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Melrose Place is an American primetime soap opera that aired on Fox from July 8, 1992 to May 24, 1999, for seven seasons. The show follows the lives of a group of young adults living in an apartment complex called Melrose Place, in West Hollywood, California. The show was created by Darren Star for Fox and executive produced by Aaron Spelling for his company, Spelling Television. It is the second series in the Beverly Hills, 90210 franchise. Season one and season two were broadcast on Wednesday at 9pm, after Beverly Hills, 90210. In 1994, for its third season premiere, the show moved to Monday at 8pm.

Another show called Melrose Place aired on The CW from September 8, 2009 to April 3, 2010. The series is a sequel/continuation of the 1992 FOX TV series of the same name and is the fifth series in the Beverly Hills, 90210 franchise. The show follows the lives of a group of young adults living at the fictitious Melrose Place apartment complex in West Hollywood, California [1][2][3] Smallville producers Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer were show runners of the series.[2][3]

The series was met with mixed reviews from critics and, due to low ratings, was cancelled after one season.

The show had many cast changes during the run. Thomas Calabro was the only original cast member to remain on the series throughout its entire run.

The show earned several Golden Globe nominations and placed #51 on Entertainment WeeklyTemplate:'s "New TV Classics" list.[4]

Filming

Filming for the series took place at a studio in Santa Clarita, California.[5]

Setting and original premise

The show is set in a small apartment courtyard complex located at 4616 Melrose Place in the city of West Hollywood, California.[6][n 1] Several young individuals reside in the apartments, each with their own dreams and drives. The original format for the show was to have self-contained stories that conclude in every episode, but when that formula proved unpopular, the producers and writers started developing long-term storylines to evolve during the season. By the second season, the show had adopted a full-on soap opera format.

Cast and characters

Melrose PlaceTemplate:'s premiere season featured eight main characters: Dr. Michael Mancini (Thomas Calabro), a physician who works at Wilshire Memorial Hospital and changes from a kind, devoted husband in Season 1 to a mean, adulterous villain from Season 2 on; Jane Mancini (Josie Bissett), his budding fashion designer wife; Billy Campbell (Andrew Shue), a struggling writer adapting to life out of his parents' control; Alison Parker (Courtney Thorne-Smith),[9] a receptionist at D&D Advertising; Jake Hanson (Grant Show), a struggling manual laborer and motorcycle enthusiast; Matt Fielding (Doug Savant), a gay social worker; Rhonda Blair (Vanessa A. Williams), an aerobics instructor; and Sandy Harling (Amy Locane), a Southern belle and struggling actress who moonlights as a waitress at a local bar called Shooters, the group's main hangout. Locane was written off after 13 episodes and replaced by Daphne Zuniga as Jo Reynolds, a photographer running away from her abusive husband. Williams was not brought back for the second season, her character having become engaged to a wealthy restaurant entrepreneur.

Actress Heather Locklear, who in season one had guest starred as Alison's ambitious and merciless boss Amanda Woodward, was promoted to series regular status in the second season after her character bought and moved into the Melrose Place apartment building. Although she was always billed as a "special guest star", Locklear remained with the show for the rest of its run. Guest Laura Leighton, recurring as Jane's trouble-making younger sister Sydney Andrews in the first two seasons, was upgraded to series regular for season three. Marcia Cross, recurring as Dr. Kimberly Shaw in season 1, became a series regular by the end of the second season (though wasn't credited in the opening until the start of season four). Janet Carroll appeared in several episodes as Marion Shaw, Kimberly's domineering mother. Beata Pozniak was featured in Season two in 7 episodes as Dr. Katya Petrova Fielding, a doctor with a daughter from a previous marriage who befriends and ultimately marries Matt (for a green card), who becomes an endearing father figure for her child.[10]

Season four saw two new regular characters: Peter Burns (Jack Wagner), the ruthless hospital Chief of Staff introduced in season three; and Brooke Armstrong (Kristin Davis), a young, conniving intern at D&D Advertising also recurring the previous season. Davis's character was subsequently killed off in the middle of the fourth season, while Zuniga left the series at the end of the season. Patrick Muldoon also arrived in the third season as the villainous Richard Hart. Although Muldoon was not billed with the main cast (though he appeared in numerous promotional photos with them), he appeared in most of the fourth season's episodes and is also Melrose PlaceTemplate:'s longest recurring character (i.e. not in the opening credits) in terms of number of episodes.

