Jason Priestley Reveals Why Beverly Hills Comeback Didn’t Work

The actor confesses to Premiere: “We knew it was a daring and complex project we were trying. Some things worked, others didn’t… but we tried.”

Canceled after only six episodes, the event BH90210strange “meta” immersion in the life of the actors of beverly hills (broadcast in France by TF1), never managed to find its audience. Neither the fans of the first hour, nor the new televiewers found their account there. Two after the show was cancelled, Jason Priestley tells us behind the scenes of this incredible television object. On the sidelines of the 61st Monte-Carlo Television Festival, the unforgettable Brandon “Minnesota” Walsh from beverly hills explains the reasons for this failure.

One year after Luke Perry’s death, Beverly Hills stars remember

Find your old playmates from the 1990s, we imagine it was really fun, right?
It was great to get together to do this show. We have remained on good terms and we try to get together from time to time, but the opportunities are becoming more and more rare, with the passage of time, each other’s families, our respective projects… So go to Vancouver, to do this show together, it was a good opportunity to meet and spend time together in fact.

It reminded you of the good old days of 90210 ?
No, to be honest, it didn’t really remind me of the filming of beverly hills. Because we all have new hats, director for me, producer for others… And then we got old. We are no longer completely the same people as in 1990, nor the same actors. Not to mention the fact that the concept of BH90210 is totally different from what we were doing at the time…

You had lost sight of each other a little over the years… Did it allow you to get closer again?
Yes… At least the time we developed it together. Tori (Spelling) and Jenny (Garth) came to us with a scrap of an idea, that of a fictional reality show, completely scripted. And then, all together, we made this idea grow and germinate. So we spent months and months with each other. Afterwards, when it was over, I went back to Toronto to film my series Private Eyes so good… I know that some have come closer thanks to BH90210. Me, I have always been close to Ian (Ziering) or Brian (Austin Green). And then of Luke (Perry), of course, before his death…

The basic idea of BH90210 was daring to say the least. Did you know you were embarking on an uncertain adventure?
It’s a meta series, very clearly… We knew it was going to be a very risky proposition. It was fictional reality TV, in which we played our own roles, but not really. We knew it was a bold and complex project we were attempting. Some things worked, some didn’t… but we tried. And the feedback hasn’t been horrible. Some people didn’t like it, but others liked it.

Do you regret doing it?
No, no regrets. Frankly.

What basically went wrong?
I think what we’ve been missing is strong leadership. Someone hands on, with a clear view of things. I don’t know who, but it would have needed a clear and precise boss. Because during this production, everyone was making decisions and it was a bit of a cacophony. Too many people tried to put their grain of salt. Both the studio, the channel etc. It would have taken a person capable of imposing his vision. When you work with Chuck Lorre (creator of My uncle Charlie Where The Big Bang Theory), no one dictates anything to him. Not even the chain. We needed someone like that.

Will Jason and Jenny be a couple in BH90210 was a way to satisfy fans who wanted to see Brandon and Kelly together at the end of the series?
Oh la la, that’s a very meta question (laughs). Yes, definitely in a way. But at the same time, we also show the opposite, ie Jenny who hates Jason or Kelly who hates Brandon. True, it was confusing. Maybe it was a little too confusing…

Do you think some people may have believed that you were really in a relationship with Jenny Garth in life?
No (laughs). Certainly not. I still believe that it was quite clear… that the series was not reality!

BH90210 was stopped short after its American broadcast. Did you plan on doing a sequel?
We hadn’t planned to do only six episodes. We were ready to do more seasons! Unfortunately, we didn’t get enough audience in the USA. It’s like that.

You took 30 years to get rid of the image of Brandon Walsh. So, with this series, you left for 30 more years, right?
(Laughs) Not at all. I’ve done a lot of other things over the past 30 years. I’ve been doing this job for so long. So no, it doesn’t worry me anymore!

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