KELLY TAYLOR, BRENDA WALSH AND THE PEACH PIT ARE BACK, ALONG WITH ROB ESTES, LORI LOUGHLIN AND A NEW GENERATION, IN A SPECIAL TWO-HOUR PREMIERE – Harry Wilson (Rob Estes, Women's Murder Club), new principal of West Beverly Hills High School, returns from Kansas to his childhood home of Beverly Hills with his wife Debbie (Lori Loughlin, In Case of Emergency), their daughter Annie (Shenae Grimes, Degrassi: The Next Generation) and adopted son Dixon, (Tristan Wilds, The Wire) to care for Harry's mother, former television star Tabitha Wilson (Jessica Walter, Arrested Development). On their first day at West Bev, Annie and Dixon encounter Ethan (Dustin Milligan, Runaway), the star lacrosse player she met a few summers ago; Naomi (AnnaLynne McCord, Nip/Tuck), the spoiled rich girl whose sole focus is her Sweet Sixteen party; Silver (Jessica Stroup, Prom Night), the free-spirited girl who later gossips about Annie on her blog, and Navid (Michael Steger, Criminal Minds), editor of Blaze News.
When Naomi fails to complete an assignment, English teacher Ryan Matthews (Ryan Eggold, Dirt) and guidance counselor Kelly Taylor (special guest star Jennie Garth, Beverly Hills, 90210), bring the problem to Harry, who quickly realizes that keeping secrets about his past is going to be impossible. Dixon impresses his peers when he tries out for the lacrosse team, but has to deal with jealous teammates who will stop at nothing to sabotage him. Annie misses the deadline to audition for the spring musical but sparks fly when she meets the leading actor Ty (guest star Adam Gregory), one of the most popular students on campus. Ty impresses Annie by flying her to San Francisco for dinner in his private jet, but Annie fails to mention her plans to her parents.
The Wilson family—comprising of parents Harry and Debbie (Lori Loughlin), daughter Annie, and adopted son Dixon arrive at the mansion of Harry's mother, Tabitha, where they will be taking care of her. Annie and Dixon discuss what their first day of school will be like at West Beverly Hills High, where their father will be the principal. Annie hopes to hook up with a friend named Ethan Ward (Dustin Milligan), whom she met two summers ago. When she arrives at school the next day, Annie spots Ethan in his car and makes eye contact, only to realize that he is receiving fellatio from a fellow student. Dixon goes to journalism class, where he meets Navid Shirazi (Michael Steger), while Annie goes to her first class taught by Ryan Matthews (Ryan Eggold). Matthews asks another student, Naomi Clark (AnnaLynne McCord), to show Annie around the school.
After class, Naomi talks to Annie about her busy life and upcoming birthday party. Naomi tells Annie that she is dating Ethan, and introduces her to her best friend, Adrianna Tate-Duncan (Jessica Lowndes), who is the lead in the school play. Annie, who is also an actress, is upset that she arrived too late to audition for a role, although Adrianna says that she would be better backstage. Later, Adrianna takes several pills from a drug dealer, and agrees to pay him the next day.
Annie sees Ethan and promises not to tell Naomi that he is cheating on her. They part ways for lunch, and Annie meets Silver (Jessica Stroup); however, Naomi pulls Annie away, explaining that Silver makes insulting YouTube videos about people. Naomi invites Annie to her birthday party, and they decide to go shopping together. Principal Harry, guidance counselor Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth) and Matthews meet with Naomi's parents, who feel that Naomi should not have to hand in her assignments on time when she is planning her party. Before she leaves, Naomi's mother, Tracy (Christina Moore), reminds Harry that they dated in high school. Naomi receives a text message from her mother, telling her that she must complete the assignment that night. Annie remembers that she completed a similar assignment for her old school, and offers to give Naomi a copy for inspiration.