The fifth season saw the addition of Rob Estes as restaurateur Kyle McBride, Lisa Rinna as his opportunistic wife Taylor, and Brooke Langton as Samantha Reilly, an artist and a new tenant in the apartment complex. Bissett and Cross left the series towards the end of the fifth season; Kelly Rutherford was brought in as Megan Lewis, a prostitute hired by Kimberly Shaw to have an affair with Michael Mancini, and David Charvet played Craig Field, Amanda's new co-worker and later Sydney's boyfriend. The season finale featured the exits of series regulars Thorne-Smith, Show, and Leighton.

The season premiere of season six featured the departure of original cast member Doug Savant while Alyssa Milano (recurring as Michael's sister Jennifer Mancini since season five) was bumped to series regular, with Linden Ashby joining the cast as Dr. Brett Cooper and Jamie Luner as his seductive and rich ex-wife, Lexi Sterling.

Charvet was written out in the middle of season 6, and the beginning of season seven saw the departure of Shue, Rinna, Langton, Milano, and Ashby. The show's seventh season introduced John Haymes Newton as Ryan McBride, Kyle's younger brother, and Rena Sofer as Eve Cleary, a woman from Amanda's past who marries Peter. Sofer was not billed with the main cast. Bissett reprised her role as Jane for the seventh season.

Main cast

Category: List of Melrose Place characters
This table includes only main cast characters, those who are listed in the intro title sequence.

Actor Character Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Josie Bissett Jane Mancini colspan=5 Template:CMainTemplate:Ref colspan=1 Template:CMain Template:Ref
Thomas Calabro Michael Mancini colspan=7 Template:CMain
Amy Locane Sandy Harling colspan=1 Template:CMain Template:Ref
Doug Savant Matt Fielding colspan=6 Template:CMain Template:Ref
Grant Show Jake Hanson colspan=5 Template:CMain
Andrew Shue Billy Campbell colspan=7 Template:CMainTemplate:Ref
Courtney Thorne-Smith Alison Parker colspan=5 Template:CMain
Vanessa A. Williams Rhonda Blair colspan=1 Template:CMain
Daphne Zuniga Jo Reynolds Template:CMain Template:Ref colspan=3 Template:CMain
Heather Locklear Amanda Woodward Template:CRecurring colspan=6 Template:CMain Template:Ref
Laura Leighton Sydney Andrews Template:CGuest Template:CRecurring colspan=3 Template:CMain
Marcia Cross Kimberly Shaw colspan=3 Template:CRecurring colspan=2 Template:CMainTemplate:Ref
Jack Wagner Peter Burns Template:CRecurring colspan=4 Template:CMain
Kristin Davis Brooke Armstrong Template:CRecurring colspan=1 Template:CMain Template:Ref
Brooke Langton Samantha Reilly Template:CGuest colspan=3 Template:CMainTemplate:Ref
Rob Estes Kyle McBride colspan=3 Template:CMain
Lisa Rinna Taylor McBride colspan=3 Template:CMainTemplate:Ref
Kelly Rutherford Megan Lewis colspan=3 Template:CMainTemplate:Ref
David Charvet Craig Field colspan=2 Template:CMain Template:Ref Template:Ref
Alyssa Milano Jennifer Mancini Template:CRecurring colspan=2 Template:CMainTemplate:Ref
Linden Ashby Brett Cooper colspan=2 Template:CMainTemplate:Ref
Jamie Luner Lexi Sterling colspan=2 Template:CMain Template:Ref
John Haymes Newton Ryan McBride colspan=1 Template:CMain Template:Ref
Notes

Template:Refbegin

  1. Template:NoteIn season five, Josie Bissett departs the show after episode 15.
  2. Template:NoteJosie Bissett is added to the cast from episode 4 onwards.
  3. Template:NoteAmy Locane only appears in first thirteen episodes.
  4. Template:NoteIn season six, Doug Savant departs the show after the first episode.
  5. Template:NoteAndrew Shue, Brooke Langton, Lisa Rinna, Alyssa Milano and Linden Ashby only appear in first seven episodes of the seventh season.
  6. Template:NoteIn season one, Daphne Zuniga is added to the cast from episode 15 onwards.
  7. Template:NoteHeather Locklear, though technically a main cast member from the second season onwards, is credited as a "special guest star" for the remainder of the series.
  8. Template:NoteIn season five, Marcia Cross departs the show after episode 27.
  9. Template:NoteIn season four, Kristin Davis departs the show after episode 22.
  10. Template:NoteAlthough initially recurring in season five, Kelly Rutherford is added to the opening credits from episode 16 onwards.
  11. Template:NoteAlthough initially recurring in season five, David Charvet is added to the opening credits from episode 28 onwards.
  12. Template:NoteIn season six, David Charvet departs the show after episode 17 of the sixth season.
  13. Template:NoteIn season six, Jamie Luner is added to the cast from episode 4 onwards.
  14. Template:NoteJohn Haymes Newton is added to the cast from episode 8 onwards.

