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Big Homecoming for 90210

90210 Jordin Althaus/The CW

Sometimes a change in ZIP code can work wonders.

90210, the CW's new Beverly Hills, 90210 reboot, led the struggling network to a big Tuesday night.

The two-hour premiere averaged nearly 5 million viewers, Nielsen Media Research estimates said. The CW said it was its highest-rated scripted show in its three-year history.

Among curious, if not nostalgic, 18- to 49-year-olds and, more key for the youth-courting CW, 18- to 34-year-olds, 90210 was the night's No. 1 show.

90210's performance follows a good one on Monday by Gossip Girl, which averaged about 3.4 million viewers and likewise clicked with the 18-34 demographic.

Both shows aired mainly against reruns, but good news is good news for a network that's odds of survival were called "increasingly bleak" by the Wall Street Journal last spring.

Interestingly, it was the CW's decision to launch a new 90210, an update of the iconic 1990-2000 Fox show, that led the Journal to declare the network was out of ideas, if not gas.

In practice, the recruitment of Kelly Martin and Brenda Walsh, in the form of returning Beverly Hills, 90210 alumnae Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty, respectively, was a winner. At least for one night.

Against its toughest competition, an all-new episode of NBC's summer hit America's Got Talent, 90210 was a very close second among 18- to 49-year-olds and was a clear first-place finisher among almost everybody younger.

90210 wasn't perfect. America's Got Talent (10.6 million viewers) was the night's most watched show. The powerhouse Univision telenovela Al Diablo con los Guapos (5.3 million), outdrew 90210 in the 8-9 p.m. hour.

And compared with the original 90210, which isn't a fair thing to do since that show aired too many years ago for the numbers to match up but which is fun to look at anyway, the new 90210 was a fraction of its former self.

But even a little bit of West Beverly magic goes a long way.

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