There’s a good reason why TV shows about teen drama tend to become so popular. Teenagers need something they can relate to or something to help them forget about their own lives. Hence the success of shows like Degrassi, Gossip Girl, Skins, The O.C., and of course, Beverly Hills 90210.
As it turns out, Beverly Hills 90210 didn’t only feature complicated relationships and acts of rebellion on screen — there was plenty going on behind the scenes that fans never knew. However, over the years, secrets tend to spill, and we’ve got them all right here…
1. The show was inspired by Thirtysomething and The Breakfast Club: Beverly Hills, 90210 creator Darren Star wanted to create a series about teenagers in Beverly Hills, with a focus on real teen issues, he took a page from John Hughes’ playbook and left us with a show that’s still adored decades later.
2. The Walshes didn’t live in Beverly Hills: The house where the Walshes lived was actually located in Altadena, California, 30 miles from everybody’s favorite zip code. This is doubly funny when you consider that the Walshes move to “Beverly Hills” was actually the spark that ignited the entire show!
3. Ian Ziering wasn’t interested: When he first read the script, Ziering thought the show was rather superficial… but hey, a starring role in a TV show, is a starring role in a TV show! He was happy to discover that the storylines were about a whole lot more than golden tans and fast cars…but it had those too.
4. Shannen Doherty bombed: Years later she admitted that she thought she totally blew her audition, but the casting director said, “I wouldn’t count yourself out yet, kiddo!” Obviously, she totally nailed it. Could you imagine anyone else as Brenda?
5. Jason Priestly finished last: The last role to be cast was that of Brandon Walsh. “I read for Aaron on Thursday,” Priestly recalled. “I got the job Friday afternoon, and on Monday we started production.” Some things, like Jason playing Brandon, are just meant to be.
6. Dylan McKay wasn’t gonna stick around: Originally, Dylan’s story arc was never supposed to last more than a few episodes. However, they created a larger character because they loved the actor’s talent. Now Dylan’s remembered as every girl’s first bad-boy crush!
7. Tori Spelling hid her identity: Although Tori Spelling auditioned under a different name, the casting director may have known that she was the daughter of the show’s main producer, Aaron Spelling. I mean, come on, how are you gonna keep that a secret.
8. Her dad was watching, too: Aaron always asked about Donna. While she was meant to be a somewhat minor character, she became a star of the show while avoiding any risqué shots — most likely due to Aaron’s input. Daddy’s little girl in sexy-time scenes? I think not!
9. Gabrielle Carteris was old: The oldest of the main cast, she was already 29 when she played 16-year-old Andrea; the actress didn’t reveal her age until several seasons in. That certainly explains Andrea’s wisdom and pluck!
10. Fox was anti-hookups: The affiliates didn’t mind that Brenda and Dylan finally consummated their love after the Spring Fling in 1991, but they wanted the couple to face “serious consequences” for doing the deed, something the show’s writers thankfully ignored. Love wins!
11. There was a bomb threat: It sounds scary, but it’s how the cast knew they made it big. Jennie Garth recalled, “We got a bomb threat once. While we were filming a graduation scene, someone hid a bomb underneath the bleachers. It was like, ‘Ooh! We hit it big!’”
12. There was drama behind the camera: Shannon Doherty and Jennie Garth didn’t just “not get along”. They had the feud of the decade, and their clashes on set were legendary. “There were times when it was worse than high school,” Garth said.
13. …And romances: Jason Priestly admitted that his “first full-fledged adult relationship” — with Christine Elise, who played bad girl Emily Valentine — began on the show. Brandon! So naughty for such a good boy.
14. No shades: Sunglasses were practically forbidden during most scenes of the show because Aaron Spelling believed the characters needed to let their eyes show for the audience to connect with them. Tori Spelling once said: “Luke Perry’s famous squint was probably because my dad wouldn’t let him wear sunglasses.”
15. No one was allowed to change their hair: Apparently, Aaron would not be pleased if the cast came back from a break with a new ‘do. It kind of makes sense — they have to look like their characters for years on end!
16. Hillary Swank got fired: Oscar winner Hilary Swank played Carly Reynolds, Steve Sanders’s love interest during 90210’s eighth season. But it wasn’t personal! She was fired because the fans wanted Steve to remain unattached.
17. Ian Ziering was a diva: During the fourth season, he trashed his dressing room when they saw cut one of his scenes. “That was like the first time I really got some great words to say,” he said, “and it never made it through the edit.” Hey, who knew Steve could be such a Dylan?
18. Jason Priestly faced a sad departure: When it was time for Priestley to leave the show, he didn’t leave on exactly good terms. Nobody even acknowledged his departure! “I hugged the crew, went to my car and drove away,” he recalled. “I felt like I’d wasted nine years of my life.”
19. Luke Perry was team Brandon: While Dylan might have smoldered his way into our hearts, he didn’t root for his own character when it came to the love triangle with Brandon and Kelly Taylor. “My guy was a lot of things, [but] stable wasn’t one of them,” Luke said.
20. Reunion: While reunion rumors have followed the show virtually since it ended, this one is the real deal. 6 out of the 8 original cast members have already signed on, while Shannen Doherty is not likely to show for this high-school reunion. Another star who won’t be able to participate is Luke Perry who had a stroke in early 2019 and died at the age of 52.
21. The show only ever got 1 Emmy nomination: They were nominated for 4 Golden Globe categories and 1 Emmy but never won. Still, the shows fans are proof of just how awesome it really was.