Template:Refend

Nielsen ratings

Season Rank Rating US viewers (in millions)
1) 1992–93 #112 7.0 11.9
2) 1993–94 #50 10.3 14.8
3) 1994–95 #57[11] 9.8 14.1
4) 1995–96 #61[12] 9.3 13.2
5) 1996–97 #58[13] 8.5 11.8
6) 1997–98 #80[14] 10.2 9.5
7) 1998–99 #95[15] 8.4 N/A

The series debuted on July 8, 1992 and was an instant smash hit, debuting at #19 on the Nielsen ratings with a 10.3/19 share and 16 million viewers. The series finale was watched by 10.38 million viewers.

Reception

Critical reception

Melrose Place received mixed reviews from critics. As of September 2014, season 1 has a critics rating of 4.7/10 at Metacritic (this rating is only for the first season, not for the show as a whole).[16] One of the critics, Time's Richard Zoglin, who gave the season a 2.0/10 score, wrote that the soap is "tapping into nothing more than worn plot lines from The Young and the Restless".[17] Conversely, Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly, gave the first season a B- rating, writing: "Hey, I make fun of Melrose Place — but I'm hypnotized by it. As warm-weather escapism, it takes all the issues facing this country, from unemployment to sexual harassment, and turns them into crises that can be solved in an hour."[18] In 1997, Mark Harris, who gave the soap's sixth season a D rating, stated: "Although the ever-game, deserves-better Heather Locklear still spits out even the worst lines with snappish authority, and the diabolical-doctor duo of Jack Wagner and Thomas Calabro at least try to look interested, they can't sustain a show that has lost its best asset — a twisted joy in its own trashiness."[19]

Accolades

The series won the People's Choice Award in 1993 for 'Favorite New TV Dramatic Series'.[20]

Heather Locklear was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama for her role as Amanda Woodward on Melrose Place, in 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1996.[21] Laura Leighton was nominated in 1995 for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series for her role as Sydney Andrews.[22]

In May 1994, at the height of the show's popularity, the female stars, Heather Locklear, Laura Leighton, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Daphne Zuniga and Josie Bissett, were featured on the cover of Rolling Stone. Read the article and see the cover.

TV Guide ranked Amanda Woodward at #2 in the short list of "The Biggest TV Bitches", only behind Joan Collins' iconic Alexis Carrington Colby, with whom Locklear co-starred on Dynasty. [23] In Entertainment Weekly, Heather Locklear says about playing her: "Not trying to be a bitch. Just trying to be strong and do what you are supposed to do".[24]

In 2012, Entertainment Weekly reunited Melrose favorites Heather Locklear, Marcia Cross, Laura Leighton, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Josie Bissett, Daphne Zuniga, Andrew Shue, Grant Show and Doug Savant, and they appeared on the cover.[25]

Seasons and episodes

Template:Main List of Melrose Place episodes

Spin-offs

The original series produced a spin-off series, titled: Models Inc., which ran for one season from 1994–95. The series focused on a Los Angeles modeling agency run by Hillary Michaels (played by Linda Gray), the mother of Melrose's Amanda Woodward.[26]

An updated version of the series, also called Melrose Place, premiered on September 8, 2009 on The CW Television Network.[27] The series was subject to severe criticism for its bad storylines, unlikeable characters, and suffered from low ratings causing it to be cancelled in May 2010 after one season. However, five actors from the original MP reprise their characters on the sequel: Thomas Calabro, Laura Leighton, Josie Bissett, Daphne Zuniga and Heather Locklear. They have a mini reunion (without Leighton) in episode sixteen ("Santa Fe").[28]

