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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.

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  Check it out if you’re a fan of Sookie & Co.  Have a great summer!

Katie Cassidy fan mobilizes social media campaign to save Melrose Place.

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In the weeks following the season finale of Melrose Place, I’ve seen fans use all forms of social media with a determination to maintain buzz for the show so the CW Network will take note and renew it in the eleventh hour. Melrosers have taken to Twitter and Facebook to exchange tips on how to keep Melrose visible, with good reason. The CW Network’s presentation of its Fall lineup to the TV media is coming up in May, so efforts to save the show must build to a crescendo now. I’m doing my part, but I have to admit that I’m very impressed by the passion of one particular fan, whose devotion to Our Miss Ella, Katie Cassidy, is surely known by anyone with a Twitter account: KCassidyFans. This devoted Katie follower has wowed me with an amazing knowledge of social media, teaching me a few new tricks in the process. Indeed, I’ve been using the hashtag #SOSMelrosePlace and added a Melrose twibbon to my Twitter avatar at KCassidyFans’ urging. Hopefully, it has contributed to the growing clamor for a Melrose renewal. The latest phase of KCassidyFan’s campaign involves a tip sheet of ways to make your digital voice heard in support of the show. Check it out at:  Together, we can make a difference!

Melrose Place producer’s Twitter post shows dim prospects for renewal.

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I’m sad to say that things don’t look too promising for a second season renewal for Melrose Place given the most recent Twitter post by executive producer Darren Swimmer:

He hasn’t received official word yet either way, so now’s the time to get on the phone and call The CW Network at 818-977-5000 to lobby for renewal. Tweet away if you have a Twitter account and use hashtag #SOSMelrosePlace so Melrose becomes a hot trend. The media pays attention to Twitter. Maybe the CW will too!

Written by tvteaser

April 15, 2010 at 9:55 pm

The FBI arrests Amanda on the season finale of Melrose Place!

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Ella finally outmaneuvered queen bitch Amanda.

Making Up and Breaking Up

April 13: Hormones are raging at Melrose Place as Jonah and Ella finish a rather rigorous round of sex. Jonah (Michael Rady) likes a lot of things about his fling with Ella (Katie Cassidy), but his thoughts are elsewhere. Riley, meanwhile, is having her own cozy morning-after moment with Drew (Nick Zano), who gives her the painting Sydney had given Auggie. Could it be the priceless artwork Amanda’s been looking for all this time? Riley and Jonah split up their belongings and take a trip down memory lane, remembering their good times together. Their nostalgia is further stoked when they attend a reunion of their alma mater, NYU, and run into another couple that reconciled after breaking up. The couple’s shock at hearing of Jonah and Riley’s bust-up gives them food for thought. The day’s warm feelings cause a friendly goodbye hug between them to turn into a kiss and Jonah suggests they reconcile, but Riley is sure that she has changed too much to return to the way things were. A dejected Jonah takes his box of stuff and leaves. Meanwhile, a perky-looking Sydney (Laura Leighton) appears to Amanda (Heather Locklear) in spectral form a la “A Christmas Carol” and warns her not to make the same greedy decisions Syd made so she won’t end up like her… alone, miserable and dead. Amanda ignores Spiritual Sydney’s advice and gives Ella the heave-ho at WPK, slapping her in the process. A demoralized Ella, however, has a stroke of luck when she runs into Riley and convinces the gullible girl to let her have the painting Drew gave her, suspecting it’s the hot art that Amanda’s clamoring for. Applying a bit of paint thinner to the piece, Ella is pleased as punch to discover her hunch is right. Time to pay Empress Woodward a visit!


Will the residents of Melrose Place return next season?

Battle of the Blondes

Ella shows Amanda the painting and strikes a deal for Amanda to clear her of the embezzlement charges and bankroll a startup PR firm for Ella featuring her best WPK clients. Amanda agrees to draw up a contract.  At the hospital, Drew continues his campaign to stop Michael (Thomas Calabro) from transplanting his defective heart valve into more patients. When Michael seems to relent and asks Drew for his research, a relieved Drew shares the news with Lauren, but a supply of drugs are conveniently found by hospital security in his locker. Lauren has problems of her own. David (Shaun Sipos) is still reluctant to forgive her for turning tricks and, unbeknownst to Lauren, he continues to be pressured by mob daughter Morgan (Melissa Ordway) into being her consort under the threat of exposure to her intimidating dad. At the opening party for Coal under David’s ownership, couples are in a major state of flux. Ella balks when Jonah tells her about his kiss with Riley and dumps him. Morgan boldly introduces herself to Lauren (Stephanie Jacobsen) as David’s new girlfriend, hoping to drive a wedge between them, but her ploy backfires, reuniting them instead. Daddy’s little girl is not happy. David and Lauren make plans for a romantic dinner, but Morgan’s mobster dad shows up at Coal and, after roughing him up, threatens to harm Lauren to force David to work for him as his personal thief. Like daughter, like father, it seems. Lauren, meanwhile, stands up to Michael in the operating room and shares with the surgical team the issues with his toxic valve. Drew is off the hook, thanks to Lauren, but when Riley confesses her kiss with Jonah, he shares that he himself was a recipient of Michael’s heart valve and he doesn’t know how much time he has left to live! At WPK, Ella arrives to collect her payoff from Amanda, who tries to wriggle out of the deal through some fine print in the contract. Ella reveals that she, too, had a back-up plan and shows Amanda photos of herself fencing the hot artwork taken by her very own private detective, who was disgruntled about being cheated by Amanda. Sydney DID warn her, after all. Some FBI agents arrive and arrest her. The war’s not over yet, Amanda warns a momentarily unnerved Ella. A wicked glint returns to Ella’s eye as she watches the feds lead Amanda away in handcuffs. There’s a new queen bee at WPK… and Melrose Place!  To be continued?

Photos: copyright 2009/2010 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Will Amanda be arrested on the Melrose Place season finale?

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Is Ella (Katie Cassidy) the new queen bee at WPK?

 The season finale of Melrose Place is just days away and YouTube footage from The CW Network reveals that the cat-and-mouse game between Amanda and Ella comes to a head with Amanda (Heather Locklear) firing Ella (Katie Cassidy), and slapping her for good measure. However, preview photos posted to the CW’s website lead me to conclude that Our Miss Simms delivers a potentially lethal blow to Empress Woodward in the episode’s closing moments.  In the photos shown here, