track by The CW, and an order of the pilot was expected by the end of the month. The Beverly Hills, 90210 creator, Darren Star, was announced not to be involved in the project. The only surviving element from the original series was believed to be Creative Artists Agency, the talent agency which conceived the spin-off idea. Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas was in negotiations to write the pilot and Mark Piznarski was in talks to direct it.

Development

A detailed breakdown of the pilot written by Thomas was released on March 17, containing information on the plot and characters which would be in the series. None of the characters were related to the original series which again aired a few years before, except Erin Silver, played by Jessica Stroup; however, the new series' featured a similar premise: a family with two teenagers who recently moved from the Midwest to Beverly Hills. To reflect the situation at the Beverly Hills school, where around 40 per cent of the students were of Persian descent, a student named Navid Shirazi was created. Thomas intended to introduce the Peach Pit, the diner from the Beverly Hills, 90210, but noted that it would not be featured in the pilot. The writer considered giving the siblings a job at a movie theater, as he did not want them to use their parents' credit cards. Thomas revealed that there were plans to reintroduce one of the original cast members, but had not met with any of them to discuss a role. Thomas later elaborated that the producers wanted to see as many of the original cast members as possible, but were careful not to parade them all out in the pilot.

On April 14, Thomas announced that he was leaving the series to focus on his two pilots for ABC. Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah were hired as the new executive producers and wrote a new version of the script in late April. Sachs said that although Thomas had a great script, their version of the script was edgier. Judah said they they were trying to ground their script in reality, with real character stories and emotional stories. The writers wanted the audience to relate to the characters' problems, which they wanted to be truthful and emotional, but also comedic. The pair were interested in telling several stories simultaneously, featuring many characters. The pair changed the surname of the main family from Mills to Wilson, along with changing the name of the mother from Celia to Debbie. The pair also told reporters that they would be adding their comedic impulses to the script. Sachs and Judah found the parents to be an important part of the series, and designed to be contemporary parents. Since the producers were both fathers, they designed the script to include more prominent adult story lines and a strong point of view on parenting. Judah was interested in focusing on how the family kept their moral center when moving to Beverly Hills, and the way the parents dealt with their teenagers. On May 11, one day before The CW's upfront presentations, the network officially picked up the series for the 2008-2009 television season.

The show was largely considered unsuccessful during its first season, but the characters were a hit. After disagreeing with the network executives over the series' storylines, Sachs and Judah ended their tenure as producers. The CW wanted the series to have a female perspective and focus more on teenage life and glamour; however, Judah and Sachs were more comfortable writing for men, featuring family stories. The studio brought in Rebecca Rand Kirshner Sinclair, co-executive producer of the popular show Gilmore Girls, to revamp the failing 90210. Sinclair is largely credited for saving the show, which had steady ratings in its third season. For the remainder of the first season, Judah worked in post-production, including editing and music supervision, which Sachs ran the production on set. Rebecca Sinclair began retooling the series as head writer and formally took over the show at the start of season 2. In late February 2009, Sinclair signed a seven-figure deal with the producers to serve as executive producer/showrunner for the series' second and third seasons.

On February 16, 2010 The CW renewed the show for a third season. It was also moved to Monday. On April 26, 2011, The CW renewed the show for a fourth season. On March 17, 2011, it was revealed that Sinclair would step down as executive producer when her contract expired at the end of season 3. It was later announced that former Life Unexpected executive producers Patti Carr and Lara Olsen had been hired to take over the series. The show also returned to its debut timeslot, Tuesday's at 8pm. On May 3, 2012, The CW officially renewed 90210 for a fifth season.

DVR ratings for the series have sometimes doubled its broadcast ratings.

On January 13, 2012, the President of The CW Mark Pedowitz stated that though 90210 doesn't have a season 6 renewal in place, the show would most likely be back next year (possibly for the final season if it were to be cancelled) due to him being a big believer in giving fans a very satisfactory conclusion for a long-running show. However, on February 28, 2013 The CW Entertainment President, Mark Pedowitz, announced that 90210 would end its run after five seasons and 114 episodes.

Casting

On March 13, 2008, Kristin Dos Santos of E! confirmed that the series would be a spin-off with new characters and not a remake. In order for the project to be ready for the network's upfront presentations to advertisers in May, casting began before the script was completed. The first actor to be cast was Dustin Milligan, followed by AnnaLynne McCord. The role of Annie Wilson was originally offered to Hilary Duff but she turned it down because she didn't agree with the plot so it was given to Shenae Grimes, who says she was raised watching the original series. Rob Estes was the last actor to join the series; the was sought by The CW to play the part of Harry Wilson. Estes was a previous cast member of the first Beverly Hills, 90210 spin-off, Melrose Place.

Following rumours of cast members from Beverly Hills, 90210 appearing on the spin-off, The CW confirmed that Shannen Doherty and Jennie Garth would be returning in recurring roles, along with Joe E. Tata, for a few episodes, as their original characters. Sachs was familiar with Garth, and talked to her about a possible role in the series. Garth agreed to star on the series without reading a script after brainstorming ideas with Sachs. The producers offered Garth a role as a series regular, but she opted to sign on as a recurring character. Sachs met with Doherty over dinner, and told her about the 90210 spin-off. Over the next few weeks, they established Brenda's backstory and Doherty agreed to guest-star in several episodes. Sachs described Tata's casting as an accident; a friend told Sachs that he had seen Tata in a store, which led to the offer of a role in the series. Sachs said that Tata was ecstatic about the idea and agreed. After reading the script, Tori Spelling expressed interest in returning, and the writers decided to give Donna her own fashion line. Spelling was scheduled to appear in the premiere, but due to personal reasons and the birth of her daughter, she opted to appear later in the season. On August 11, it was reported that Spelling had pulled out of the series after discovering that she was receiving less pay that Garth and Doherty. Spelling asked for her salary of $20,000 per episode to be increased to match their salaries, $40,000 to $50,000 per episode, but when denied she left the show altogether. Jessica Lowndes portrays Adrianna Tate-Duncan, a theatre goddess who suffers a drug addiction, and was later upgraded to a starring role in Jessica Walters' spot.