Lawsuit

In 1996, actress Hunter Tylo was cast in Melrose Place and opted to leave daytime soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful to take the role. However, she was fired by Melrose Place producer Aaron Spelling prior to filming any episodes for the series, when she announced she was pregnant. The character she was to play, Taylor McBride, was recast, Lisa Rinna taking the role. Tylo quickly returned to The Bold and the Beautiful. Tylo sued Spelling on grounds of discrimination for being pregnant and won $4.8 million from a Los Angeles jury. Spelling argued that Tylo's pregnancy rendered her unable to play the character, who was supposed to be a sexy seductress. During the trial, Tylo published pictures of herself while pregnant which showed that she retained a slim figure. Prior to trial, during the discovery phase of the litigation, Tylo's lawyers won a partial victory in an interlocutory appeal challenging a lower court's order compelling her to answer a broad range of personal questions. The Court of Appeal established Tylo's right to refuse to answer questions in her deposition about marital problems and psychological treatment, although the Court sustained the portion of the order which compelled her to answer questions about her efforts to become pregnant, her husband's ability or inability to impregnate her, and communications with her agent with respect to her efforts and ability to become pregnant. The case is widely recognized as an important one in establishing the right of privacy in deposition and the right of actresses to continue to work while pregnant.[29][30]

Unauthorized story

On October 10, 2015 a television movie called The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story was first released. It told the behind the scenes making of story of the show, finishing with the filming of the season three finale.[31]

Home media

CBS Home Entertainment (distributed by Paramount) have released all seasons of Melrose Place on DVD in Region 1.

The series has also been released on DVD in Region 2 and 4 by Paramount Home Entertainment.

Due to music licensing issues, most of the original music has been replaced on these DVD releases. Starting with Season 1, some episodes are edited from their original broadcast versions.

The series is rated Template:Color box in Australia and Template:Color box in New Zealand for its sex scenes and offensive language.

DVD Name Ep # Release dates Special features
Region 1 Region 2 (Scandinavia) Region 2 (UK) Region 4
The First Season 32 November 7, 2006 November 13, 2006 November 13, 2006 November 1, 2006 Season 1 episode recaps
Behind the scenes featurette
Mini featurettes
Cast Interviews
The Second Season 32 May 1, 2007 April 1, 2007 March 13, 2007 May 3, 2007 Audio Commentary by Series Creator Darren Star
Melrose Place: Meet The Neighbours
Melrose Place: Complex Relationships
Melrose Place: The Best of the Worst
The Third Season 32 November 13, 2007 December 2, 2007 May 18, 2009 April 9, 2008 Melrose Place: According to Jake
Melrose Place: Seven Minutes in Hell
Everything You Need To Know About Melrose Place Season 3
The Fourth Season 34 April 15, 2008 March 11, 2009 March 22, 2010 April 2, 2009 None
The Fifth Season (Volume One) 19 February 10, 2009 N/A N/A N/A None
The Fifth Season (Volume Two) 15 November 24, 2009 N/A N/A N/A None
The Sixth Season (Volume One) 13 May 3, 2011 N/A N/A N/A None
The Sixth Season (Volume Two) 14 July 19, 2011 N/A N/A N/A None
The Seventh Season (Volume One) 18 July 31, 2012 N/A N/A N/A None
The Seventh Season (Volume Two) 17 July 31, 2012 N/A N/A N/A None

On April 1, 2011, all seven seasons of the show were made available to view on Netflix's subscription internet streaming service. The show was removed from Netflix in July of 2015

GALA Committee

A group of artists and Melrose Place producers formed the GALA Committee, headed by artist Mel Chin, in order to bring artworks out of galleries and into primetime television. GALA artists designed artworks that were used as props by Melrose Place characters in the fourth and fifth seasons, often with hidden political messages:

  • When Alison is pregnant, her quilt is decorated with the molecular structure of RU-486.
  • A bag of Chinese take-out food is emblazoned with two opposing ideograms translated from Chinese as "Human Rights" and "Turmoil"; both terms were used by the Chinese government to justify a restriction on student protesters of June 4, 1989.
  • Bottles behind the counter at Shooters bar are decorated with ads and documents chronicling the history of alcohol.
  • As Alison quits D&D Advertising, a framed ad in the background features a bombed-out building. The damage to the structure is in the shape of a liquor bottle, and the words "Total Proof" appear on the poster.

Chin compared the works to viruses, symbiotic and invisible. The project was called "In the Name of the Place", as part of the "Uncommon Sense" art show at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, California in 1997. A portion of the Fifth Season was filmed at the Geffen Contemporary where the project was displayed. The artwork was also shown at the 1997 Kwangju Biennale in Kwangju, Korea and at Grand Arts in Kansas City, Missouri in 1998. Sotheby's Auction house auctioned almost fifty of these artworks for charity.

