Major characters off Melrose Place (spoilers, interesting even if you don’t watch it)

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I’ve been keeping up with the new “Melrose Place” on The CW since the premiere, and while it can be kind of cheesy I do enjoy the glamor and the intrigue. My favorite character is bitchy but vulnerable Ella Simms, played to a T by Katie Cassidy. Cassidy is a talented actress and she really makes you root for Ella despite her character’s opportunistic personality.

Ashley Simpson’s character is the obvious weak point of the show, because she just can’t act. Her character Violet is emerging as the prime murder suspect and she’s supposed to be conniving, but all she does is over-emote and I’ve found myself rolling my eyes during her scenes. It’s hard to see Ashlee as anything but a mediocre singer trying too hard to act.

Yesterday it was reported that “Melrose Place” had been half renewed by The CW, which ordered another five episodes for next season. The show is just treading water in the ratings, as opposed to the blockbuster “Vampire Diaries,” which has been renewed for a full season with 10 episodes.

Spoilers for future episodes start here, do not read on if you want to be surprised
EW’s Michael Ausiello has a new interview with producers of the show, who reveal that both Ashlee Simpson and Colin Egglesfield (who plays hot chef Auggie) are off the show next year starting in January. He also reports that the mystery of Sydney’s murder will be solved in December. (I suspect that Auggie was involved, because he was shown burning bloody clothes at the end of the first episode, but it’s hard to tell.) Heather Locklear is coming back in November as we’ve already heard, and more new characters will be introduced.

I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with the show and am kind of relieved that Ashlee’s character will be leaving. Auggie is such delectable eye candy but I’m not that attached to that character either. The producers claim that it was planned all along that Violet and Auggie would leave this season, but Colin Egglesfield tells E! it was a complete surprise and that he had a multi-year contract. You can kind of tell it wasn’t set it stone by the way the producers phrase their answers too.

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.

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.

[From EW.com]

The interview then covers the new fun direction that show will take. Although the producers deny that they’ve been influenced by the ratings, you can bet that was a large part of it. The trashy and superficial parts of the show are much more appealing than the murder mystery and I’m glad they’ll be switching gears. We’ll have to see how Heather Locklear mixes things up as Amanda too. She’s going to be a large part of the new show, and you can bet there will be a mini-war between Amanda and Ella. Bring it on!

Photo below from Patrick Wymore/The CW via E! Online. Other photo are promotional photos thanks to The CW

MELROSE PLACE

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12 Responses to “Major characters off Melrose Place (spoilers, interesting even if you don’t watch it)”

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  1. Firestarter says:

    I heard that Simpson and her on-screen husbands character were always going to be written off the show and that both actors, upon accepting the roles, werte aware of that fact.

    I watched approx. 10 minutes of the premiere episode and could not take a second more. Just like the new 90210 (I lasted 1 and a half episodes) and Gossip Girl (1 and a half seasons) the storylines, acting and dialogue is sooooo bad, that it is almost embarrassing.

  2. Iggles says:

    Firestarter – You may want to give it another shot. The premiere was lack luster but this show is heating up. I was a huge fan of the original Melrose Place. This revamp is certainly not as good, but it’s good soapish fun. The storylines are starting to move along nicely and I like the majority of the characters now.

    Plus seeing Sydney (via flashbacks) is gold! (If only Marcia Cross could come back too!) And Michael Mancini is still up to his old tricks (really, Thomas Callabro has reprised this role to a tee!).

    I’m relieved to see some of the new kids go. I was disappointed with Auggie. Yes he’s hot, but I thought he was going to be a modern Doug. I think they missed the boat with that. His storyline with Riley is lame. As for Violet, Ashlee has the crazy eyes down but it’s not a big loss.

  3. Firestarter says:

    Iggles- I was a big fan of old Melrose too. Well maybe I may give it another look since you said things are picking up. It can’t hurt I guess! : )

  4. Annie says:

    I might start watching again too, Ashlee turned me off to the show, I couldn’t get over her mediocre attempts at acting and being this confused sex kitten/actually crazy/whateverthehell they’re trying to do with her.

    I stopped watching after like, episode 2 or something cuz it was just >_<

    But if they’re canning her, I guess I have some catching up to do.

  5. Linda says:

    Keep Colin Egglesfield, he’s a good actor and wonderful to look at!

  6. Jeri says:

    I’m confused. I thought I read that Katie Cassidy was in 90210?? I know she is David’s daughter. Is there 2?? Are they sisters? Is she in both shows?? Am I deluded??

  7. Laura says:

    Spoilers for past episodes of Vampire Diaries below
    Celebitchy, I want to know what you think of Vampire Diaries! I know that you wrote a review for the season premiere, but I’d really love to know if you’ve loved it as much as I have as the episodes air.

    My sister and I were at the edge of our seats during the end of the second episode where Damon had Nicki by the neck over the building about to let her go!

    The consensus was that it was so serious and nail-biting. The kind of stuff you’d see at the season finale, not the second episode! You’re always surprised! But we loved it. And Paul Wesley is beautiful.

  8. Celebitchy says:

    @Laura I really love Vampire Diaries, try not to post spoilers even for past episodes though (I marked up your comment) as there are still people who might get into it. I read the first four books in the series, but they’re a little strange. Decent, but strange. I’m trying to read the follow-up that was published last year and it’s even strangers.

    Anyway I do love Vampire Diaries and was disappointed that it wasn’t on this week. Paul Wesley is gorgeous. One thing that gets me, though, is that they call him “Steffan” when his name is “Stefan” and that’s pronounced “Steph-on.” I know this is minor but it bugs me! The show is awesome though and it does ratchet up the drama and that’s part of the appeal. I’m so glad it’s been renewed for a full season.

  9. tasteT says:

    unfortunately, I’ve gotten hooked.

    I love the show, it has its weak moments but its good drama all-in-all.

    sure do ahte they are getting rid of that cute sexy cook though.

  10. OzGirl says:

    I loved the original Melrose, and I am really loving the new version too .. the first couple of episodes were iffy, but now I’m def hooked ..

    don’t think losing Ashlee will be a big loss, I find her character annoying! I love the Ella character though hehe

    @Laura and @Celebitchy … ditto re the vampire Diaries, wasn’t sure how that would turn out, stuck out the first few episodes, now it’s one of my favourite shows!! each week twists and turns and I cant wait to see what happens!! :)

  11. This is a very nice TV show to watch. It has some suspense which keeps you glued to your seat and you want to find out what happened next in the Show.

  12. kassie says:

    melrose place has gotten A LOT better now that ashlee is gone! I didn’t like it very much at first but kept recording it and watching when nothing else was on and now i am so glad i did! as you said the first couple of weeks were pretty bad-i usually fast forwarded when i saw ashlee- but every week it has been getting better and better and now that she is gone its great! auggie was kinda boring so im pretty glad he’s gone too. LOVE the new guy i was so happy to see him! he played vince on what i like about you and oh so cute!!