Last October we got word that The CW was planning to remake the wildly successful 90’s series Melrose Place since they successfully managed to remake Beverly Hills, 90210. At the time, there weren’t any concrete details about the new show (ie. would it follow the same format?), the casting (ie. who will play which character?) or even the name (ie. will it be called simply Melrose?). Since then there has been some news about the remake (including rumors that Mischa Barton may join the cast) with little concrete casting info making its way out … until now. Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Ashlee Simpson has signed on to join the cast of the rejuvenated Melrose Place:
Multiple sources confirm that singer-songwriter-sometime actress Ashlee Simpson has become the latest tenant of The CW’s refurbished Melrose Place. The onetime 7th Heaven star will play small-town girl Violet, a character whose disarming naiveté masks the calculating, shrewd sex kitten within. In other words, the little tramp’s Sydney. Simpson joins a cast that so far includes Katie Cassidy (as ambitious publicist Ella), Michael Rady (as aspiring filmmaker Jonah), and, if there is a God, original Melrose icon Heather Locklear, who would be slipping back into Amanda Woodward’s office microminis. “Both sides are talking,” whispers my Melrose mole of Locklear. “It’s looking good.” Melrose 2.0, which is considered a lock to land a spot on The CW’s fall sked (most likely on Tuesdays after 90210), is being shepherded by Smallville’s Darren Swimmer and Todd Slavkin. Oscar winner Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) has been tapped to direct the pilot. Now for the big question: Did Simpson score the part that Mischa Barton had been circling? My sources tell me no. That means the ex-O.C. siren is in talks to … play straight-arrow med student Lauren or revoltingly sweet schoolteacher Riley.
To be honest, I hated 7th Heaven … and what little I saw of Ashlee on that show, I was not impressed. The vixen Sydney character sounds like a plumb role … I’m not sure that Ashlee is up to the task. Honestly, I think Mischa would make a much better vixen than Ashlee. All of this casting talk is very interesting … most of all, the notion that Heather Locklear might be reprising her role of Amanda Woodward. Doesn’t it seem that Amanda would be too old to contend with this new group of youngsters? Can she do it? I, for one, am interested to find out. I used to LOVE Melrose Place back in the day. Up until crazy Dr. Kimberly Shaw (played by the amazing Marcia Cross) blew the apartment building up, I was a very devoted fan. The show started to wane after that historic moment in pop culture. I can see how the new Melrose might be fun for a while … we’ll have to see if the redux is able to revive the overly dramatic magic that the original series created. What do y’all think … will this new series work?