Development

After successfully relaunching the franchise with 90210 in 2008, there was considerable speculation as to whether The CW planned to create a new version of Melrose Place in a similar vein. An article in E! Online reported the possibility of a new version of Melrose in September 2008,[32] though The CW declined to confirm any such project at that time.[32] Some weeks later, The CW and CBS Paramount Network Television (successor-in-interest of Spelling Television and therefore the legal rights holders to Melrose Place) 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."[33][34][35] Original series creator Darren Star also confirmed that discussions had taken place, but nothing was official. On October 31, 2008, Entertainment Weekly writer Michael Ausiello reported that One Tree Hill creator Mark Schwahn had been approached about running what was being called "Melrose Place 2.0".[36] The Hollywood Reporter confirmed on December 14, 2008 that Schwahn was in negotiations to write the initial script for the potential series.[37][38][39]

In January 2009, The CW's head of entertainment, 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.[40] She noted that the original Melrose Place series which began in 1992 started "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."[40] Ostroff also told reporters that unlike the original series, the new version would try to capture life in the Los Angeles Melrose neighborhood.[40] 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."[40]

On January 19, 2009, with Mark Schwahn now officially off the project, Ausiello reported that The CW were talking with Darren Swimmer and Todd Slavkin (showrunners of The CW's Smallville) about helming the new Melrose Place.[41] On February 6, 2009 Ausiello confirmed that Swimmer and Slavkin were officially hired as the show runners of the spin-off, and discussed some of the new show's characters that were yet to be cast.[42][43]

The Hollywood Reporter reported on February 23, 2009 that The CW had officially 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 twenty-somethings dwelling in Los Angeles' perpetually trendy Melrose neighborhood."[2][3][44] Academy Award-winner Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) was announced as the director and executive producer of the pilot.[2][3][44]

The new series, ultimately just titled Melrose Place like its 1990s predecessor, premiered on The CW on September 8, 2009.

Casting

File:MP2009-CastSsn01.jpg

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.[42]

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.[45] Variety announced on February 27, 2009 that Katie Cassidy had landed the role of Ella,[46][47] whom Ausiello had previously compared to Heather Locklear's Amanda Woodward.[42] 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."[48] The Hollywood Reporter announced on March 17, 2009 that Jessica Lucas had won the role of Riley.[49][50] 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."[51] On March 24, 2009, Colin Egglesfield was cast as Auggie, and Stephanie Jacobsen as Lauren.[52][53] 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."[54][55][56]

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.[56][57][58] 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.[56][57][58] TV Guide noted that Leighton would also continue in a recurring capacity should the updated Melrose Place be picked up.[56] 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).[59][60]

Ashlee Simpson-Wentz's portrayal of the scheming Violet Foster was criticized by both critics and fans who found her very loathsome, and she was reportedly disliked by fellow cast members.[61][62] It was announced in October 2009 that Simpson-Wentz and Colin Egglesfield would be leaving the series after the conclusion of the "Sydney Andrews murder mystery" storyline.[63]

Production

Ausiello reported on May 19, 2009 that the series had been picked up by The CW.[64] 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.[27][65][66][67] Ostroff added that there would likely be some character crossover between the two shows.[27] Sipos's, Cassidy's, and Jacobsen's characters had also been renamed "David Breck," "Ella Simms," and "Lauren Yung" in the press release.[66][67]

With the series in production, the Los Angeles Times noted on August 30, 2009 that the new Melrose Place intends to reflect life in Los Angeles beyond the way the original did by filming "everywhere from skid row to Sunset Boulevard and using popular venues, such as the Cinerama Dome and Walt Disney Concert Hall, as well as opulent mansions in Malibu and the so-called bird streets of the Hollywood Hills."[68] Executive producers Slavkin and Swimmer both grew up in L.A., and wanted to update the series "in a really cool, relevant way and not just slap the name Melrose Place on it."[68] Concerned about repeating the same difficulties which occurred when incorporating original series characters in the 90210 update, The CW's Ostroff was drawn to Slavkin and Swimmer's intent to "create a new world but also hang on to what was special about Melrose originally ... I wanted to make sure that we used the old characters in the right way, in a way that made sense to the new characters as well."[68] Swimmer added, "We felt the only way to incorporate the old characters into the new show was for it to feel like it was part of the story and came from the story."[68]

On September 23, 2009, Variety reported that The CW had ordered an additional six scripts for the series, despite its ratings thus far being a "disappointment."[69][70] On October 21, 2009, The CW officially ordered five more episodes of the series, bringing the total to eighteen.[71] A day later in an interview with Ausiello, Slavkin and Swimmer announced that Egglesfield, Simpson-Wentz, and Leighton would leave the series once the murder mystery is resolved in episode 12.[72] Egglesfield told E! Online that his departure was a network decision driven by the show's weak ratings, and that his character Auggie would not be killed off.[73]

