Exclusive: 90210 Showrunner Steps Down

The person largely responsible for putting the zip back into 90210 is heading for the hills.

Sources confirm to TVLine exclusively that Rebecca Sinclair — who took over as showrunner of the CW reboot at the end of the show’s rocky first season — has decided not to renew her contract. The moves comes a week after the soap wrapped production on its third season.

“Rebecca’s contract was up so it was no surprise to us at all,” maintains a rep for CBS Television Studios, which produces the show. “We have a very strong staff and we have been exploring various people and are confident we’ll find the right replacement.”

Prior to 90210, Sinclair spent three seasons as a co-executive producer on Gilmore Girls.

I’m told the backstage shakeup is not expected to have an impact the show’s renewal chances. Per TVLine’s Bubble Show Scorecard, a fourth season remains a “a sure thing.”

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  1. George says:

    I guess I’m in the minority but I didn’t think she was a very good showrunner. The first season had problems for sure, and there are certain things she’s done that I liked (Teddy!), but I also think she’s done a HORRIBLE job with some other stories (Adrianna’s pregnancy/adoption and especially the Annie storyline from season 2). I also hated her disregard for character’s from the original series.

    • Ryan says:

      Well I do agree that I’m rather glad that she is stepping down, although more so because season 3 has been so bad, I actually thought season 2 was pretty good, better than some of the storylines in season 3.

    • Kris says:

      Agreed. I HATED her. She ruined the two most likable characters in the series (Adrianna and Silver), is responsible for the worst storyline in 90210 history (Annie being abandoned by everyone), and her goal was to make Naomi the sole focus of the show. She is also largely responsible for eliminating my favourite friendship on the show entirely (Annie and Silver). Glad she is gone!

      • Jason says:

        You guys are NUTS. There was nothing fun or compelling about watching “nice” Adrianna and “nice” Silver. Thank HEAVENS for their shake-ups this season! The show is finally “must-see.” There are some things Rebecca can be credited for, and several which she can take blame for, but the show most definitely rebounded this season after an awful Season 1 and mediocre Season 2.

  2. AlistairCrane says:

    YES!!! Now please bring back Kelly and Brenda—I was only watching this show for the original characters anyway.

    • april-ann says:

      Agreed, AlistairCrane. For them to not be integrated in an important and believable way was wrong from the start. As if fans from the original wouldn’t see through the deceit of their being there just for a cheap grab.

  3. FH14 says:

    Hopefully this means that Jennie Garth will be willing to come back in some capacity, as she’s stated in interviews one of the major reasons she left was because she didn’t get along with Rebecca Sinclair.

    That being said, Sinclair had helped 90210 rise above the dreck that was the first portion of Season 1 (though the departure of the original cast as recurring characters was disappointing)

    • AlistairCrane says:

      They were the only reason I was willing to give this show a chance! It’s just cashing in on the 90210 brand. Without the originals, it may as well be “Generic Teen Show #1347”.

      Donna and David fans were pretty much sucker-punched by this new series so it would be nice for them to correct that error (and have Dylan and Brenda ride off into the sunset as well).

      • april-ann says:

        Yes, this. And correct the wrong and horrible error they made with Jackie Taylor, too. She wasn’t even their character to kill. What were they thinking? Some of the best shows and scenes involved Jackie’s/Kelly’s/David’s storylines as they evolved together. The new show may be okay now, but nothing near what the original was. I look for reruns now, and I know it won’t be that way for the new show. “Generic Teen Show” – well stated.

  4. Dennis says:

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!

    She was horrible! How she treated Jennie Garth was unbelievable. And she continued to tell stories with big holes in it. Some of them aren’t resolved as of today.

    Sinclair also forced the older set out since the day she arrived. And she fired Dustin Milligan for no good reason what so ever.

    This woman won’t be missed at all.

  5. Leon says:

    I know most won’t agree with what I’m about to say but here it goes. I thought that 90210’s first season was much better than season 2 and 3 because the 1st season was original and explored storylines that some TV shows that haven’t. Season 2 was okay, I liked Annie’s storyline at first because I really felt sorry for her but the introduction of Ivy and etc was just a mess. Season 3 is so bad, the show is just copying other TV shows at any chance it gets, the Naomi storyline was so much like Peyton’s in One Tree Hill. The Teddy storyline = Dawson’s Creek. The Liam living in a pool house (for like one episode)= The O.C. The list could go on and on. So I’m so happy Sinclair is finally leaving. I must admit that the season 1 finale (written by Sinclair) will go down as one of my favorite finales of all time but after that Rebecca’s writing has gone deeper and deeper down hill. As a fan of the original and of the 1st season and of all teen dramas, I’m finally glad to see the back of Rebecca Sinclair. Now CBS/The CW has to do the smart thing and hire someone who won’t dig this franchise a bigger hole in the ground.

