Melrose Again: Bloggin' about Melrose Place

Archive for May 2010

The CW adds a female spy and cheerleaders to its Fall lineup.

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Maggie Q is the deadly new incarnation of “Nikita” this fall on the CW.

Melrose Place may be gone, but life goes on, so I attended the CW’s presentation of their fall lineup today thanks to the network’s welcoming attitude toward bloggers. This philosophy colored the theatric event, which, as a hybrid sales presentation and pep rally for media buyers, network affiliates and the press, was decorated with huge screens flashing Facebook and Twitter raves from fans of their returning shows. The CW’s slogan remains “TV to Talk About,” but for the meeting they added the words blog, tweet and text to emphasize that they’re connected to what they describe as Generation D — the digital generation. It was a bit sad to sit through the presentation and not hear a word about the canceled Melrose Place, but I have to admit they put on a good show. Things got off to a rollicking start with a brief musical set by Katy Perry, whose “California Girls” single will serve as the network’s summer anthem. Perry got the media types rockin’ and introduced the network’s executives. The CW’s President of Entertainment Dawn Ostroff delivered the presentation.

"Hellcats" aims to put some cheer into the CW's ratings Wednesday nights.

The CW has shuffled its schedule a bit and added two series, a female spy series called “Nikita,” starring the sexy Maggie Q from “Mission Impossible 3,” and “Hellcats,” a dramedy about college cheerleading that includes former “High School Musical” star Ashley Tisdale headlining a cast of fresh faces. Although “Hellcats” shows promise with a CW-ready cast of cuties and an angst-ridden scholastic setting, it was “Nikita” that caught my eye. Mind you, I’ve always been a big fan of female actioners. I even watched NBC’s dreadful reboot of “Bionic Woman” a few years ago.  Don’t hold that against me, please. The sinewy Maggie Q is a fresh face to TV and, as an Asian beauty, adds some refreshing diversity to the CW’s landscape. Q herself seemed to be aware of the trail she’s blazing at the network when she took the stage and charmingly admitted how intimidated she felt backstage among the legion of curvy CW babes present to hype their shows. The stage was certainly bustling with beauties of both genders: Tom Welling, Chace Crawford, Annalynne McCord, Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley were among the CW stars making appearances during the one-hour event. Not to worry, Maggie. You blend in nicely.

The CW also has two reality series on tap: a heart-tugging makeover show called “Plain Jane,” debuting this summer, and a mid-season weight-loss challenge series with a nuptial twist tentatively titled “Shedding for the Wedding.” Talk about stepping outside an established formula! For fall, the new lineup sees “90210” moving to Mondays at 8 p.m. to work an “East Coast / West Coast” theme with the Manhattan-based “Gossip Girl.” The new Tuesday night pairs the inexplicably renewed “One Tree Hill” with “Life Unexpected” while freshman series “Hellcats” follows the sniping model wannabes on Tyra Banks’ addictive “America’s Next Top Model” on Wednesday nights.  Thursday will shape up to be a heart-stopping night as “Nikita” follows the sexy vampires of CW’s number-one show “The Vampire Diaries.” Last but not least, the network created a super-themed Friday combo by moving the “Supernatural” brothers behind “Smallville,” which returns for its tenth and final season. I must add that Tom Welling, who is producer of “Hellcats,” looks better than ever. Super, indeed.

Photos copyright 2010 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

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The CW Network has canceled Melrose Place.

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Farewell to the gang at Melrose Place.

I really didn’t want to believe the rumors since they’ve been dogging us fans for so long, but I’m sad to say that Melrose Place has been canceled according to a media columnist at The New York Times. The CW is staging the official presentation of its fall lineup tomorrow, but some media outlets have already received the schedule. I was holding out hope for renewal, but if the news is reported in the Times, it’s safe to say it’s true. The CW is pretty niche-targeted but apparently the ratings never reached the mass numbers needed to justify the expense of producing the show. To the producers’ credit, the show never looked cheap and, for viewers with an appetite for over-the-top melodrama, the revamp delivered. Some moves were off-the-mark from the start, like casting Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, and I still believe they would have attracted more eyeballs had they done some stunt casting with high-profile names from the worlds of reality shows and music. I could have pictured Lady Gaga or Kim Kardashian having fun with Katie Cassidy’s uberpublicist Ella Simms, even in cameo appearances. Bringing Heather Locklear back was a smart move, but her storyline was a snooze. If nothing else, the show will be credited for showcasing the talents of the charismatic Katie Cassidy. Her unexpectedly nuanced portrayal of a potentially one-note character like Ella revealed that there’s much more to her than a bright smile and mile-long legs. I’m sure we can expect to see more of her in the near future. On a personal note, I want to thank everyone who checked in with the Melrose Again blog to keep up with my episode recaps and musings about the Melrosers. It has been a blast and I hope you enjoyed it as much I have.  Not that I’m giving up blogging, mind you. I recently revived my True Blood blog www.BitingRemarks.wordpress.com.  Check it out if you’re a fan of Sookie & Co.  Have a great summer!

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