Get indepth information about the updated version of Melrose Place for the CW Television Network.
Place is a forthcoming
American television series for The CW Television Network, scheduled to premiere
on September 8, 2009. The fifth series in the Beverly Hills, 90210 franchise,
it is an updated version of the 1990s FOX prime time drama Melrose Place,
featuring a group of young adults living in a West Hollywood, California
apartment complex. Smallville producers Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer are show
runners of the series. According to Entertainment Weekly, the first season will
feature a murder mystery involving characters Sydney Andrews (Laura Leighton)
and Dr. Michael Mancini (Thomas Calabro) from the original series, as well as a
crop of new residents.
23, 2008, Marc Malkin of E! Online reported on the possibility of a new Melrose
Place spin-off in the vein of the 2008 Beverly Hills, 90210 spin-off series
90210, quoting original series star Lisa Rinna saying, "I've heard a rumor of
them bringing back the show like they did 90210... I heard that it's somewhere
at The CW." However, Malkin also reported that "a rep for the CW insists there
are no plans to bring back Melrose Place." On October 11, 2008, TV Guide quoted
original Melrose Place creator Darren Star, who said that the spin-off
was a possibility he would be interested in pursuing, acknowledged that it had
been talked about, but also noted that no "official" discussions about the
spin-off had taken place. Later that month, The CW and CBS Paramount Network
Television said they were "exploring" the possibility of creating a new version
of the series, to potentially debut in the 2009-2010 TV season and targeting
their "prized demographic: young women." On October 31, 2008, Entertainment
Weekly's Michael Ausiello reported that One Tree Hill creator Mark Schwahn had
been approached about running what was being called "Melrose 2.0." The Hollywood
Reporter confirmed on December 14, 2008 that Schwahn was in negotiations to
write the initial script for the potential series.
In January 2009, The CW's entertainment president Dawn Ostroff discussed the
network's plans to develop a Melrose Place update, stating that she had
yet to identify a writer, and that the proposed project would include both
returning and new characters. She noted that the 1992 Melrose Place television
pilot had taken place "at a time not unlike what we're going through now ...
they talked about the building being foreclosed on, people not having jobs. It
took place in a very similar time, a time when the economy was in a downturn."
Ostroff also told reporters that unlike the original series, the new version
would try to capture life in the Los Angeles Melrose neighborhood. When asked
whether the new series would be the "earnest Melrose of season one or the nutty
Kimberly-blowing-up-the-apartment-complex of later years," Ostroff explained,
"In the beginning you've got to get invested in the characters, but I also think
it can't be so dramatic and sleepy that not enough is going on. Our fans really
love that heightened drama as you can see when you watch One Tree Hill and
Gossip Girl. So the job is to get them emotionally invested in the people and
then do storytelling and have twists and turns and surprises you wouldn't have
expected." With Schwahn officially off the project, on January 19, 2009 Ausiello
reported that The CW were talking with Darren Swimmer and Todd Slavkin of
Smallville about helming the new Melrose Place. On Feb 6, 2009 Ausiello
confirmed that Swimmer and Slavkin were officially hired as the show runners of
the spin-off, and previewed some of the show's characters, yet to be cast.
The Hollywood Reporter reported on February 23, 2009 that The CW had greenlit a
pilot episode for the new Melrose Place written by Swimmer and Slavkin, which
would "follow the original formula and chronicle a new group of twentysomethings
dwelling in Los Angeles' perpetually trendy Melrose neighborhood." Academy
Award-winner Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) was announced as the
director for the pilot.
Ausiello's February 6, 2009 character preview
introduced the series' seven new characters: David Patterson, son of the
previous version's Jake Hanson "with the taut abs and thick black book to prove
it;" his "omnisexual sometime lover" Ella Flynn, "a PR whiz whose tongue is as
sharp as her stilettos;" Jonah Miller, an aspiring filmmaker; Riley Richmond,
his "sickly-sweet schoolteacher fiancee;" Auggie Kirkpatrick, a "hunky hippie"
and recovering alcoholic; "straight-arrow" med student Lauren Bishop, forced by
hard times to "trade sexual favors for financial ones;" and Violet Foster, a
small-town teen who is "fresh off the turnip truck" but knows how to "play the
sex kitten" when necessary.
