Ashlee Simpson Joins The Cast Of The ‘Melrose Place’ Redux


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?


  • JJ

    Trent, I agree, I think Mischa would make a MUCH better vixen than Ashlee. Not to hate on Ashlee at all b/c I’ve always liked her but let’s face it, not everyone was born to act. I don’t know what I think about this new series…I think it will either completely bomb or it’ll be great. But I’m hopeful seeing as what a good job they did with 90210!

  • eiBeauty

    Hope they bring back Andrew Shue too! Recent pics show that he hasn’t changed a bit. Woot!

  • naomiblack

    Okay, so being an absolute Melrose fan myself…. I watched it from the beginning when it branched over from BH 90210 when Jake had that ridiculous rendevouz with Kelly Taylor that led to the snore fest of a 1st season, but later with the addition of Heather Locklear became one of my fav shows, I want to see core characters from the original as main characters!!! I’m tired of all this next generation bullshizz… what is this Star Trek… or better yet Saved By the Bell: The New Class? Bring in SOME new characters to spice it up with some new storylines, or else it’s just yet another Gossip Girl wannabe show with a twist of OC and a splash of One Tree Hill… uh that’s not Melrose Place! Bring back folks like Alyssa Milano, Lisa Rinna, Josie Bisset, Andrew Shue, Jack Wagner… you know peeps who were on the show towards the end!! Rob Estes can’t return, he’s on 90210, Doug Savant & Marcia Cross are in Wisteria Lane & Kimberly died anyway so… & how are you gonna have Jake’s son with no Jake? I only bother to watch the new 90210 to see the original characters, and that’s hardly ever… I hope the CW doesn’t ruin MP for me as well!!

  • This just keeps getting worse! They need to just not attempt to remake Melrose I think & I’m so over all these singers deciding they can act now. Stick to what you know, ok?

  • I would give it a chance, being a fan of the first show!! I do agree tho with singers being singers and actors being actors!! Iam alittle sick of these actress thinking they can sing hahaha won’t mention any names!! I did like Britany Spears in the movie where she went on the road after high school!?!

  • Mr. Gyllenhaal

    BOOOOOO!!! Hell no the new series won’t work especially with this type of casting!! Make something orginal and stop ruining all the old shows!!!

  • In general I’m not too thrilled about a remake of “Melrose Place,” one of my favorite guilty pleasures of all time… Watching Ashlee Simpson “act” holds no interest for me, but I must admit the prospect of Heather Locklear back in micro-minis is pretty exciting! “I am so sick of all you self righteous jerks attacking me! I don’t have to take this… I have a meeting to go to!”

  • schmee

    We just have to convince them that more of us will watch if Ms Simpson dies on screen in a horrible way. Like that movie where Paris Hilton gets a pick to the head, would any of you have seen it if she didn’t die?

    • @schmee — mebbe Ashlee can be the Melrose character that cracks her head on the side of the pool and slowly drowns/bleeds to death? my fear is that she, too, would resurrect on Sex and the City ;(

  • Panterasuno2

    I can picture it on the set now: Ashlee-“What is my motivation in this scene?” Director-“You are in a paper bag, act your way out of it, aaaaannnddd GO!” Ashlee-“Oh crap…”

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  • patches

    you obviously don’t know good night time soap television, Kimberly blowin up the apartment building was one of the best ep’s ever! Amanda can easily still be in the show, i don’t know why every show has to kiss the ass of the boring young generation, I’m only 23 but I find all the younger shows try too hard especially 90210, its so fake and “been there done that”, Amanda can still be the head of an ad agency and own the apartment building. I think its stupid that writers are so dumb now that they can’t think of their own creative new shows, and when they do they suck real bad in all levels from writing to acting…they will probably ruin Melrose just like they did 90210. whats next then? a remake of Dynasty or a remake of 21 Jump Street lol….

  • The latest “Beverly Hills 90210″ is NOT remake, just a follow-up and has re-introduced the old characters and this is what they want to do with “Melrose Place”. It is NOT a remake, so I suppose it will be new characters, with special guest appearances by the actors who starred in the original series. I hope so, as I was a fan of the original “Melrose Place”, as I was with 90210.
    I wish people would stop being so critical of Ashlee Simpson (and Jessica!), as I’ve met her in person and she is really friendly and gorgeous to look at in real life. I think she will be suited to star in a show like “Melrose Place”.

  • Laura

    really glad that ashlee got this role; i think she has more to offer, but was never really given the opportunity to prove herself. :)

  • Joanne

    I laughed loudly when they described her as a singer- songwriter! O.K … Hollywood is full of people wanting their big break – they should find brand new actors!

  • Rolltideguy77

    Im totally excited at MP coming back in a new incarnation. I just dont want it to be too “CW”. MP was a outright sexy, naughty show at times and I think that CW’s audience is too teen/tween for this to happen with but then again 90210 had a blowjob in the opening ep so who knows. I hope its at the old apt complex as well and not some new place. It has to be the old one it has history there! Hope Amanda can return and who knows maybe rekindle some lovin with Jake if she isnt still married to Peter. Peter is by now too old for this cast I think, sorry Jack!