Dixon is accepted into the lacrosse team after trying out, but gets into a fight with team member George Evans (Kellan Lutz). Annie tells Dixon of her invitation to Naomi's party, and how she saw Ethan cheating on Naomi. The next day at school, Annie finds out that Silver made a video blog about her, depicting her as a farmer. Annie confronts Silver, who felt insulted by Annie's decision to leave her for Naomi. When Silver is reprimanded by her half-sister, Kelly, she explains that Naomi had done something horrible to her in the past, which is why she made a video about Annie. Elsewhere, Ethan is forced by his team members to lie that Dixon started the fight during lacrosse, who is subsequently kicked off the team. Annie argues with Ethan because of his lying, and asks what happened to the Ethan that she met two years ago. In class, Naomi reads an exact copy of Annie's paper. Afterward, when Annie confronts Naomi, she apologizes by giving Annie an $800 dress.
Annie decides to watch the school play rehearsals, and Silver apologizes for the video by asking the drama teacher to let Annie sing with Adrianna. Annie is allowed to sing the chorus for the play, much to Adrianna's dismay. Naomi again gets into trouble when Harry discovers that she cheated, and forces her to write the paper in his office. Ethan has a fight with George and tells the truth, resulting in Dixon being allowed to play on the team. Dixon tells Annie that he feels horrible, as he sent a text message to Naomi telling her that Ethan is cheating on her. Harry and Debbie punish Annie for cheating by not allowing her to go to Naomi's party. When they reconsider and decide to let her go, they discover that she has already left. Harry goes to the party to find Annie, but is instead told by Tracy that they have a son together, whom she gave up for adoption.
Adrianna, who had previously stolen money from Naomi's purse, claims to have found it and gives it back. Naomi checks her phone messages and learns that Ethan is cheating on her. Naomi asks Ethan if he is really cheating on her, and leaves the party after he fails to answer. Annie leaves with Silver for another party on the beach, where she apologizes to Ethan for revealing that he was cheating on Naomi. When she asks why he told the truth about Dixon not starting the fight, he replies that he is trying to be the good guy he used to be. Annie, Silver, Dixon and Navid spend the rest of the night swimming at the beach. In the closing scenes, Kelly talks to the father of her four-year-old son, Adrianna pays her drug dealer with money she stole from Naomi, and Ethan visits Naomi's house.
90210 is a spin-off to Beverly Hills, 90210, and the fourth series in the Beverly Hills, 90210 continuity. The pilot was written by Gabe Sachs, Jeff Judah and Rob Thomas, and directed by Mark Piznarski. The episode, aired with "The Jet Set" in a two-hour premiere, averaged 4.9 million viewers on its original broadcast. The development of a Beverly Hills, 90210 spin-off by The CW was reported on March 13, 2008; four days later, a detailed breakdown of the pilot written by Thomas was released. Thomas later announced that he was leaving the series, and Sachs and Judah were hired to write a new version of the script. Casting began before the script was completed, and several cast members of the original series were approached, of whom several accepted to appear.
Reviews of the episode were mixed, and one critic explained, "it's not a great show but it's not a terrible teen drama, not by a long shot. The new 90210 turns out to be a solid sequel with plenty of shout-outs to fans of the old 90210." The pilot introduces the Wilson family, along with numerous other students at West Beverly Hills High, where Annie Wilson (Shenae Grimes) and Dixon Wilson (Tristan Wilds) begin attendance. Their father, Harry Wilson (Rob Estes), returns from Kansas to his childhood home of Beverly Hills with his family to care of his mother, former television star Tabitha Wilson (Jessica Walter), who has a drinking problem. Annie and Dixon struggle to adjust to their new lives while making new friends and adhering to their parents' wishes.
On March 13, 2008, it was announced that The CW was developing a contemporary spin-off of Beverly Hills, 90210, which first aired on Fox from October 1990 to May 2000. The project was put on the fast track by the network, 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 with the project, as well as producer Aaron Spelling, who died in 2006. The only surviving element from the original series was the Creative Artists Agency, the talent agency which masterminded the spin-off idea. Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas was in negotiations to write the pilot, and Mark Piznarski was in talks to direct.
