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Nat's back as a Peach Pit of a guy on `90210'

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LYNN ELBER | July 8, 2008 07:28 PM EST | AP


LOS ANGELES — Joe E. Tata is cooking again in the role of Peach Pit diner owner Nat for the new incarnation of "Beverly Hills 90210."

Tata, who was part of the original series that aired from 1990 to 2000 on Fox, said Tuesday he was wrapping up his scenes for the pilot episode of CW's version of the show. The part represents "lightning striking twice," he said.

It's uncertain if his character will remain part of the series, he said.

"The coin's in the air for me," Tata told The Associated Press. "I guess it comes under the heading of magic test: Let's see if the audience still remembers me."

The drama about two high schoolers from the Midwest who move to California and enroll in West Beverly Hills High School debuts Sept. 2.

Other alumni of the first "90210" appearing on the CW show are Jennie Garth, whose character of Kelly Taylor has become a high school guidance counselor, and Tori Spelling as Donna Martin.

Garth ("Dancing with the Stars") will be in several episodes, while Spelling is set for one episode so far, the CW said.

Shannen Doherty reportedly is in talks to return as Brenda Walsh. The network declined to comment on Doherty.

Tata, 71, said he jumped at the chance to bring back Nat, whose diner was the hangout of choice for the "90210" crowd.

Nat Bussichio was "a good guy, always there to help out," Tata said. The actor is still greeted by fans of the drama, sometimes unexpected ones.

"Cops and firefighters say to me, `I used to watch the show _ I mean, my wife did, or girlfriend.' But they knew more about the show than I did," Tata said, laughing.

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