Darren Star is one of the most recognizable names when it comes to night-time dramas centered around teenage or young adult characters. Along with creating some of the most iconic series within the genre over the last 30 years, he has also served as an executive producer on others, like Kitchen Confidential, Cashmere Mafia, and GCB.
A talented writer, director, and producer of both TV series and films, the 59-year-old has zeroed in on what audiences want when it comes to scandalous primetime soaps and dramatic series featuring a young cast. His success started from way back in the ’90s with shows like Beverly Hills, 90210 and has continued with fresh new shows like Netflix’s Emily in Paris, which debuted its first season in 2020.
But how do all of the shows he created compare? These are the shows he’s created, ranked by IMDb.
8 Melrose Place – 5.8
This primetime soap opera was a follow up to the tremendously popular series Beverly Hills, 90210. Airing for seven seasons from 1992 to 1999, it was full of backstabbing, fights, drama, and scandal, following a group of young adults who lived in an apartment complex in West Hollywood, CA.
Created alongside Star’s frequent collaborator Aaron Spelling, despite the series’ popularity, it ranks as his worst. The cast did include some top talent, like Heather Locklear, and others that went on to enjoy greater success, like Marcia Cross, Kristin Davis, Lisa Rinna, and Grant Show, who now stars in the reboot of Dynasty.
7 Beverly Hills, 90210 – 6.3
One of the most memorable and iconic series of the ’90s, Beverly Hills, 90210, or just 90210 as fans know it, made bona fide stars and teen heartthrobs out of its ensemble cast that included Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, Brian Austin Green, and Tori Spelling. Several up-and-coming actors of the ’90s also appeared on the show in various minor roles, such as Jessica Alba, Matthew Perry, Lucy Liu, Dean Cain, and even The Walking Dead‘s Michael Cudlitz.
Despite airing for 10 seasons from 1990 to 2000, having a place in pop culture and television history, and breaking barriers by tackling serious issues that weren’t commonly portrayed in shows of its kind at the time, the teen drama ranks second to last of all of Star’s series.
6 Miss Match – 6.5
One of Star’s lesser-known series, this one only lasted a single season in 2003 and, in fact, was canceled before its final six episodes even got to air. It starred Alicia Silverstone as Kate, an attorney by day and high-end matchmaker by night (even though, surprise, surprise, she was unlucky in love herself). It also starred Lake Bell, James Roday (A Million Little Things), and Ryan O’Neal, who played Kate’s father.
Perhaps it was the played-out concept, or the fact that the show aired in the dreaded Friday night timeslot that was notorious for low viewership numbers from the core demographic. Nonetheless, the series still ranks higher than Star’s two most popular shows.
5 Central Park West – 7.0
Another show that was overshadowed by Star’s other work, this soap opera aired concurrently with 90210 from 1995 to 1996. The short-lived show was designed to help attract younger viewers to the network, but it fell short.
It was about a trendy fictional magazine called Communique and the goings-on of the company, including a rivalry between the new editor-in-chief and the owner’s stepdaughter. It had all of the elements of a great soap opera, from scandal to scheming and deceit. And while it ranks higher than other shows, viewers just weren’t tuning in.
4 Sex and the City – 7.1
This show not only replicated the success of iconic ones like 90210, but it is also credited with giving HBO serious recognition as a contender in the television space. Back in 1998 when this show premiered, HBO had only ever really been known for providing access to movies. Based on the Candace Bushnell novel of the same name, the ground-breaking show was about four 30- and 40-something single ladies and their lives in New York.
Today, Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte have become household names. Sex and the City, which spawned two movies and a prequel spin-off, might not rank exceptionally high according to IMDb viewers, still remains one of Star’s best known and most popular shows to date.
3 Emily in Paris – 7.2
Despite pushback relating to the stereotypical portrayal of French people and life in Paris, Star’s latest series ranks third highest among those he has created over the last 30 years. Apparently, viewers enjoyed watching a young 20-something-year-old career woman move to Paris to take on the ambitious position of helping a French marketing company her U.S. firm has just acquired with their marketing efforts, including how to reach an American audience.
Emily in Paris is predictable but also light, fun, and fashion forward. If there’s ever a show fans wish they could point to an outfit, pair of shoes, or purse and say, “buy now,” it’s this one. It’s Star’s attempt at attracting a new generation of teens and 20-somethings, and thus far, it seems to be working. That said, a second season renewal hasn’t been announced just yet.
2 Younger – 7.8
Airing since 2015, this comedy-drama has six seasons under its belt and has been renewed for a seventh, making it TV Land’s longest running original series ever. The premise of Younger is that a 40-year-old divorcee pretends to be younger in order to snag a key job at a publishing company.
While trying to build her career, she must constantly fight competition, both in business and her personal life, from younger up-and-comers. It is confirmed to be ending after the upcoming seventh season.
1 Grosse Pointe – 7.9
This series from 2000 ranks as Star’s best-rated one, despite only lasting a single season. Dubbed a sitcom, it starred an ensemble cast and was actually based on Star’s own experiences creating and producing 90210.
The satirical comedy went behind-the-scenes of a fictional teen television show called Grosse Pointe, a blatant copy of 90210, except set in a wealthy suburb of Michigan. Jason Priestley returned to appear in an episode, which he also directed, as did Kristen Davis, who starred in both Melrose Place and Sex and the City. The show may have been yet another victim of the Friday night-time slot, as it was well reviewed, despite the low ratings.
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