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…”90210,” “Melrose” Coming to DVD
Brandon, Brenda, Billy, Amanda…it’s been too long.
In news that will send Peach Pit-obsessed Gen-Xers racing to, the powers-that-be at Paramount have announced that Beverly Hills, 90210 and its spinoff, Melrose Place, are finally headed to DVD.
The iconic shows, from the factory of the late, great Aaron Spelling, catapulted Fox to major network status in the ’90s, became major trendsetters and unleashed Shannen Doherty on the world, and prepared the TV landscape for such coming-of-age dramas as Dawson’s Creek, Felicity and The O.C.
Paramount Home Entertainment and CBS DVD will release Beverly Hills, 90210: The Complete First Season and Melrose Place: The Complete First Season to stores on Nov. 7, with a retail price of $62 each. The two series will also be packaged in a combo set, The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful, for $108.99.
Following the lives and loves of a bevy of spoiled rich kids attending West Beverly Hills High, 90210 made Tiger Beat fodder of its cast. The forthcoming six-disc set contains all 22 episodes of the inaugural 1990-91 season, with commentary on select episodes from writer and executive producer Darren Starr (who went on to launch Sex and the City) and behind-the-scenes featurettes. There are also profiles of all the main characters: Brandon ( Jason Priestley), Brenda (Doherty), Dylan ( Luke Perry), Kelly (Jenny Garth), Donna ( Tori Spelling), Steve ( Ian Ziering), Andrea ( Gabrielle Carteris) and David ( Brian Austin Green).
The older-skewing Melrose Place, which focused on a group of twentysomethings residing in a Los Angeles apartment complex, premiered July 8, 1992 and initially focused on the story lines of the likes of Alison ( Courtney Thorne-Smith), Billy ( Andrew Shue), Jo ( Daphne Zuniga), Jake ( Grant Show), Matt (Doug Savant), Jane ( Josie Bissett) and medical student/future psycho Michael (Thomas Calabro).
With ratings sagging, the brain trust decided to jettison a couple of weak characters– Amy Locane’s Sandy and Vanessa Williams’ Rhonda–and Spelling brought in his former T.J. Hooker/Dynasty vixen Heather Locklear to wreak havoc as conniving advertising exec Amanda Woodward. Melrose subsequently evolved into one of the ’90s biggest soap operas replete with stunning cliffhangers and monumental plot twists that kept fans coming back for seven seasons. It even spawned its own spinoff in 1994, the short-lived Models Inc..
The Melrose set includes all 32 first-season episodes on eight discs, along with features on the show’s music and style, behind-the-scenes footage and character profiles, but no commentaries.
Both series have been among the most requested DVD titles, but their release had been hung up while producers resolved music-rights issues (many of the songs featured on the show weren’t originally cleared for DVD distribution).
According to Variety, the DVDs were fast-tracked following the breakup of Viacom and CBS, the latter of which ended up with control of the shows’ home video rights.
“With [CBS chief Leslie Moonves’] blessing, we quickly scoured the library to see what hadn’t been released,” Ken Ross, CBS DVD’s executive vice president, told the trade. “What caught my eye immediately was Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose…We recognized these jewels had to come out post-haste.”
In order to expedite their release, the company tapped one of Spelling’s former music supervisors to find substitute tracks for the early episodes.
Said Ross, “The majority of viewers won’t even know the music has been changed.”