Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth Stroll Down Memory Lane with Their iHeartPodcast "9021OMG"

By Behind the Scenes in Hollywood Archives
Cover image for  article: Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth Stroll Down Memory Lane with Their iHeartPodcast "9021OMG"

What started as a fun conversation between Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth in November of 2020 has blossomed into 9021OMG, a must-listen iHeartPodcast.

Almost 32 years after its premiere, Beverly Hills, 90210 is still finding new audiences, and thanks to original cast members Spelling (Donna Martin) and Garth (Kelly Taylor), fans can listen to the behind-the-scenes antics they enjoyed while filming the evergreen series. Now in its third season, their 9021OMG podcast marks the fifth time the un-tech-savvy twosome have collaborated on a project, and the fourth related to the series that made them stars.

What makes the podcast engaging is the requirement that the duo watch and revisit the series as fuel for their memory banks. "Tori and I never really watched the show from the beginning to the end," Garth (pictured at top right) revealed during a recent iHeart Speaker Series Presents webinar to promote the podcast. "Well, certainly not in sequence like we do now. We sit down every week and watch a full episode, and it's the first time that's happened. It's been like a treasure trove for me to [have] those memories come back and to have the sheer appreciation for it."

"We’ve become fans, and that's for the first time!" Spelling (top left) declared. "We've had so many different experiences over the years since this show started, especially together, but becoming true fans for the first time is cool. We get it now. We're watching it and are fangirling and being like, 'Oh, we love this show!' We would watch it [even] if we weren't in it."

"Also, when you're on the show, you're in it,” Garth added. "You're that character, and you can't really see the big picture of what the other characters are doing and what the whole the storyline is doing and how they [come] together as a whole. We did this [podcast] for fans of the show, but honestly, personally, it's been a gift to me to be able to go back and relive something that was such a whirlwind and an amazing time in my life."

For Spelling and Garth, the podcast has provided the opportunity to reflect on how Beverly Hills, 901210 became a phenomenon, and how as a part of it they weren't so aware of how lucky they were to have the experience.

"We knew years into it [that] we had struck gold, but it was seeing people's reactions … we started to know [it was popular], but we were so in it, it was hard to see," Spelling recalled. "I feel like people around us noticed more than us. At the time we didn't. It's one of those experiences that, as an actor, when the show ended it was like, 'Oh, every show you do a pilot for is picked up and runs ten seasons -- cool!' Then all of a sudden [we're] in our late 20s. We were like little birds leaving the nest wondering, 'What do we do now?'"

"I don't think any of us really knew what we were doing, or what we had gotten into," Garth concurred. "It was just our lives at that moment, and it seemed like we were always at work. Thinking back to it, I don't remember what was happening in my real life. It seemed like we were fitting real life in the cracks and in those free moments. We were at work like 16 hours a day, so it just got blurry as to what was real and what wasn't. But the show felt so real, and in the environment that we were in, it was so consuming."

Both women agree that the issues and subject matter the show sometimes dealt with during the series' 10-year run still resonate today. "My son is a year younger than I was when I started and the issues definitely hold up," Spelling said. "[Then] we see a phone in the house, or a car phone or we use a word that's so dated, but other than that ... If my kids are around and I'm re-watching the show, they'll watch it with me and get really into it, which makes me really happy. Then of course there's the fashion; my daughter is always like, 'Oh my gosh, wait! That's in fashion now!'"

"With the programming that's out there now for this age bracket, there's so much going on and it's so advanced ... it makes me a little sad," Garth admitted. "Watching this, everything was so much simpler. There's an innocence about it, even in the exploration these teens are going through. So, for me, it's like, 'Oh, I just wish that it was still that way for kids these days.'"

While the podcast relies largely on their nostalgic recollections to drive it, both Spelling and Garth admit catching up with certain actors from the cast has been exciting. "We've gotten to [connect with] a lot of the supporting cast we haven't heard from," Spelling said. "We don't know what's happening with [some of] them, where they live, or what they're doing. It's been fun to hear their memories of being on set."

As for those cast members who prefer to live in the present and not reminisce, Garth and Spelling understand. "Tori and I love talking about old times and all the lessons learned and the memories," Garth said in closing. "It's kind of tricky though, because it's a delicate area for some of the other cast members who don't necessarily want to keep talking about something they did 30 years ago. Tori and I do see it differently, but it's gray for some. We have no other choice but to respect that, continue in their honor, and in honor of the show and our love for it."

New episodes of the 9021OMG iHeartPodcast drop weekly.

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