Sinclair announced in March 2009 that the series' second season would rely less on 90210 alums like Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty to boost ratings. She felt that the show tried to be a lot of things to a lot of people in its first season and thought the center should lie with the generation of kids that were in high school then. It was also announced that Dustin Milligan would not be coming back for season two, while Matt Lanter would be joining the cast as a series regular. Casting soon began for new characters to be introduced in the second season. In June 2009, the series was reportedly looking for an actor to play the recurring role of Teddy, a tennis champ returning to West Beverly. Actor and model Trevor Donovan was later cast in the role. Ann Gillespie returned in the second season for multiple episodes as Jackie Taylor, Silver and Kelly's mother. Her character was once again sober and hoped to reconnect with her daughter after being diagnosed with cancer.

Series Overview

List of 90210 Episodes

Season 1

Much like the original show, 90210 follows to move of a family (parents, Debbie and Harry Wilson, their daughter Annie and adopted son Dixon). Harry is actually from Beverly Hills and comes back both to look after his mother Tabitha and to work as the principal at West Beverly. A few of the family members struggle to adjust to the move. Dixon has minor issues with his adoption; Harry and Debbie struggle with the revelation that Harry has a son with Tracy Clark, his former high school sweetheart.

Tracy has a daughter of her own, Naomi Clark, who dates jock Ethan Ward, brief rival of Dixon, whom she soon breaks up with. Annie and Ethan then pursue a relationship after having had a fling years prior to Annie moving to Beverly Hills. Both girls alternate between being friends, enemies, in a love triangle, and almost sisters due to their parents' child. Their respective mothers find themselves in a love triangle of their own after Tracy's marriage to Charles Clark implodes (which Naomi takes quite badly) and she appears to want Harry back. Naomi's fight with Annie forces her out of the crowd after she starts her many plots of manipulation and revenge when she uses Annie's ex-boyfriend from Kansas, Jason, as a weapon to get back at her for hiding her relationship with Ethan. She becomes friends with a group of older girls and starts flirting with Ozzie Cardoza, a rather alternative student, and later becomes attracted to a bartender named Liam Court, whom she soon finds out is actually her age and becomes a student at West Beverly. Meanwhile, Ethan and Annie's relationship hits the rock as he begins to rethink his life after a car accident and gets more or less attracted to Rhonda, the girl he hit. Soon Naomi and Liam begin a romance, and once she becomes friends with Annie again, Liam's repetitive indecisiveness begins as he starts to pursue the both of them.

Naomi's best friend, fallen starlet Adrianna, battles a drug addiction. This gets her into trouble when Harry decides to raid the school, thanks to the help of a cop, Kimberly MacIntyre, under cover as a student. Kimberly begins a relationship with teacher/lacrosse coach Ryan Matthews, which gets him into trouble with the school. Guilt-ridden, Kimberly does her best to solve the case, giving Ryan his job back, although he takes a leave of absence to rethink his life, and Adrianna lands in rehab, after almost getting Naomi in legal troubles as she took the blame for the drugs. There, she begins a relationship with Navid, head of the school's paper and Dixon's best friend, who paid for her rehab. Navid and Adrianna are in completely different groups in high school. Adrianna was much more outgoing and popular while Navid was more focused on his studies. Navid's dream was to have an opportunity to date Adrianna. Although at first she only does it to repay him, they start to genuinely care about each other. Adrianna later discovers she is pregnant as a result of her promiscuity while she was addicted. After telling Navid of her pregnancy, he breaks up with her. It is later revealed that the father of Adrianna's child is Ty Collins, although it is unclear when they slept together. She and Navid get back together when he realises that even though she is a mess he can't get over her, and they get engaged, although he alienates his family when he tells them that the child is not his and gets upset when Adrianna reveals her daughter is Ty's. Navid's family is very close knit and in some ways conservative. This only applies to some areas of his life seeing that his dad runs an adult entertainment business.

Another featured character is Silver (who goes by her last name), Kelly and David Silver's half-sister and Naomi's former best friend, until Silver's father's affair is revealed by Naomi, although she eventually reconciles her friendship with Naomi. She quickly befriends Annie and starts dating Dixon, who is somewhat taken aback by her not-so-90210 lifestyle, as she is a virgin who doesn't care about popularity. In a multi-episode arc that culminated in a very special episode, it is revealed that Silver has bipolar disorder. Kelly is now a guidance counsellor at West Beverly and has a son named Sammy. Kelly becomes Silver's guardian after her mother proves to be an inadequate caretaker for her daughter due to her alcoholism. She briefly dates Ryan before leaving to work on her relationship with Dylan McKay, Sammy's father. When she returns she discovers Ryan's relationship with student/cop Kimberly but also that he slept with her best friend Brenda, re-creating the rift between the two friends. Following Brenda's discovery that she cannot have children, however, the women are drawn together in an accord once again.

