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America's Most Popular High School: The most widely attended high school in the United States meets only one hour a week and students need not even leave their homes to get there; all they have to do is turn on their TV sets to be at West Beverly Hills High, the fictional setting of the mega-popular program, Beverly Hills, 90210. The show is viewed by an average 4,110,000 teenagers each week. Of the teenage television-watching audience Nielsen monitors, ratings average an astounding 65 percent of the female audience and 47 percent of the male audience. Why are so many teens tuning in? "90210 portrays adolescents and their concerns realistically,'' says a spokesperson for the show. The program has become the source of information about sex, drugs, drinking, and other pressing issues for millions of adolescents. The National Conference of Christians and Jews recently commended the show for its treatment of prejudice, and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America praised six episodes dealing with drug abuse. Perhaps, kids can learn at West Beverly Hills High, after all.
--Glenn Gordon

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