When BEVERLY HILLS, 90210 premiered in 1990, no one was expecting for the show to become a cultural sensation. FOX was certainly hoping to get something out of the show, but judging the ratings, their dreams were quickly smashed. Throughout the 1990 episodes, the show regularly landed in the bottom 5 of the weekly Nielsen charts, which kind of makes the show’s existence in 1991 a small miracle. FOX’s patience with the show eventually paid off in 1991, when the ratings started to look better and the show left the Nielsen’s weekly bottom 5.
The season finale even had the highest viewership and ratings of that season, which might have given some executives a view of what was to follow during the summer months. The critics were happy with the show, viewers were finding the show, and FOX could start banking on the famous zipcode. When the show premiered its second season in the summer, BEVERLY HILLS, 90210 became a cultural icon, but that’s for another day to show and tell.