At the prom, Adrianna goes into labour. She gives birth to a daughter whom she gives up for adoption. It is also revealed that Brenda has adopted a child from China. Ethan begins to realise his feelings for Silver, which leads to a confrontation with Dixon and a kiss with Silver. At Naomi and Jen's after prom-party, Liam sleeps with Jen. He is mad that Naomi told Jen about his past as he wanted to keep it a secret. However, he was not aware that Jen was Naomi's sister, and upon finding out is horrified. Naomi finds out about it but thinks that it was Annie with Liam, not Jen. This culminates in a major fight between Annie and Naomi where Annie is shunned by her peers, runs away, get into her car drunk and accidentally runs over a man. This is a suspenseful way to end the season and definitely brings a plot twist seeing that Annie is not sure whether or not this man survived.

Season 2

Season two begins with the end of summer school. Naomi unknowingly dates a married man in an attempt to get over Liam, who shows up at West Beverly on the first day of school after being absent for the entire summer. Silver and Dixon get back together, but break up when he finds out Silver kissed Ethan. It is also revealed that Ethan has decided to stay in Montana with his father. Adrianna is desperate to become a normal teenager, giving up acting and much to Navid's dismay, sex. Their relationship is put under further pressure with the arrival of Teddy Montgomery, Adrianna's ex-boyfriend (to whom Adrianna lost her virginity). Meanwhile, the emotionally distant and guilt-ridden Annie has cut herself from society as much as possible, contributing to a growing discord between her and her brother, who is angry at her for sending him to summer school. Annie begins to date Jasper Herman, which began as a guild-ridden friendship but later turned into a relationship. Jasper is different from any other boy Annie has dated. He is more quiet and mysterious compared to her past boyfriends. Dixon meets a girl named Sasha when he begins his DJing career and is she performing near him in a yacht, to whom he lies about his real age. Navid and Adrianna's relationship continues to tremble when Adrianna continues to find Teddy alluring. Naomi finds out that her SAT scores are not high enough to get into California University, so she decides to date the Dean of admission's son, Richard Carter. She later falls for Richard's roommate, Jamie. Sasha finally learns about Dixon's real age when Debbie accidentally show Sasha, whom she met by chance in a salon and does not know, a picture of her son Dixon who is only in high school.

Silver accompanies Adrianna to an AA meeting where she sees her mother Jackie. Silver learns that Jackie has breast cancer but Kelly forbids her to see their mother to try and relieve the pain, but Silver moves back in with her mother to take care of her. Adrianna breaks up with Navid to get back with Teddy but learns that Teddy does not want a relationship, which makes Adrianna feel sorry for the mistake she has made. Jen continues to manipulate both Naomi and Ryan by manipulating Naomi into lending her a large amount of money, and by persuading Ryan that Liam is hitting on her. Silver, being paired up with Teddy, learns that his mother died, which causes a friendship to blossom. Liam meets Ivy Sullivan, a surfer whom he butts heads with. They form a friendship, which is later made complicated by Ivy having feelings for Liam, which Liam reciprocates. Navid and Gia Mannetti launch an investigation, believing that Jasper is a drug dealer. Being upset about her break-up with Navid, Adrianna relapses on drugs. Sasha tells Dixon she is pregnant, at which Debbie and Harry think she is lying. Debbie, Dixon's mum, meets Sasha and she finds out that she is not really pregnant and advises her to stay away from her son. Jackie and Teddy give Silver her half-birthday by recreating the previous half-birthdays that Jackie couldn't attend because of her alcoholism. Later, Jackie is hospitalised, during which time Kelly and Jackie reconcile before she dies. Navid witnesses Adrianna buying drugs from Jasper which causes him to confront him. Liam finally confides to Dixon, Teddy and Ivy about the events on prom night as they try to figure out a way to get revenge on Jen. Their attempt to get revenge on Jen works, which makes Jen lose everything she has, including her sister and boyfriend Ryan. Teddy begins to pursue Silver more and they share a kiss on the rooftop of the school. Teddy asks Silver out to the dance, but she declines. Navid is hospitalised when Jasper pushes him down the stairs at school because he finds out that Navid is telling people that he is a drug dealer. Navid remembers that it was Jasper who pushed him and is determined to let Annie know he is a drug dealer. Navid asks Adrianna to admit to Annie that she bought drugs from Jasper. After Dixon realises that Jen is the one who slept with Liam and not Annie, he opts to help Annie. Naomi also feels bad for Annie when she learns the truth about prom night. At the dance, Teddy and Silver share another kiss. Silver storms off but later admits to Naomi that she felt something when they kissed. Just as Silver is about to tell Teddy that she wants to give it a shot, she sees him hugging a girl, not knowing it is Teddy's sister. Dixon reveals to Silver that he still has feelings for her, after which he lies and says that he did not know who the girl was that Teddy was embracing. Naomi, Navid, Dixon and Silver reveal to Annie the truth about the Jasper with the help of Adrianna. Annie confronts Jasper about his lies and he reveals to her that he knows she was the one who killed his uncle.

After Christmas break, Jasper blackmails Annie into staying with him. Annie finally decides to end it with Jasper who then tries to commit suicide by jumping off of the Hollywood sign. In the hospital, he tells Annie that he will keep her secret about the hit-and-run. Adrianna reaches out to fellow Alcoholics Anonymous member Gia for help with staying sober. To make Gia's ex-girlfriend jealous, Adrianna kisses her and they become good friends, and when Gia reveals her feelings for Adrianna, they become a couple, but break up after Gia cheats on Adrianna with his ex-girlfriend. Adrianna is approached by Laurel Cooper (Ivy's mum) about a recording contract and she accepts. Navid decides that he wants to win Adrianna back, while Dixon and Ivy explore a relationship with each other. Dixon gets caught up in gambling, getting him into trouble at school with some boys he owes money to. Dixons issue with gambling is a true addiction to the point where he begins borrowing money from his friends and losing it all. Silver and Teddy begin a relationship and continue, despite his father offering her money to break up with Teddy. Teddy is a huge tennis player and has a bright future of that infront of him and his dad does not want any girls getting in the way.