Guest stars

People reported on June 18, 2009 that Josie Bissett, who portrayed Michael's ex-wife and Sydney's older sister Jane Mancini in the original series, would guest star in at least one episode.[74] 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.[75] The next day, Entertainment Weekly reported that original series star Daphne Zuniga would be returning as photographer Jo Reynolds for at least two episodes.[76][77] 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.[78] That same day, TV Guide Magazine reported that actor Victor Webster had also been cast as Caleb, Ella's gay publicist boss.[79] 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.[80]

On August 19, 2009, E! Online announced that actress Jenna Dewan would appear on the series for at least two episodes as Kendra Wilson, a movie development executive who has her eyes on Jonah.[81] Later that week, E! Online confirmed that Locklear was again in talks to join the update as her original series character Amanda.[82] On August 31, 2009, former LA Laker Rick Fox announced he'd be guest starring on the series as an LA club owner.[83] A rep for Melrose Place later confirmed the news to Access Hollywood, stating that Fox would appear in the eighth episode.[84]

On September 22, 2009, The CW announced that Heather Locklear would finally join the update in its tenth episode. Show runners Slavkin and Swimmer were quoted as saying "We're ecstatic to have the chance to bring Amanda Woodward back to Melrose Place. Heather's involvement in the show is something we've been working on for some time, as we couldn't imagine creating and producing this show without the iconic character's inclusion."[85] Ausiello revealed that Locklear would play Ella's boss at WPK, calling it "a genius move that will pit the show’s former and current vixens against one another."[86] On October 9, 2009, TV Guide Magazine reported that actor Billy Campbell had been cast as a powerful billionaire who would be involved with Amanda and first appear in episode thirteen.[87] On October 27, 2009, Ausiello reported that actor Nick Zano was in talks to join as a pseudo-replacement for Colin Egglesfield’s Auggie.[88] Zano later confirmed his casting in an interview with the Entertainment Weekly columnist, revealed that he would play a doctor who works with Lauren and moves into the Melrose apartment complex, and that his role is recurring.[89]

Cancellation

Lagging ratings caused frequent speculation that the show would not be brought back for a second season. "TV By The Numbers", a site that publishes television ratings to the public, repeatedly stated that the show had not hit its target audience and was likely to be cancelled.[90] After the season finale, series producer Darren Swimmer left a statement on his Twitter account saying, "Melrose Place: Thnx for the love, fans. Honestly, a season 2 looks like it ain't gonna happen. All signs say no, but no official word yet."[91] On May 18, 2010, two days before the new CW line-up was to be released, Swimmer left another message about the fate of the show: "I think it's fair to say we won't be renewed for next season. It was a great run. Mad props to everyone involved with the show & our fans!"[92] The CW officially canceled the series on May 20, 2010.[93]

Plot

On May 21, 2009, Ausiello reported that Leighton's character Sydney dies in the pilot and sets off a murder mystery, but noted that the actress would continue to appear in multiple episodes of the season through flashbacks.[94] The Los Angeles Times later confirmed that Sydney would be found dead in the first 10 minutes of the premiere episode, a turn of events which means "anything could happen" in the new series, according to executive producer Slavkin.[68] "It will feel nostalgic, but it's not the old Melrose," Slavkin said.[68] The Times added that initial episodes would revolve around the interrelationships of the apartment complex's seven residents and the theme that "no one is exactly who they seem," with Sydney's murder solved mid-season.[68] As the series opens, new Melrose Place resident Violet finds Sydney floating dead in the courtyard pool. Student doctor Lauren reluctantly accepts cash for sex to pay her medical school tuition, as aspiring filmmaker Jonah is offered a directing deal in exchange for his silence about a famous director's indiscretion. David, Sydney's ex-lover and the police's initial suspect in her death, is bailed out of jail by bisexual publicist Ella, who provides a false alibi and has her own reasons for wanting Sydney out of the way. While David steals a valuable painting from his own father Michael Mancini in the dark of night, sous chef Auggie — seemingly the resident most upset by Sydney's death — burns a bloody chef's uniform.

Holding onto her job puts pressure on Ella, whose efforts to further secret crush Jonah's career do not help his relationship with his new fiancée Riley. Lauren is compelled to continue prostituting herself, and while Sydney's sister Jane's attempt to blackmail Ella fails, she follows through on her promise to clue in the police on Ella's motives for Sydney's murder. Violet is revealed to be Sydney's secret daughter, and schemes to both get close to Auggie, and punish Michael for mistreating Sydney.

