Lifetime has always been the go-to channel for guilty pleasure stories about murderesses and teen pregnancy, but lately the ever-changing network is turning their attention to the '90s nostalgia craze that's taken a generation by storm.
Their strategy is simple but effective: find a classic show that everyone remembers and create a semi-truthful tell-all about those behind-the-scenes antics. The original casts typically have no affiliation whatsoever with the unauthorized Lifetime productions, meaning some backlash from famous faces is inevitable.
When the Full House cast was asked to talk about Lifetime's version of their show, Andrea Barber (Kimmy) described it as "creepy" and Bob Saget (Danny Tanner) wanted to burn the cast photo with laser vision. So...not exactly a testament of love.
Lifetime has a couple more unofficial biopics coming down the pipes, and considering these shows were full-fledged cultural phenomena, I predict some not-so-fictional drama in the future.
Beverly Hills, 90210
Ask any devoted Beverly Hills, 90210 fan about the classic show's appeal, and you'll hear countless memories of solidarity for Donna Martin and the timeless rivalry between Brenda and Kelly. The signature fashions, teen heartthrobs, and over-the-top drama gave way to a whole new genre of teen soap operas and made people all over the world oddly familiar with one specific zip code.
Because of its place of esteem, many fans are super worried about how Lifetime's special will contort their beloved characters into fuel for catfights and controversy. Of course, Beverly Hills, 90210 was one of those shows that was as known for its behind-the-scenes developments as its outrageous plotlines (namely, Shannen Doherty's departure after a public well-known feud with co-star Jennie Garth).
The stars of the show (Garth, Doherty, Ian Ziering, and Tori Spelling just to name a few) have stayed in the spotlight and famously given their opinion on everything from the good ol' days to life after 90210.
Once the unauthorized remake airs on October 3rd, expect quite a few zingers on social media and beyond from this outspoken cast.
Melrose Place was the most successful spin-off of Beverly Hills, 90210, so naturally it's next on Lifetime's list of mostly false retellings. Melrose Place offered another view of the same world as 90210, the working class apartment complex of twentysomethings just trying to get by in LA.
Because of the older cast and more adult storylines, Melrose Place had some deliciously soapy moments, like Kimberly breastfeeding another woman's baby and removing her wig. Some members of the cast including Marcia Cross, Heather Locklear, and Courtney Thorne-Smith still have name recognition in TV circles, so you better believe we'll get some choice commentary on how Lifetime portrays them.
I certainly wouldn't want Dr. Kimberly Shaw on my bad side.
Considering these programs tend to bring in the viewers (and an ample amount of press), it's safe to say that Lifetime won't be ending this strategy with these two. Now the question is what's the next '90s classic that will get the unauthorized treatment? Will it be The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Boy Meets World, or Growing Pains perhaps?
I, for one, want to see a salacious tell-all about the cast of 7th Heaven with Jessica Biel's rebellious streak on full display, but that may be too much for even Lifetime.