Naomi and Liam start their relationship fresh. Naomi admits to Liam that she has been feigning interest in things he likes and that she needs to be true to herself, even if it means their relationship won't work. This is what Liam wants, and their relationship becomes more stable; however, when Naomi is forced to come clean over false claims she spread claiming that she was sexually harassed by a teacher, Mr. Cannon, Liam decides that he needs a break from her. During this time, Annie and Liam become closer and he consoles her after she overhears her mother, confessing to her father that she kissed her yoga instructor. His consolation causes Annie to believe that Liam is flirting with her, but realising that this was not his intent, Annie instead advises Liam to stay with Naomi, as she does not want to ruin her friendship again over a boy. Liam begins to have his own troubles when his father returns, pretending that he wants to have a relationship with his son. But when Liam steals very valuable coins from his stepfather in hopes of starting a new life with his father, he abandons Liam. Naomi becomes distracted by her pregnant sister Jen returning to town and causing more trouble. Naomi finds out that Ryan is the father of Jen's baby and informs him of his impending fatherhood. Jen does not want Ryan to have anything to do with the future of their baby and Ryan is insistent that he should be involved. After Liam breaks up with her, a devastated Naomi is raped by Mr. Cannon, who tells her that after her initial false accusations, nobody will believe her. Mr. Cannon and Silver had been working on a digital media project when they became close and worked after hours on it. This is also when Naomi was attacked by Mr. Cannon. Dixon leaves for Australia with Ivy after witnessing his parents having another argument. Harry informs Debbie that he was fired as principal after covering up an incident at school for Dixon. Annie reveals to Liam about the hit-and-run, and he encourages her to confess. Jasper is jealous that Annie and Liam are spending so much time together and sets Liam's boat on fire that Liam had been working on for a long time. Liam sees this and attacks Jasper as the police arrive.

Season 3

Season three begins with Beverly Hills being shaken up by an earthquake as the main character start out their senior year. Naomi spent the summer isolating herself. She decides to report her rape, but backs out after discovering that her case will be made more difficult by her previous false accusations. Later, her sister Jen overhears Naomi and Silver's conversation and decides to take matters into her own hands with the help of Ryan, who had seen Cannon and Naomi in the school while he was in a drunken state. When Naomi finds proof to press charges, Cannon disappears. Cannon was from out of the country and had actually been accused many times of rape prior to attacking Naomi. Later, Jen feels that she is a bad mother and leaves her son in the hands of Ryan.

Meanwhile, Annie and Dixon are going through rough times after their parents' divorce and attempt to keep the family close. Debbie deals with the realities of being a newly single mother. Annie has spent the summer on house arrest (in addition to being on probation and having a suspended license) after confessing to her hit-and-run. Annie and Liam have feelings for each other but think it best to put them away so it doesn't interfere with their relationships with others. Annie finds romance with a college student, Charlie Selby, who turns out to be Liam's half-brother. Charlie and Annie have a lot in common and both are theater kids. Liam has a tumultuous relationship with Charlie due to their rocky past. Teddy and Silver are happy together, but in the earthquake Teddy damages his leg, which could possibly end his tennis career. Teddy is also struggling with his sexuality, after realising that he drunkenly slept with another guy, Ian. After some discouraging behaviour from Teddy, Silver breaks up with him. This discouraging behaviour was a result of Teddy being so insecure with himself being gay. With all that going on in school, Adrianna is driving back from a summer of touring with the pop star, Javier Luna. The two became a couple until Navid revealed that he never stopped loving her, and she dumped him for Navid. Although he initially resolves to get her back, she becomes angered by this and he tells her that her singing career is over. Javier dies in a car crash and Adrianna survives. She steals Javier's song book and performs one of his songs at his memorial service, which becomes a hit. She is then blackmailed by Javier's uncle, Victor Luna, who becomes her manager and takes a huge portion of her earnings and forces her to do some uncomfortable things. These included things such as taking half naked pictures and forming a snobby famous image that did not exist before. Navid, realising she is being blackmailed, asks Adrianna not to give in to the threats of Victor. Adrianna decides to take control of her career from Victor after seeing herself on the cover of a magazine. She begins to treat Victor badly and starts alienating Navid and her friends. Navid, however, begins to have family problems when he and Silver discover that his father has been employing underage girls to be in his porn films. Adrianna is oblivious to his problems, causing him and Silver to become closer.

Continuing with relationships, Ivy is still with Dixon but returns from Australia with her old childhood friend, Oscar, who seems to make Dixon uncomfortable. Oscar has hidden motives for revenge on Laurel, who he believes it responsible for his mother's suicide. He and Laurel have been sleeping together secretly throughout the summer and the next step of his plan is to sleep with Ivy as well. When he succeeds, taking her virginity, both of them find out, leaving Ivy upset with her mother. Dixon breaks up with Ivy out of fear after finding out from his ex-girlfriend Sasha that he may be HIV-positive, though he later tests negative. Dixon and Ivy get back together, but Dixon then finds out that Oscar slept with Ivy on the night she and Dixon had had an argument and the two break up again. Naomi starts to fall for Oscar, even though Ivy has warned her of his actions. When he offers to be her boyfriend, she declines. However, unluckily for Naomi, Mr. Cannon is waiting for her in her hotel room when she returns from Adrianna's Christmas party. He holds Naomi hostage and invites Silver to come over. Once she arrives, Mr. Cannon ties her up as well and he tells the girls of his plan to prove his innocence and go to the bank to drain Naomi's trust fund. Silver and Naomi gang up and attack Mr. Cannon. Naomi wants to slit his throat but Silver talks her out of it and calls the police.