On February 25, 2009, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the first actor cast
in the new series was Michael Rady, whose character Jonah was compared to Andrew
Shue's Billy Campbell from the original Melrose Place. Variety announced
on February 27, 2009 that Katie Cassidy had landed the role of Ella, whom
Ausiello had previously compared to Heather Locklear's Amanda Woodward. On March
9, 2009 Ausiello reported that singer/actress Ashlee Simpson-Wentz had been cast
as Violet, and quoted an unnamed inside source saying that talks with Locklear
to reprise her role were "looking good." The Hollywood Reporter announced on
March 17, 2009 that Jessica Lucas had won the role of Riley. The next day
Entertainment Weekly broke the story that despite The CW "aggressively pursuing"
her, Locklear had passed on the Melrose Place update, purportedly because "There
wasn't a way to bring her back that made sense." On March 24, 2009, Colin
Egglesfield was cast as Auggie, and Stephanie Jacobsen as Lauren. Actor Ryan
Eggold subsequently told TV Guide that he would appear on the Melrose Place
update as his 90210 character Ryan Matthews. The Hollywood Reporter reported on
April 3, 2009 that Shaun Sipos had landed the final regular role in the series –
Jake's son David – now described as a rich kid whose "bad-boy behavior has cut
him off from the family's money."
On April 5, 2009 The Hollywood Reporter broke the story that Laura Leighton
would be joining the series as her original Melrose Place character
Sydney Andrews. Though Sydney had seemingly been killed off in 1997 at the end
of the original show's fifth season, the new pilot finds her alive and now the
landlord of the titular apartment complex. TV Guide noted that Leighton would
also continue in a recurring capacity should the updated Melrose Place be picked
up. People reported on April 6, 2009 that Melrose Place original cast member
Thomas Calabro would also reprise his series-long role as the duplicitous Dr.
Michael Mancini, now established as the father of new character David (Sipos).
On April 14, 2009, Simpson-Wentz announced via
Twitter that filming on the pilot would commence that week. Ausiello reported on
May 19, 2009 that the series had been picked up by The CW. Presenting its
2009-2010 season schedule on May 21, 2009, The CW announced its intention to air
Melrose Place after 90210 on Tuesday nights, in the same way their
parent shows had been paired when the original Melrose Place debuted on
FOX in July 1992. Ostroff added that there would likely be some character
crossover between the two shows. Sipos's, Cassidy's, and Jacobsen's characters
had also been renamed "David Breck," "Ella Simms," and "Lauren Yung" in the
press release. The same day, Ausiello reported that Leighton's character Sydney
dies in the pilot, setting off a season-long murder mystery, but that the
actress would continue to appear in multiple episodes of the season through
People later reported on June 18, 2009 that Josie Bissett, who had portrayed
Michael's ex-wife and Sydney's older sister Jane Mancini in the original series,
would guest star in at least one episode. Taylor Cole was next booked to guest
star as David's ex-girlfriend, followed by Taryn Manning as a singer whose music
video is directed by Jonah. The next day, Entertainment Weekly reported that
original series star Daphne Zuniga would be returning as photographer Jo
Reynolds for at least two episodes. On July 17, 2009, E! Online announced that
actress Brooke Burns had been cast as Vanessa, wife of Dr. Michael Mancini and
mother of his younger son Noah. That same day, TV Guide reported that actor
Victor Webster had also been cast as Caleb, Ella's gay publicist boss. On July
20, 2009, E! Online reported that actress Kelly Carlson had been cast as a madam
who convinces Lauren to work for her as part of her prostitution ring.
This article uses material from the Wikipedia
article "Melrose Place" and is licensed under the
GNU Free Documentation License.