"We think this generation of parenting is different than the ones we grew up with. We, as parents, did almost everything that our kids are doing. Our parents didn't do that. It's a lot harder to lie to us. We know what they're doing, and they can't get away with stuff that they think they are because we did it 20 years ago." —Judah on the themes of parenting in the pilot.A detailed breakdown of the pilot written by Thomas was released on March 17, containing information on the plot and characters of the series. None of the characters were related to the original series; however, the 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 percent of the students were from Persian descent, a student named Navid Shirazi was created. Thomas intended to introduce The Peach Pit, the diner from 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 parent's 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 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 producer 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 that 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 family from Mills to Wilson, and told reporters that they would be adding their "comedic impulses" to the script. Sachs and Judah found the parents to be an integral part of the series, and designed them 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.
- Rob Estes as Harry Wilson
- Shenae Grimes as Annie Wilson
- Tristan Wilds as Dixon Wilson
- Dustin Milligan as Ethan Ward
- AnnaLynne McCord as Naomi Clark
- Ryan Eggold as Ryan Matthews
- Jessica Stroup as Erin Silver
- Michael Steger as Navid Shirazi
- Lori Loughlin as Debbie Wilson
- Jessica Walter as Tabitha Wilson
Special Guest Stars
- Christina Moore as Tracy Clark
- Jessica Lowndes as Adrianna Tate-Duncan
- James Patrick Stuart as Charles Clark
- Kellan Lutz as George Evans
- Hallee Hirsh as Hannah Zuckerman-Vasquez
- Brandon Michael Vayda as Mike
- Chantelle Barry as Nina
- Riley Thomas Stuart as Sammy Taylor-McKay
- Cherilyn Wilson as Morgan
- Bobby Gold as Cammy
- Meghan Markle as Wendy
- Brooklyn Sudano as Miss Austin
- Dixon – This sucks
- Debbie – Dixon, how about a new phrase like "this bites" or "this blows"? because you've been saying "this sucks" for the last 1,500 miles
- Dixon – 'Cause it sucks
- Dixon: When I'm on the field, when he talks to me after the game, it's like something we have together... like we're really father and son.
- Annie: Come on, you can see Britney's house from here!
- Annie: All they need to know is that you're my brother. That's my story.
- Annie - If I hurt your feelings by sitting by someone you don't like then I'm sorry
- Silver - It's not that I don't like her. I hate her. Naomi is the antichrist
- Annie - Well, the antichrist didn't embarrass me in front of half a million people. You did
- This episode along with The Jet Set aired as a two hour premeiere and scored 4.65 million vewers.
- Kelly, Silver, Nat and Hannah are the first characters to appear from the original series.
- Rob Estes (Harry Wilson) starred in the franchise's second series as Kyle McBride.
- The episode title "We're Not in Kansas Anymore" is reference to the movie The Wizard Of Oz when the main characther (Dorothy) discovers that she is no longer in Kansas.
- Jessica Stroup (Silver) and Kellan Lutz (George) have previously starred in the horror movie Prom Night.
- Silver's blog is named The Vicious Circle.
- In the original pilot, Naomi Clark's house was the Spelling mansion.
- AnnaLynne McCord (Naomi) and Jessica Lowndes (Adrianna) both appeared on ABC Family's Greek.
- In the original pilot, Beverly Hills, 90210's Peach Pit became a Pinkberry-esque yogurt shop.
- Tori Spelling was originally reprising her role as Donna Martin under a recurring status in the pilot. However, due to her pregnancy and the fact that The CW Network wouldn't give her equal pay to other returning characters, she did not appear in the pilot episode.
- In the original pilot, the character Daphne Silver was the niece of original Beverly Hills, 90210 character David Silver.
- The Wilsons drive a Dodge Grand Caravan.
- "Beat Control" by Tilly and the Wall
- "California Bound" by Carolina Liar
- "Chasing Pavements" by Adele
- "Don't Let Me Fall" by Lenka
- "Last Day of Your Life" by Glass Pear
- "Pot Kettle Black" by Tilly and the Wall
- "Shut Up and Let Me Go" by The Ting Tings
- "Time To Pretend" by MGMT
- "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay
- "Wannamama" by Pop Levi
- "What You Got" by Colby O'Donis featuring Akon
- "Whee Doggie Banjo Bit" by Billy Lee Cox
- "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid" by The Offspring