    • AlistairCrane says:

      Agreed! I was psyched when 90210 began in 2008, but getting rid of the originals cost them my viewership, and I’m a member of their coveted demographic.

      At the very least, reunite Donna and David!

  6. ggny says:

    season 2 was good but season 3 has been horrible and kicking Dustin Milligan off the show for no good reason was dumb i thought he was a pretty good character and he was right in the middle of a dam good storyline

    maybe her gone we will see some 90210 orignals again

  7. Jamie says:

    With OTH likely ending.

    Maybe Mark Schwahn can take over?

    • Stephanie says:

      F*** no!

      Schwahn is the worst, most egotistical “writer.” If you want to make this show even worse, then yeah, give him a call. The CW just can’t pick ’em.

      • Jamie says:

        Well, eight seasons of ONE TREE HILL would disagree with that.

        I think it’ll be Urman who is upped to full exec, I enjoy the episodes she writes, so I hope it’s her.

  8. sarah says:

    This is unfortunate, I really enjoyed the show this year and the storylines. The storylines finally all worked and the characters became characters I wanted to watch.

    I may be in the minority but I was happy when all the old cast members were gone, if I wanted to watch Kelly and Brenda I’ll go watch the DVDs of the old show. I didn’t know why Jennie Garth left but definitely made me happier. I hope they don’t try to bring them back, this show has finally found it’s footing and doesn’t need Brenda or Kelly forced into it.

    • AlistairCrane says:

      Actually, the show would only improve with Brenda and Kelly. Right now, it’s simply cashing in on the 90210 brand name and has NO connection to the original series that spawned it. It’s just another generic teen drama.

      Frankly, the show should try to get as many viewers as possible, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who would tune back in for the originals.

      • Kim says:

        Um, Silver is Erin Silver, David & Kelly’s little sister who was a character on the original series, granted she was a baby/toddler mostly but that does tie the original series with this one quite well.

  9. WTF says:

    can we get silver from season 1 back??? she was so cool! now she is just a cheating back-stabbing whore!

  10. Will says:

    Ding, dong the wicked witch is dead. At least her showrunning days are… All I gotta say is hell to the YES! In my opinion Rebecca didn’t help the show at all. In fact, she made it much worse. I wish the original showrunners took control of the show again.

    Maybe I’ll consider tuning back in.

  11. Mily says:


  12. Ray says:

    I don’t know if we can blame all that’s not working on the current 90210 on Ms. Sinclair, but I too would love re-integrating some of the original cast members (or just more adult characters) into the show.

    I get that this is fantasy and Beverly Hills, but almost none of these kids have any accountability towards parental/adult figures. Come on now! And also, it’s fine that we want to let this crop of character to become more fully formed, but that’s the beauty of teen shows — the adult characters, meaning parents, teachers, adult supervisors — can act as supporting players that bolster the teen characters. I’m fine that Kelly or Brenda aren’t the central figures on 90210 now but I think they can be valuable players in formulating the current main cast and rounding them out better.

    Kelly and Silver are especially an organic relationship that can use more exploration. Brenda has established bonds with Adriana and Annie. Also bring back Harry to interact with his son, Dixon, even if it’s just to be the parental obstacle to Dixon’s poor decisions.

    Where the show derailed with the adult characters was when they insulated their storylines from the teens. Kelly maybe-having-an-inappropriate-crush on Harry? Meh. Ryan going off the bender and looking like he’s become a vagabond? You guys hired a hunky actor to play a hunky teacher, but you decide to go and make him ugly? How does that make sense? And Lori Loughlin has a big fan base… how can you waste that? It’s just ridiculous. If you’re going to change her character, then CHANGE HER CHARACTER. Go full-on “Dynasty” with her! Make her money/power hungry and backstab her way to the top and into running that beach club! This is Beverly Hills, after all! Moral corruption is de rigueur.

    This show has been on the cusp of being a GREAT show for three seasons now. As it stands now, it’s just okay — something you can pass the time on before the much more buzzworthy Gossip Girl. Can they finally get 90210 right for Season 4?

  13. Scott says:

    I also agree that a Brenda and Dylan reunion even if offscreen would be a love letter to fans. And bring back Jennie too! She deserved to be in a good storyline!

