Ashlee Simpson & Colin Egglesfield Have Been Axed From ‘Melrose Place’


Wow … here is some surprising casting news coming out of Melrose Place … with all the great news about which folks will be joining the cast, I don’t know that many of us (me included) considered who might be leaving the cast. Entertainment Weekly is reporting today that both Ashlee Simpson and Colin Egglesfield have been axed from the show! Their characters will be making their Melrose exit in January after the Who Killed Syndey Andrews? storyline wraps up in December. Um … wow!

Two months into its run, The CW’s ratings-challenged (but creatively-smokin’) Melrose Place reboot is about to undergo a major renovation. For starters, Ashlee Simpson-Wentz and Colin Egglesfield have been let go (they’ll last air in January), and the “Who Killed Sydney?” mystery is being wrapped up in December. Then, in addition to Heather Locklear’s Amanda, several new characters will be introduced and the show will take on a lighter, more fun vibe. Here, in an exclusive interview, exec producers Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer explain why they’re fixing a series that many (myself included) felt wasn’t broken and tease what’s ahead for Melrose 2.0 3.0.

What was behind the decision to let Ashlee and Colin go?
TODD SLAVKIN: Well, we always knew that this murder mystery would end in episode 12. And we always knew that [Ashlee’s] character of Violet would be instrumental in that as a suspect, and [Colin’s character of] Augie as well. And once that murder mystery was solved, she would go on her way. That was the original plan going into the development of the show.

So it was always the plan for Ashlee to leave after episode 12?
SLAVKIN: Yes. Because we felt that once the murder mystery was resolved, the tone of the show was going to shift into a much more fun, romantic, sexy upbeat kind of show, and [her] character would move on.

Same thing with Colin?
SLAVKIN: Colin was always meant to be the ultimate suspect. And his brooding alcoholic [character] tonally didn’t fit the paradigm moving into post-murder mystery Melrose Place.

Is it fair to say that if either of those characters clicked you would’ve found a way to keep them?
SLAVKIN: Well, you never know when you go along. But in the end, we felt like it was right [decision].
DARREN SWIMMER: The nature of soaps is that as things progress along, the story takes on a life of its own and the characters come and go in relation to that.

After the jump, find out how Ashlee and Colin took the news of their axing and read what Slavkin and Swimmer have to say about the possibility of other castmembers getting the axe from the show …

How did Ashlee and Colin take the news?
SLAVKIN: They’re total professionals and they took it like professionals. When you go into a show you never know what’s going to evolve and what the possibilities are. But because they knew ahead of time [that leaving was a possibility], it wasn’t a complete shock.

People are going to look at these changes and assume it’s a direct result of the show’s disappointing ratings.
SLAVKIN: Well, I understand that perspective. None of us foresaw the ratings; there’s nothing we can do about that. All we can do is write and produce the best show we know how. It’s fine to speculate, but in the end there was always a plan.

What about Laura Leighton and Thomas Calabro? Are they leaving, too?
SLAVKIN: Thomas is very much a part of the fabric of this show. Many storylines are ahead for him. You’ll get to see him interact with his old friend Amanda Woodward as well as all the characters on our show. With Laura, we would never close the door officially. She did her part in the murder mystery. We love her. We think she is gorgeous and a great actress and would love to have her be involved in the future, but there is no plan at the moment.

Can you elaborate on the tonal shift?
SLAVKIN: Now that the characters are no longer suspects, they can have a great time, they can focus on their careers, they can get into bed with each other without having this ominous cloud hanging over the building… But this is still Melrose Place. There’s still going to be intrigue on the show.

Click HERE to read the rest of this EW interview with Slavkin and Swimmer. Aww … I’m bummed. I really love Ashlee’s crazy Violet character … sure, the acting is atrocious but it kinda works with her craziness. I know my very good friend Darion is going to be crushed that Colin Egglesfield is being written off the show … I believe the Auggie character was his fave of the bunch. While I’m very happy to know that we will soon know who killed Sydney, I’m bummed that these two characters have to be axed so early into the season. Ah well … I guess that’s showbiz.


  • Kyle

    Oh well, i dont watch. But i really hope this means Ashlee will start work on a new album. I know there will be plenty of people who comment after me that will say what a terrible singer she is and she was lip synching on snl and blah blah. But she did have GOOD pop songs. I like all her albums, first was the best.