The drama behind the scenes on Beverly Hills: 90210 was legendary, and this certainly wasn’t the only TV show out there that had its own share of secret trouble the fans never knew about…
1. D.B. Weiss and David Benioff were the writers and producers behind Game of Thrones. Apparently, on the first go of its pilot T.V. episode, the writing and pacing were so dismal, basic plot points were completely incomprehensible.
Those who did watch the pilot, couldn’t even discern that Jaime and Cersei were siblings. Friends of the screenwriters begged them to throw out the pilot and reshoot the whole thing. Sometimes giving that kind of brutal honesty is the friendliest thing you can do.
2. You win some and lose some. When Breaking Bad actor Raymond Cruz — who played Tuco Salamanca — proved to have too many scheduling conflicts, he was forced to leave the show. To fill his void the writers increased the role of Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman. Now, the show is almost impossible to imagine without him!
3. The ultimate “frenemies” might be the very familiar BFFs of Sex And The City. Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall have been in the spotlight for years for their disdain of one another, but things really came to a head years after the show ended.
The third City movie was canceled because Cattrall refused to participate. The media speculated it was an issue of money, but Cattrall refuted those claims saying it was SJP. “She was cruel and has always been cruel,” Cattrall explained on social media. The actress claimed that because of Parker, that chapter in her life is 100 percent finished.
4. Word on the street is that the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air got pretty fresh with his Aunt Vivian. Though the two had a good on-screen dynamic, they were known to have off-camera feuds. Things got so bad between Will Smith and Janet Hubert (Aunt Vivian) that she left the show after three seasons and was replaced by Daphne Reid.
5. The ironically titled Community had anything but a healthy behind-the-scenes community. The show’s creator Dan Harmon and actor Chevy Chase couldn’t stand each other. It’s said Harmon made some comments about Chase that led Chase to send an email to Harmon that was riddled with profanity. Harmon leaked the email to the media and the ordeal escalated to the point where Chase quit the series and Harmon was fired.
6. Pinky & The Brain have long been the dynamic duo of childhood cartoons, but Warner Brothers Network believed that merchandise was easier to sell in threes. Though the writers vehemently disagreed, the network forced the show to become Pinky, Elmyra & The Brain. Though Elmyra was added to the show, the new theme song harshly acknowledged the producer’s resentment.
7. David Yost was the blue ranger on the popular T.V. show, Power Rangers. Yost was closeted during his time with the show, but that did not save him from debilitating harassment when he was on set. Traumatized, Yost left the show and sought out religious counseling to try to cure him of his gay affliction. Today, Yost is proudly out and still a total superhero!
8. Speaking of crass homophobia, Isaiah Washington, who played Dr. Burke on Grey’s Anatomy, was a real-life hector. It’s rumored he not only made derogatory comments about queer cast members but physically assaulted them, too. After this information became public, he was shamed by viewers into leaving the show.
9. Desperate Housewives might take the cake for feuding sets, simply because literally everyone hated each other! The actresses on the show were all constantly at odds. Who needs reality T.V. when there’s this much drama in primetime? And the Desperate drama didn’t stay on the set.
Marc Cherry, the showrunner, was also part of the hate mob. When Edie Britt, played by Nicollette Sheridan, was murdered by electrocution in the show, she actually tried to sue the network in a case that went on from 2012-2017. Cherry said it was for the benefit of the plot, but Sheridan contested it was his rash reaction to an argument.
10. Today, Charlie Sheen has become a punchline. So working with him on the set of Two And A Half Men was probably just as difficult as one might imagine. If you’re wondering just how bad is bad, the fact that the show killed off his character not once, but twice, might sum it up. When network television drops two grand pianos on your head, that is probably your cue to take a hike.
11. The T.V. series Castle featured Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic. Apparently off-camera these two weren’t exactly peas in a pod. Things became so tense between the two actors they actually attended couples counseling. Eventually, Katic left the show when her contract was up, but not before the two had completely stopped speaking to one another.
12. It’s no secret that Shannen Doherty is an all-caps DIVA. During her time starring on Beverly Hills 90210, the producers got so fed up with her they fired her without warning. The show was then forced to make a clunky attempt to gloss over the sudden disappearance of a major character. Maybe they should have pulled a Charlie Sheen and dropped a piano on her head.
13. Growing pains can be awkward, but they get really uncomfortable when you become a born-again Christian fanatic and try to impose your beliefs on everyone around you. Kirk Cameron, the star of Growing Pains, did just that. Not only was he giving unwelcome sermons on set, he even tried to get co-star Julie McCullough fired after she appeared in a Playboy centerfold.
14. Things got really girl-on-girl crime-y on the set of Gossip Girl. Taylor Momsen, who you may be more familiar with as the lead singer of The Pretty Reckless, was a central character in the early seasons of the show. After the producers felt that her over-sexualized musical persona looked bad for the series, she was written out…
Later, co-stars Blake Lively and Rachel Szohr got into such bad fights off-camera Lively threatened to quit the series. In response, the writers had Szohr move to Barcelona. This was technically a gentle firing because she was rarely seen on the show after that except for minor drop-ins. At least she got fired into paradise?
15. Moonlighting starred Bruce Willis (pre-Die Hard) and Cybill Shepherd. It might not ring a bell for everyone nowadays, but it was a huge success in the 80s. But if it was so popular, why was it canceled after just 4 seasons? Short of the long of it, Willis + Shepherd = Die. Hard. Haters! Instead of killing off a character, the producers just killed the whole dang show!
16. Thomas Gibson starred in Criminal Minds for 11 seasons. It was reported that he was directing an episode when he got into an argument with a writer over creative choices. The disagreement escalated so much Gibson kicked the writer and stormed off the set. This temper tantrum ended in a two-episode suspension, but after the incident was publicized, Gibson was the one who got the full boot.