Liam reconciles with Charlie after a heart-to-heart conversation in which they discuss the physical abuse they endured as children. After Charlie discovers that Annie has true feelings for Liam, he leaves to study abroad in France, leaving them to start a relationship. Annie begins to have other troubles, however, when her cousin Emily Bradford visits from Kansas. Emily starts to take over things in Annie's life: her friends, her acting roles, her internship and her relationship with Liam. Annie and Liam find a way to prove Emily's scheming ways to everyone, running her out of town. Teddy has continued to struggle with his homosexuality and his feelings for Ian. After being blackmailed anonymously, and with encouragement from Ian, he decides to come out to his friends. He later discovers that Ian was the one who blackmailed him, and breaks up with him. After a serious accident during surf practice, Ivy is prescribed medical marijuana to help relieve anxiety, and meets Raj Kher. Raj reveals to Ivy that he has cancer and they start a close friendship that blossoms into a relationship after he helps her recover from her fear of getting back into the water. Adrianna's secret about stealing Javier's song book is revealed by Victor, which damages her burgeoning career. Navid and Silver have developed a secret relationship and Navid breaks up with Adrianna due to her new self-centred behaviour, after which Adrianna discovers that Navid had been cheating on her with Silver. During a retreat, Naomi meets Guru Sona, whom she believes to have good intentions, but later realises that she scammed her out of a large sum of money. A nerdy guy, Max Miller, helps her get her money back, after which Naomi develops feelings for him. Naomi and Max begin secretly dating to protect their respective reputations, but after the pressure to keep things a secret become too much for Naomi, they decide to out their relationship. A newly vindictive Adrianna decides to exact revenge on Silver for her betrayal. After continuing to feud with each other, Silver and Adrianna call a truce and resolve their friendship. Later though, Adrianna deceives Silver and switches her bipolar medication with placebos, causing Silver to spin out of control. After noticing Silver's strange behaviour, Navid and Dixon intervene and have Silver committed to a mental hospital.

Annie begins working as a personal assistant to an aging actress, Marla Templeton. Annie begins to worry about Marla's well being after she starts to show signs of dementia and finds pamphlets on assisted suicide. She convinces Marla to attend a re-release of one of her films, which seems to reinvigorate Marla. However, when Annie arrives at Marla's home the next day, she discovers that she has committed suicide. Still reeling from his break-up with Ian, Teddy meets a new guy, Marco Salazar. He and Marco eventually begin dating. Jen returns to California and tells Ryan that she wants another chance at raising her son, which they eventually agree on. While Silver is in the hospital, Adrianna takes the opportunity to get close to Navid by getting him drunk and telling him that they kissed. When Navid continues to reject her, Adrianna tells Silver that Navid kissed her, effectively breaking them up. This is a result of Adrianna's jealousy and eagerness for revenge. Raj's health worsens, making he and Ivy concerned for his life. They decide to get married. During the bachelor/bachelorette party, Silver's stolen medication falls out of Adrianna's purse. After being shunned by her friends and considering suicide, Adrianna resolves to become a better person. Max cheats on a paper for Naomi and when they are caught, Naomi takes the blame. During graduation, Max confesses that it was he who cheated, thus allowing Naomi to graduate. After Marla's death, Annie is informed that she has inherited Marla's entire estate. Liam decides not to attend college and takes a job on a fishing boat during the summer. Annie is very sad about this. Max is told that he must stay away from Naomi by his parents but she later reveals to him that she is pregnant.

Season 4

The fourth season begins with Naomi breaking up with Max after what she feels is his excessive relief on discovering that her pregnancy was a false alarm.

At the end of the summer, the various kids are preparing to move on with their lives. Liam comes back from his job on the fishing boat and asks Annie twice to marry him; she says no both times. Liam drunkenly buys a beach bar and starts to develop feelings for a widow he met over the summer. Silver and Navid are living together as Navid manages his business, but are forced to take in his rebellious teenage sister, Leila Shirazi, when she refuses to go to boarding school. His life is complicated by Leila's rebellious nature and by the discovery that his uncle has been running a stolen car ring out of Shirazi Studios. Not only is this tough on Silver who is doing most of the babysitting for Leila. Ivy finds herself dealing with the emotional toll from Raj's deteriorating health. Naomi, attempting to make a big impression at CU buys a large house, coming into conflict with the owner's son Austin Tallridge, who had been growing marijuana on the property. Austin was a very rich, down to earth and country man. He was very different than Naomi's ex-boyfriend Max who was the complete opposite.

