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Brenda, Kelly Return In Updated '90210'

(Soundbite of "Beverly Hills 90210" theme song)

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Forget the hurricane, or the conventions for that matter. Another story that's getting attention this week is the one that comes with a theme song.

(Soundbite of "Beverly Hills 90210" theme song)

INSKEEP: The primetime high school soap opera "Beverly Hills 90210" has returned. The original show followed a clique of over-privileged teenagers, and now it's back.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

It's being presented as an edgy, updated show without too much emphasis on the fact that it's a retread from an earlier teen generation which is now a 30-something audience that the show's producers hope to recapture. Viewers from oh, so many years ago were scandalized when the character Brenda came back from an intimate encounter on her prom date.

(Soundbite of TV show, "Beverly Hills 90210")

Mr. LUKE PERRY (As Dylan): Brenda, you're glowing.

Ms. SHANNEN DOHERTY (As Brenda): Yeah, well, you have a goofy grin all over your face, and you better wipe it off. Otherwise, people will talk.

Mr. PERRY: So let them.

(Soundbite of laughter)

INSKEEP: Brenda's character - played by Shannen Doherty, of course - is back on the show. Now she's out of school and playing a drama teacher. The popular blonde Kelly is now a single mom and a guidance counselor, and they are both almost 40.

MONTAGNE: These grown-ups move about the margins of a show that still is about teenagers, and the young people are more diverse than in the original. An African-American actor plays a main role. There's also a character of Persian descent that reflects the real Beverly Hills, where 40 percent of the students in public schools are Iranian-American. Authentic or not, the new "90210" premieres tonight. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.