Shannen Doherty Moves Back to '90210'
Brenda Walsh, The Peach Pitt and Nat return
" Shannen Doherty will be returning to "90210," executive producer Gabe Sachs announced at the top of the "90210" panel Saturday morning at the TCA press tour sessions for The CW.
"There will be a musical within our show," explains Sachs. "She will be the guest director [for the musical]."
For those unfamiliar with the original "Beverly Hills, 90210" or forgot Brenda Walsh's fate, she had headed to London to study acting.
"We definitely wanted her a part of the show," says executive producer Jeff Judah. "Gabe actually had dinner with her for a couple hours. They got along great. She was phenomenal. We had a lot of ideas and we brought them to her, and she warmed to them. She picked one. We had an idea and knew what she would like because with this show, there's no shortage of people who are obsessed with it."
Apparently, during her time away from the old zip code, Brenda has become a successful theater actress, splitting her time between London and New York, and then transitioning to directing. As a favor to her alma mater, she's returning to West Beverly Hills High School to be a guest director for a musical production.
But don't expect a tame revival of "Guys and Dolls" or "The Fantasticks." Nope, the hip producers of "90210" decided to go with a little sexuality and controversy by choosing the rock musical "Spring Awakening" with music by Duncan Sheik and book and lyrics by Steven Sater. It's based on Frank Wedekind's controversial 1891 German play of the same name that revolves around teenagers discovering the physical and emotional tumult of sexuality.
"We're doing 'Spring Awakening," reveals Judah. "It's a great play, a great musical. We thought it would be a really cool thing to do a contemporary musical instead of doing 'Annie Get Your Gun' or something that a lot of high schools do. So if we could do a contemporary musical and put that in the show, it's sort of also talking about how the show has changed in the last 20 years."
So will we get to see Brenda sing and dance?
"She'll be the theater teacher, but who knows?" says Judah.
Although they have not filmed her episode yet, Sachs has few worries about the legendary stories about animosity on the set being revived.
"Honestly, I don't even know if any of [the stories] are true," says Sachs. "Everyone's grown up now. I can't imagine any of these kids not getting along. So you're like, 'Was it really that bad?'
So for those of you keeping track, that means the feminine trinity of Kelly, Donna and Brenda have returned since Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling have previously agreed to play older versions of their characters. But will they be joined by any of their male counterparts?
"Those are the [only] three," confirms Judah. "We haven't spoken to [the others] yet."
Well, there's also Joe E. Tata. He'll reprise his role as Nat the proprietor of The Peach Pit, which retains the original hangout's name, but will be more like an upscale coffee house.
"The Peach Pit was very important to us," says Sachs. "Every interview we had was, 'Is there a Peach Pit? Is there a Peach Pit?' We realized that all the world was asking, 'Is there a Peach Pit?' So Jeff and I were saying that The Peach Pit today would be like an Urth Cafe."
"It's a cool coffee house where a lot of the kids hang out," adds Judah, "but it's not going to be like the old show like, 'Hey, it's Color Me Badd!'"
And even if Brian Austin Green's character David Silver isn't coming back, there are hints that his legacy lives on somehow through new castmember Jessica Stroup's character, who is know by her last name, not so coincidentally, Silver.
"You'll find out," says Judah. "If you watch the first night, you'll find some information out."
Stroup reveals a few details about the curiously named Silver.
"She goes by Silver. She does have a first name. You're going to find out eventually," says Stroup. "She's a girl who comes from a really troubled past. She has a lot of issues at home. It kind of makes her a strong person. She's a person who knows who she is. She will speak her mind and kind of lives in her own world, as Beverly Hills is so materialistic and money-oriented, she's the type of person that doesn't care about that.
"And if someone pisses her off, she will let you know or she will vent about it on her blog. She has this website and she'll create videos and it's got a big fan base, it's the world. She's got a huge viewership."
The new "90210" will premiere on The CW on Tuesday, Sept. 2.