Naomi throws a big elaborate beginning of school party for CU students but this backfires when the party is raided by the police and Naomi disposes of Austin's marijuana plants by tossing them on a bonfire, causing the CU's star quarterback to later test positive for drug use. The disastrous party causes Naomi to enter CU as the most unpopular girl in school, a situation she attempts to rectify by pledging a popular sorority. Initially, things appear to be going well as Naomi is taken under the wing of sorority President, Holly Strickler. But after performing a series of humiliating hazing rituals, Naomi discovers that Holly never intended to let her into the sorority and that this was all done to humiliate Naomi. Vowing revenge, Naomi buys her way into the only sorority that will have her: one made up of nerds and social rejects, and becomes their President. Naomi has sex with Austin after he agrees to help her new sorority humiliate Holly. However, she later learns that Austin was using her to break up with Holly, whom he had been dating. When Holly invites Max to a campus event to unsettle Naomi, she rekindles her romance with him, but still finds herself attracted to Austin. Naomi later ends up with Austin and she and Holly become short-lived friends. After Naomi gets the internship that Holly wants, Holly retaliates by attempting to sleep with Austin. Ironically the internship that Naomi received was given to her by Holly's mum which causes some family tension between Holly and her mum. Naomi hits Holly where it really hurts; she wins over Holly's mum. Hurt, Naomi breaks up with Austin. Annie finally gets her inheritance when she records Jeremy calling Marla a bitch. Liam gets into a motorcycling accident after trying to find Annie. A blonde-haired woman named Vanessa Shaw, who hits Liam with her car, calls 911 and says that it was a hit and run. When the winter premiere begins, Liam has been hanging out with Vanessa as she has been trying to create Liam into a star by managing his career. Annie and Dixon return from Paris after spending Annie's new-found wealth. Silver finds out by the end of the episode that her boyfriend's adopted daughter might be Adrianna's. Dixon has a mild stroke and is taken to the hospital. The doctor informs him that he needs to avoid stress, but he's been under pressure of hiding his newfound success with his music career from Adrianna. Liam consoles Silver who learns that she may have the cancer gene that caused her mother's death two years ago. Upon being discharged from the hospital, Dixon notices Ivy's husband Raj has been admitted to the same hospital and learns that Raj's cancer failed remission and is dying. However, Raj tells Dixon not to tell Ivy but he disagrees with his wishes and breaks the bad news to Ivy. Ivy visits the hospital, along with the support of her friends, and makes amends with Raj. As she returns to Raj's room, she learns that he has passed away and died in his sleep. Naomi's sister Jen makes an unexpected visit, and her arrival sparks yet another falling out between the sisters. This time, the sisters fight over the affections of Preston "P.J." Hillingsbrook, a playboy with a lot of cash to blow as the heir to his family's fortune. When he reveals that it was Naomi that he was original infatuated with, Jen does another disappearing act and returns to Paris but not before revealing that P.J. was involved in a scandal. At Raj's funeral, the record company calls Dixon's phone, which Adrianna had in her possession and she finds out that they've signed him but not her. Navid comes back for the funeral, and the gang pays their final respects for Raj at the beach. Meanwhile, Liam and Vanessa break up over her attitude towards Silver. She then steals all the money from the bar. Silver learns that she is positive for the cancer gene and cries on Liam's shoulder. The two kiss and sleep together. Ivy is seen late at night at the beach with her surf board. Caleb who is at the beach warns her about the danger of surfing in the rough waves but Ivy heads on muttering  to herself that nothing lasts forever and runs into the water.

Later, the scandal behind P.J. is that in order to receive his trust he must marry before he turns 28 years old and so he proposes to Naomi, unbeknownst to her. Annie finds out about the clause and tells P.J. to come clean to Naomi, which he reluctantly does. As Naomi learns the truth, she breaks off the engagement. Whilst Dixon is away, Austin returns to town and proposes that Adrianna should start a country music career with his help. Adrianna accepts his offer as Austin becomes her manager, but Austin also has his eyes set of steering Adrianna away from Dixon. Navid also returns and reveals that he wants to resume his relationship with Silver who has found out she has the cancer gene. This causes a dramatic turn as both Liam and Navid want to be with Silver. A fight breaks out between them both during the premiere of Liam's new movie and as a result, Silver decides to go with Navid. Meanwhile, Naomi is the event planner for a young woman named Madison who is enthused by her upcoming nuptials. Naomi gets the shock of her life when she learns that the groom is none other than Max, her ex-boyfriend. At the bachelor's party, Max questions Naomi asking her if he is doing the right thing and before she can reply she is interrupted by Max's fiancee. During the rehearsal wedding, Holly's mother comes back into play and offers Naomi a job offer that she can not refuse. Naomi takes the offer but at the airport is talked out of it by Austin because she is still in love with Max. As the wedding of Madison and Max begins, Naomi abruptly interrupts the service and confesses her love for Max. Elsewhere, Ivy is seen going off to Mexico to be with Diego, who was deported because he was an illegal immigrant in the U.S. and only asks for a one-way ticket. Diego and Ivy had began dating and Diego had helped cease the pain she had been feeling after Raj's death. Diego and her got caught doing illegal graffiti and that is why he was being deported. Annie and Caleb break off their relationship because he can not leave the covenant for Annie. Not only this, but Annie does not think he should. Navid reveals that he isn't ready to have a baby which causes Silver to dump him. She still wants to conceive a child and proposes to have a baby with Teddy. At the very end of the season finale, Adrianna is boarding a plane to Las Vegas to kick start her country music career because Dixon has not returned on time from his tour but little does she know that the car broke down and he had to hitch hike. As Dixon is on the phone with Navid telling him to stop Adrianna, a truck hits Dixon's car and it is left unknown if Dixon is still alive.

Season 5

Season 5 starts out with the viewer's finding out that Dixon is not dead and the gang must come to terms with Dixon's new disability.

In the series finale, Adrianna is stuck in the rubble after the explosion at the theatre. Navid returns to the scene to find Adrianna amongst the wreckage, where they realise their love for one another and vow to plan their future together. Naomi throws a relief concert for the theatre explosion and later decides to fly out to Washington DC after making amends with Jordan. Silver receives devastating news that she has cancer, however she states that she will do everything she can to put up a fight. Annie decides to stay in Paris after her book tour finishes. While saying goodbye, Dixon reminds Annie that he will be there for her no matter what. As Annie prepares for take-off, Liam chases after the plane on his motorcycle. The plane comes to a stop and Liam gets down on one knee, proposing to Annie. He says that he has always loved her and will not take no for an answer. After Annie tearfully accepts, the news spreads quickly to their friends who share in the excitement. The episode ends with Annie and Liam hugging one another in a joyful embrace.