Cast and characters

Main characters

  • Ella Simms (Katie Cassidy) is a publicist who began her career under the guidance of Sydney Andrews, the new landlady of 4616 Melrose Place. Ella's close friendships with some of the other tenants, David and Jonah, are highlighted with some sexuality. Ambitious, scheming, and at times devious, Ella eventually comes into her own as a confident woman in show business. This is shown by her willingness to use her sexuality to get things done by seducing both men and women. Prior to Sydney's untimely death, Ella's relationship with her mentor had soured. She had a brief relationship with Jonah, after his broken engagement to Riley.
  • Jonah Miller (Michael Rady) is a good-natured friend of Ella's who works in the IT department of her agency and is also an aspiring filmmaker. His close friendship with Ella is only one of the problems in his relationship with his fiancée, Riley.
  • Riley Richmond (Jessica Lucas) is an elementary schoolteacher who is engaged to Jonah. In addition to her being wary of Jonah's friendship with Ella, she also has some feelings for her jogging partner, Auggie.
  • August "Auggie" Kirkpatrick (Colin Egglesfield) is a chef and part-time surfer with a history of alcoholism, which has adversely affected his life to the point that it once got him in a fight which killed his girlfriend. This landed him in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting with Sydney Andrews, with whom he had a brief relationship. With Sydney's help, he is able to overcome this. He later tries to help Sydney when she also becomes addicted to drugs. After Sydney's death, Auggie turns to Riley for comfort. When this does not work out, he begins a relationship with Violet (originally unaware that she is Sydney's long-lost daughter) and eventually leaves California with her.
  • Violet Foster (Ashlee Simpson-Wentz) is a young woman new to California and struggling to fit in with the other tenants of Melrose Place. While she quickly becomes friends with some of them, none of them know that she came to California to find her biological mother. It turned out that her biological mother is Sydney Andrews, who rejected her at first but later wanted to get to know her. Violet's reunion with her mother is cut short when Sydney is found murdered in the pool. She later finds out about her mother's turbulent relationship with Dr. Michael Mancini, whom she approaches to apply as the nanny of his son, Noah. Being just as scheming and manipulative as her biological mother, Violet eventually has an affair with Michael and even blackmails him with a recording of their one night stand. She reveals to him that she is Sydney's daughter and that she wants to get back at him for treating her mother badly. In searching for her mother's murderer, Violet finds out that Michael's wife, Vanessa, had previously confronted Sydney about her affair with Michael. Sydney's insinuation that Vanessa's son with Michael, Noah, was actually fathered by Michael's estranged son, David (who also had a brief relationship with Sydney), drove Vanessa to kill her. Violet then confronts Vanessa, resulting in a fight in the pool, and ultimately, Vanessa's death. Her drug-addicted adoptive brother came to California, and it was revealed they'd been secretly sleeping together unbeknownst to their parents. She then dated Auggie Kirkpatrick, eventually leaving California with him.
  • David Breck (Shaun Sipos), another friend of Ella's, is Michael Mancini's son with an unnamed woman. He had a brief relationship with his landlady, Sydney Andrews, prior to her untimely death. He is also, possibly, the biological father of Noah, the son of his father's recently deceased wife, Vanessa. David later has an intimate relationship with Ella's roommate, Lauren. Although they eventually ended breaking up, they both remain with strong feelings for each other. Often unemployed, David supports himself by performing robberies of houses in wealthy neighborhoods and selling the items he steals on the black market thanks to his criminal contact Amir. He later uses his ill-gotten money to buy the restaurant Coal as a means of going legal and legitimate.
  • Lauren Yung (Stephanie Jacobsen), Ella's roommate, is a cash-strapped medical student of Dr. Mancini. With the obsession to be a medical doctor at any cost, she reluctantly turns to prostitution in order to pay her tuition. Lauren's first client was a man who offered her a huge sum of money to have sex with him. He later becomes her "pimp", recommending her to one of his friends. After she rendered her services to a man she met at a certain hotel bar, she is confronted by Wendi, a madam who has made a deal with the hotel, who at threatens her if she ever sees her there again. Lauren is eventually employed by Wendi, and her new job has become invasive of her personal life, to the point that her friends see less and less of her. When Michael Mancini threatens to reveal her secret to the hospital, she comes clean to her friends about her profession which she quits soon after and enters into a romance with David.

