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.