Main Characters

List of 90210 Cast and Characters

The first actor to be cast was Dustin Milligan on April 1, 2008, followed by AnnaLynne McCord on April 14. Sachs found Milligan to be really funny and changed Ethan to better represent his personality. McCord was cast because, according to Sachs, "she's someone who is worldly, and there's a sophistication to her that's interesting". The role of Annie was given to Shenae Grimes, who says she was raised watching the original series. Sachs and Judah had seen Grimes' work before and knew she had the acting chops, and she was cast after acting a dramatic scene which she "just killed". Sachs stated, "she can act, she's beautiful and she can give this sweet cuteness that lets us see through her eyes into this world."

Lori Loughlin auditioned for the role of Debbie and was given the part straight away. Sachs thought that Loughlin was too established to read for the part, but realises that she understood the role immediately. The producers were fans of Jessica Walter after watching her film, Play Misty for Me. Sachs found that Walter knew pieces of the scene, and suggested "stuff that works". Sachs described Ryan Eggold, who portrayed Ryan Matthews, as "a sophisticated actor, and he's also very funny". Sachs believed that every time Eggold would be on screen, "people are going to go, Wow!" The producers were looking for an actor who could portray Silver as a "quirky kid who moves to her own beat". Sachs explained that Jessica Stroup "came in dressed for the part, artsy and quirky, and she had her hair up and she had a bandanna. She nailed it." The producers were fans of Tristan Wilds for his acting on The Wire, and hoped to hire him as Dixon from the start of casting. When asked about Michael Steger, who portrays Navid. Sachs said "he's just great". Rob Estes, the last actor to join the series, was a previous cast member of the first Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place. Estes was sought out by The CW to play Harry, but was contracted on the drama Women's Murder Club. When that series was cancelled, Sachs called Estes and explained the spin-off to him, and he thought it was a great idea. Sachs promised that although he was playing a parent, he would not "be furniture... as in the seldom seen or heard parents who populate many youth-centric series, like the Walsh parents on the original series."

The CW confirmed that Jennie Garth, Shannen Doherty, Tori Spelling and Joe E. Tata would be returning in recurring roles as their original characters. Sachs was familiar with Garth, and talked to her about a possible role in the series. Garth agreed to star on the series without reading a script after brainstorming ideas with Sachs. The producers offered Garth a role as a series regular, but she opted to sign on as a recurring character. Doherty decided to appear after talking with Sachs, but her appearance was moved to the second episode. Sachs described Tata's casting as an accident, a friend told Sachs that he had seen Tata in a store, which led to the offer of a recurring role in the series. Sachs said that Tata was ecstatic about the idea and agreed. After reading the script, Spelling expressed interest in returning, and the writers decided to give her character her own fashion line. Spelling was scheduled to appear in the premiere, but due to personal reasons and the birth of her daughter, she opted to appear later in the season.

Main Cast

Actor Character Season(s)
1 2 3 4 5
Shenae Grimes Annie Wilson Main Cast
Matt Lanter Liam Court Recurring Main Cast
AnnaLynne McCord Naomi Clark Main Cast
Dustin Milligan Ethan Ward Main Cast
Jessica Stroup Erin Silver Main Cast
Trevor Donovan Teddy Montgomery Recurring Main Cast Recurring
Gillian Zinser Ivy Sullivan Recurring Main Cast
Tristan Wilds Dixon Wilson Main Cast
Jessica Lowndes Adrianna Tate-Duncan Main Cast
Michael Steger Navid Shirazi Main Cast
Lori Loughlin Debbie Wilson Main Cast Guest-Star
Rob Estes Harry Wilson Main Cast
Ryan Eggold Ryan Matthews Main Cast

Broadcast

90210 first aired in the United States on The CW, Tuesdays at 8:00pm Eastern/7:00pm Central.

In the United Kingdom, the series aired on E4, after beating off competition from Channel 5, ITV2 and Living for the rights to broadcast the show. In Australia, it aired on Network Ten for 6 episodes until the network pulled it from their schedules due to low ratings. However, on January 2011 it started airing on Eleven as part of a broadcast schedule aimed at a younger audience. Due to poor performance, Eleven also pulled 90210 off their schedule. It's now shown on Sunday afternoons at 5:00pm. The show airs in Ireland on RTE Two, initially the show aired in a prime-time slot of Thursdays paired with Ugly Betty. When the show returned for its second season the show was moved to an early morning timeslot of just after midnight where it still airs. In India, it airs on Big CBS Channels

90210 went on its mid-season break on December 10, 2012 and is scheduled to return on January 21, 2013, at a new time slot of 9:00pm, one week after the premiere of The Carrie Diaries, which took its original time slot of 8:00pm.

DVR ratings for the season have sometimes doubled its broadcast ratings.

On January 13, 2013, the President of The CW Mark Pedowitz stated that thought 90210 didn't have a season 6 renewal in place, the show would most likely be back next year (possibly for the final season if it were to be cancelled) due to him being a "big believer in giving fans a very satisfactory conclusion" for a long-running show. However, on February 28, 2013 The CW Entertainment President, Mark Pedowitz, announced that 90210 would end its run after five seasons and 114 episodes.

Reception

Ratings

Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of 90210 on The CW.