Recurring characters

Episodes

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No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)

Reception

U.S. Nielsen ratings

Season Episodes Timeslot Original airing Viewers
(in millions)
Annual rank Rating/Share
(18-49)
Season premiere Season finale TV season
1 18 Tuesday 9/8c
September 8, 2009
<center>April 13, 2010 2009–2010 1.39[96] #138[96] 0.7[96]

Critical

Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker gave the pilot a B, stating that "it remains to be seen whether the new Melrose will become as giddily addictive as its predecessor — but it's off to a promisingly dizzy start."[97] The Los Angeles Times compared the update to the original, noting that "Camp has given way to noir, soap has morphed into mystery, and acting and dialogue have become more sophisticated while alcoholism, drug addiction, infidelity and even murder remain among the permanent residents of the fictitious 4616 Melrose Place."[68] The Hollywood Reporter stated "It's all brand new and shiny but comfortably familiar and keenly calculated. The pleasures abound within the walls of the new "MP," but be warned: You'll want to take a shower afterward."[98] Melrose Place was the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter for about an hour on its debut night, and its ratings put it in second place among its core young adult audience in the 9 pm hour.[99]

Metacritic gave the episode a Metascore of 57, signifying mixed reviews, a weighted average based on a select 23 critical reviews.[100]

International syndication

Melrose Place began airing in 26 countries in Latin America on November 10, 2009 via Sony Entertainment Television.[101] Episodes are aired in English, and are subtitled in Spanish, Portuguese, or French. As in the US, the series follows 90210 on Tuesdays.[102]

In Albania, the series aires on TV Klan from Monday to Friday, on 4:10 pm.

In Canada, the series airs on the Global a day later than the US airing. The show also aired in French on Québec's V channel in 2011.

In Sweden, the series aired Mondays at 9:50 pm on TV400. It premiered on November 23, 2009.

In Israel, the series airs on yes stars Next on Sundays at 8:40 pm starting January 17, 2010. Later, ABCFamily Israel aired this series on repeats.

In the United Kingdom, the series aired on Fiver on Wednesdays, at 9.00pm for the first eight episodes before moving to the 8.00pm slot.[103] The premiere aired on February 3, 2010 and scored 113,000 viewers. The series concluded on June 2, 2010.

In Portugal, the series aired on Wednesday's at 9:15pm for the first nine episodes before moving to the 10.20pm slot on FOX Life Portugal.

In the Philippines, the series is set to air on Velvet and will air Tuesday at 9:30 pm starting January 19, 2010.The series was later moved to 10:00 pm Template:Citation needed

In Australia, the series was intended to air on Network Ten, however the series will air on Eleven on July 29, 2012 Originally in Early 2011.

In New Zealand, the series began airing February 17, 2010 on C4.

In Montenegro, the series began airing February 6, 2012 at 20:40 on TV IN.

In Netherlands, the series will begin airing also mid-2010 on RTL 5.

In Russia, the series began airing weekdays at 23:00 on Muz-TV on March 15, 2010.

In Norway, the series began airing Wednesday April 21 at 7:00 pm on TV2 Zebra.

In Ireland, the season 1 aired Tuesday Mornings at 02:30am on RTÉ Two.

In Greece, the series begun airing on October 2010 on Skai TV as a lead-in to 90210 but it was canceled after 3 episodes due to low ratings and replaced by The Good Wife encores. The show returned on a late night slot on February 2011 but got canceled again after the 6th episode aired. Episodes 7-18 air in August–September 2011 on a late night slot.

In Georgia, the series began airing October 2010.

In Chile, the series was premiered on January 9, 2011 on Mega.

In Slovenia, the series premiered on January 21, 2011 on TV3 Slovenia. It airs Weekdays at 11 am.

In Serbia, the series premiered on July 5, 2012 on Happy TV and aired Weekdays at 10:50 pm.

In France, the series premiered on March 16, 2011 on M6. It airs Wednesday at 3 pm.

In Germany, the series premiered on July 4, 2011 on Sixx and aired Mondays at 9 pm as a lead-out to Gossip Girl. The show was a success for the network with an average audience over 90 000 viewers and a 0.6 Rating among the 14-49 target group.

In Finland, the series premiered on December 31, 2011 on Nelonen at 3.30 pm. Currently it airs Saturdays at 5.50 pm.

In Bulgaria the series premiered - 2010-2011 13.00 pm.

Hime video release

As of October 26, 2010, Amazon's CreateSpace manufacture-on-demand (MOD) program began exclusively selling Melrose Place: The DVD Edition. This is a 6-disc set (740 minutes) with the entire run of the show, plus bonus cast interviews.[104]

References


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