It’s easy to forget, but “Beverly Hills, 90210” was groundbreaking television when it debuted in 1990. Simply put, there had never been a teen drama like it before. Shows about teenagers never dealt with serious issues – like sex, drugs, sex, AIDS, sex, guns, and sex – until “90210” came along. It had a massive cultural impact, and when it went off the air in 2000, it was the longest-running drama on television at that time.
In short: It was a phenomenon, and spawned dozens, if not hundreds, of teen soaps in its wake.
This Wednesday, most of the original cast is getting back together for a limited series on FOX, where they will be playing heightened versions of themselves trying to get a “Beverly Hills, 90210” reboot back to the airwaves. Very meta, the whole thing, but it begs the question: Will anyone be watching?
CivicScience asked 3,500 U.S. adults, and the answer is … yeah. A significant amount, in fact.
While 10% may not seem like a lot, know this: Nielsen counts 119.9 million television homes in America. If 10% tune in, that’s 11.9 million viewers. That would make the reboot an easy top-10 hit. Even if half of the “somewhat” viewers don’t turn in, it would still be top-20. It’s fair to say FOX has a low-risk, high-reward situation on its hands.
So who’s going to be tuning in to see the gang from the Peach Pit again? Here’s a Fast Five peek …
GEN X AND THEIR KIDS: Unsurprisingly, Generation X comes in with the most somewhat-to-very likely viewers of the “90210” reboot. But very surprisingly, the under-25 set is nearly as interested in watching the show. Perhaps there is a retro element to the reunion that is catching Generation Z’s eye? Or, like parent, like child? If pegged, acid-washed jeans are all the rage come September in America’s high schools, this is why.
WELL, BRANDON IS DREAMY AFTER ALL: Despite the rash of four-inch long sideburns on men from 1991-1995, women are 62% more likely to check out the reboot.
STEVE SANDERS WOULD APPROVE: L.L. Bean has been called the preppy “mecca” by the Official Preppy Handbook, and while the gang from Beverly Hills weren’t exactly preppies, they weren’t exactly not, either. And as it turns out, Americans with a favorable view of L.L. Bean are more than twice as likely to potentially check out the new “90210” than people with an unfavorable view of the chain.
BEACH VOLLEYBALL, ANYONE?: Perhaps owing to the summer seasons of the original show – when the cast was seen slightly more active than normal – Americans who say playing or watching sports is important to them are more than twice as likely to be interested in the new “Beverly Hills, 90210” than people who are not interested in sports.
HOPEFULLY NOT AT DONNA’S BOUTIQUE: Americans who routinely visit a store to check out a product and then buy that product online elsewhere instead of buying in the store are 44% more likely to watch “90210” than people who rarely or never do it.
Does FOX have a surprise hit on their hands this summer? The buzz on the reboot has been positive thus far, and if 10% of the country actually follows through and tunes in, don’t be surprised to see more of the “90210” crew in the future. And if that’s the case, the “Dawson’s Creek” gang should probably stay near their phone.