Season Timeslot (ET) # Ep. Premiered Ended TV Season Rank Viewers (in millions) 18-49 Rating (Average)
Date Premiere Viewers (in millions) Date Finale Viewers (in millions)
1 Tuesday 8:00pm & Tuesday 9:00pm 24 September 2, 2008 4.65 May 19, 2009 2.00 2008-2009 #172 2.24 1.4
2 Tuesday 8:00pm 22 September 8, 2009 2.44 May 18, 2010 1.61 2009-2010 #137 1.82 0.9
3 Monday 8:00pm 22 September 13, 2010 1.96 May 16, 2011 1.64 2010-2011 #133 1.72 0.8
4 Tuesday 8:00pm 24 September 13, 2011 1.61 May 15, 2012 0.98 2011-2012 #145 1.54 0.8
5 Monday 8:00pm & Monday 9:00pm 22 October 8, 2012 0.94 May 13, 2013 0.51 2012-2013 #147 1.15 0.6

The series premiere was seen by 4.65 million U.S. viewers. The UK premiere was seen by 468,000 viewers on E4.

The second season premiered to 2.56 million viewers and achieved 1.3 rating in the Adults 18-49 demographic, up 18% from its first season finale but down 50% from its series premiere. Although ratings decreased after its three-month hiatus it was the #1 most successful show on DVR in the 18-49 percentage increase between March 22-28 increasing to a 1.1 rating. DVR ratings for the show have sometimes doubled its broadcast ratings. The CW have described its DVR ratings as some of the most impressive on TV and cited them as the reason for the series' fourth season renewal.

The third season premiere was viewed by 1.96 million viewers in the United States and achieved 0.9 rating in Adults 18-49. Episode 11 hit season highs in all categories with a 1.1 Adults 18-49 rating, 1.4 Adults 18-34 and 2.1 in The CW's target of Women 18-34. It was also the most watched episode in over a year with 2.18 million viewers tuning in. In the UK, the eighth episode of season three "Mother Dearest" was seen by 548,000 viewers, bettering its series premiere.

Critical Response

Most reviews of the pilot were average. Metacritic gave the episode a Metascore, a weighted average based on the impressions of a select 12 critical reviews, of 46, signifying mixed of average reviews. Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe felt that like the original, 90210 was "pretty good". Gilbert said that the episode "seemed to take forever to set up some remarkably bland plotlines", which he found had been executed with more finesse by other teen soaps. The reviewer criticised the writers for "unimaginative material", and commented on the risque oral sex scene. Gilbert claimed that the characters lacked depth and distinction throughout the pilot, especially Naomi, whom he compared negatively to Gossip Girl's Blair Waldorf. By contrast, Tom Gliatto of People magazine gave Naomi Clark a favourable review, but stated that he felt the case as whole had yet to gel. When compared to the original series, Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette felt that the spin-off covered the same themes, family, friends, teen melodrama, relationships, but with more humour. Owen praised the compelling characters and the acting, and found the dialogue to be more painful than clever.

As the show continued its first season, the response became considerably more positive, and by the second season critical response was favourable. Entertainment Weekly gave the second season an A-, stating that "all it took was a little sunshine to give this show some heat", and that the "new, trashier take is working" after what they considered a "drippy" first season. LaDale Anderson of Canyon News commented on the change between the first two seasons, saying that "the transformation of the characters and storylines in season two has been fantastic", and "sometimes a show needs a makeover and with the right pieces in place a not so good show can become something sensational." The reviewers pinioned that "what has worked so well is that the characters are not one-dimensional. With most shows characters seamlessly continue to embody characteristics that solely define them, but not here." Anderson also praised the writing, saying it was "intricate and intertwines itself without forcing the storylines to connect; they mesh naturally."

Accolades

Year Award Category Recipients and Nominees Outcome
2009 People's Choice Award Favourite New TV Drama 90210 Nominated
Prism Awards Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline Nominated
Performance in a Drama Multi-Episode Storyline Jessica Lowndes Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Drama 90210 Nominated
TV Breakout Show Nominated
Choice TV Actor Dustin Milligan Nominated
TV Breakout Female AnnaLynne McCord Nominated
TV Breakout Star Tristan Wilds Nominated
TV Parental Unit Rob Estes and Lori Loughlin Nominated
ASCAP Award Top Television Series Liz Phair and Marc Dauer Won
2010 Young Hollywood Artists Young Hollywood Sparkling Performance Jessica Stroup Won
Breakthrough of the Year Awards Breakthrough Standout Performance AnnaLynne McCord Won
TV Choice Awards Best Drama Series 90210 Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Drama Nominated
Female Scene Stealer Shenae Grimes Won
TV Parental Unit Rob Estes and Lori Loughlin Nominated
Choice TV Actor Tristan Wilds Nominated
Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Series- Recurring Young Actor 13 and Under Riley Thomas Stuart Nominated
2011 ALMA Award Favourite TV Actor- Supporting Role Tristan Wilds Nominated
2012 PRISM Award Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline- Substance Use (Dixon's Addiction) Nominated
Male Performance in a Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline Nominated
Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline- Mental Health (Silver's Bipolar Disorder) Jessica Stroup Nominated
Female Performance in a Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline Nominated

DVD Releases

Name Region 1 Region 2 Region 3 Discs
The First Season August 11, 2009 August 17, 2009 April 7, 2011 6
The Second Season August 24, 2010 September 6, 2010 July 21, 2011 6
The Third Season August 30, 2011 August 15, 2011 July 18, 2012 6
The Fourth Season October 2, 2012 October 1, 2012 March 6, 2013 6
The Fifth Season October 8, 2013 October 14, 2013 October 14, 2013 5