  • Ama

    I liked her album too :) I like how her voice has a rough sound to it, and not all girlie and bubbly like some female singers. This is off subject, but in some songs on her album, Selena Gomez sounds like Ashlee(that’s when she sings live too, not just on the CD)

    But yeah, I’ve never watched this show(cause I kept missing it ^^;). But I like Ashlee, so I hope she finds more work soon!

  • jamie

    @Kyle I like all Ashlee’s albums as well. Jessica is by far the better singer but I would prefer to listen to Ashlee anyday, lip synching or not. I am kind of bummed she is leaving Melrose, I liked her nutty character Violet as well.

  • Shawna

    CW is lame as hell, why bring in all these new people if ur just gonna fire them and bring all the old people back? should of just brung the show back, they piss me off.

  • Amy

    I’m bummed about Colin, but I say GOOD RIDDANCE to Ashely. Her acting is BEYOND horrible.

  • THANK GOD! Ashlee is SO Terrible. I feel awkward watching that show when she is on the screen because she is just so bad. I’m sad to see Augie go though, I definitely liked his character.

  • SO bummed that Auggie is leaving!!!! that dude is UBER hot. dammit. maybe he can swing on over to 90210 and make Kelly happy. ha ha

  • Bee

    Damnit! I’m so pissed! Crazy Violet was my faaaavorite character (maybe 2nd favorite to Ella), she gave the show some serious very needed crazy. You know? Kinda like how Georgina in GG everyone hates but you kind of sort of love how her crazy ass just keeps showing up? TBH, I dunno if I’ll really keep watching after Violet gets the axe. The other guy? Meh, I don’t care either way. He never did much for me.

  • Shelly

    They should ax the whole show.

  • Ashlee is terrible, but Colin was good on the show and was the only really hot guy they had

  • nicole

    i loved ashlees character i’ll miss her…and colin brough the hotness, and colin was one of the few who actaully held there own on the show..ill miss him most lol

  • Jenn

    The so-called ominous cloud of mystery was what kept me watching, if I cared about up-beat and fun I’d be watching the Hills/Gossip Girl or something that already aims for that.

    Boo on the producers for no hints to more good story plots.

  • taylor

    No! Ashlee as crazy Violet is so awesome. Her character was like the new Sydney. The show needs a crazy vixen and I can’t imagine they’ll find anyone better at the crazy than Violet.

  • HeatherLea

    I’m going to miss Ashlee. Though, I agree that her acting is HORRID on this show, I did like her on 7th Heaven and Undiscovered (one of my fav movies!). I REALLY hope she starts working on a new album. Though Jessica Simpson is the better technical singer and whatnot, Ashlee’s music pulls me in more. I love the grainy sound of her voice (whether singing or speaking).

    I’m really surprised that Collin’s character Auggie is getting written off. I guess the whole drama with Riley and Jonah(??? I think that’s his name.. But, I keep thinking Max from GREEK and Costas from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies. LoL. I guess I loved him being those characters more!!) Anyways, I guess that whole love triangle is going to amount to nothing! Lame!

  • Alison

    Tkank God. Ashlee’s acting is atrocious!

  • Mrs. Cullen

    I am glad ashlee is off….. i dont like her character or her acting….. but i am sad that Colin is out…….. i think he was the cutest on the show

  • ugh!


  • jennifer

    @Heatherlea…i KNEW that guy looked familar–Jonas’ character…so he played Costas, huh? ahh thanks for that tidbit of info!


    I believe this is just a thing to boost ratings. They’ll hire someone better, I’m sure.

  • katie

    Your friend who likes Colin Egglesfield should read this:

    It sounds like the poor guy really got shafted.

  • Josh C.

    This SUCKS!!!!! Loved Melrose Place back in the 90’s and was really getting into the new show and VIOLET made the show for me. I just don’t know if I can watch once she leaves.

    This BLOWS CW!!!!

  • Paul From Toronto

    Im glad to see Ashlee leave but bummed about Colin.. Love Love the character ELLA SIMS.. as long as they keep her.. Im good!

  • Monica

    I didn’t watch the show because of Ashlee Simpson being cast on it. I remembered her on 7th Heaven and couldn’t stomach watching her destroy one of my favorite shows from the past. Now that she is gone I will consider watching it.