  14. Ella says:

    Good. While she did some good things with season 2, mainly make Naomi centre stage where she belonged, give us Naomi/Silver, which has quickly shaped up to be the show’s best friendship, and break up the bore that was Silver/Dixon, she also screwed royally with Liam/Naomi (the best couple on the whole show) and generally wrote what started off as a heavily improved season 2 into the ground. And season 3 has been so bad that if it weren’t for Silver/Navid (still not over the split of Teddy/Silver whom I adored) and Naomi, I would not be watching at all.

  15. John says:

    good riddance this season has been a mess, silver and ad have been ruined. Dixon keeps getting screwed over in everything from relationships seriously a dozen episodes that is a record. And being reduced to Navid’s sidekick. He and Liam cannot find stories to save their lives. Teddy is okay even though he is old. the guest characters are everywhere. Naomi has gotten good storyline though and Annie has gotten storyline that are mostly bad but at least she has some. Ivy is getting better lines then most of the cast.

  16. John says:

    Also continuity has been a mess. Seriosuly these characters change abilities so fast it boggles the mind. Dixon and Liam used to actually be smart.

  17. Sara says:

    Rebecca was not the co-executive producer of Gilmore Girls for three years. Just one year, the final one, after Amy Sherman left. She fabricates and elaborates.

  18. scorpo says:

    It is too bad that the damage has been done. They have made it very difficult for any of the originals to want to come back. How the hell did Silver go from being the odd, quirky girl to Naomi and Adiranna’s bestie over the summer from season 1 to season 2? With Kelly out of the picture and their mother dead, who is raising Silver?

    • Kim says:

      Silver & Naomi use to be bffs and the relationship was repaired thanks to Annie who also managed to put everyone in summer school when she called the party and drinking in before she hit the guy with her car.

  19. Brock says:

    I loved 90210, but it was horrible to watch the Annie disaster of season two, though knowing Ryan O’Neall was a problem on set and seeing that wreck the resolution is somewhat forgivable if they couldn’t work with him.

    Love the Teddy story.
    Hated the one ep cult.
    Love Silver & Navid.
    Hated losing Kelly.
    Disappointed the Peach Pit vanished.

  20. Jay says:

    I’m bummed she’s leaving. Before she came onboard, the show was verging on unwatchable. Some of the season one storylines involving loose pigs, everyone wanting to be in the school musical (this isn’t high school musical), etc. were terrible.

  21. Ken says:

    Would someone like Stephanie Savage take over? I mean if the price is right I think she is someone I would really like to see take over as showrunner. If I could have my pick, anyway.

  22. Darren says:

    The lack of parents and adult figures on this show is obviously making it extremely unrealistic. Bring back Harry, Debbie, Kelly, and even Naomi’s parents, even if under recurring roles.

  23. Taelor says:

    People keep criticizing the first season, but it got the highest ratings PLUS over double the DVR views on some episodes! The second season SUCKED, and the third season is much better, especially with linking to the amazing first season (Wilson link to Kansas, Adrianna baby drama, etc.) and general not-so-cheesy storytelling.

    • Taelor says:

      By “over double the DVR views,” I mean that the DVR views doubled the ratings from the original showing.

    • Margaret says:

      Season 3 was started by Jennie Snyder Urman while Rebecca was on maternity leave. And the addition of David Rosenthal (Gilmore Girls). That explains the quality of season 3.

  24. Kyle says:

    This show is sooo horrible!! i only watched because of jennie garth and shannen doherty. Thank the lord up above that the talentless sinclair is outta the building! maybe now the show will be worth watching.

  25. Kayla says:

    Thank God. I was so stoked when I saw the headline. She put in some horrible storylines and now there are SO many plot holes and we’ve lost pivotal characters. I’m tired of constantly seeing the West Bev kids whine about everything.

  26. kristen says:

    who is Rebecca sinclair? I love 90210 but I need to catch up on it I love season 1 & 2. I loved` season 1 & 2 with Silver and the storylined but with Teddy being gay redic he isnt` gay he loved silver and really to be honest silver without Teddy is very bad! now she likes Navid really?

    • emma says:

      glad she’s gone she was awful as a showrunner
      she ruined Silver&Dixon they were the cutest couple from the show before the all bipolar thing, she ruined Dixon has a character he was the nicest guy and he turns into a jerk (I’m mad because T.Wilds is a good actor and he deserves better)
      Navid was useless during s1 and 2 and now is just a cunt, who deserves nothing I can’t catch him w/ Ade and neither w/ Silver.
      I hope S4 going to give some Sixon scenes
      The only thing who is interested is Teddy, make him gay is probably her best choice, one because sorry But T.Donovan looks so old next the cast he needs to be w/ Actor near his age and two Teddy is more interesting.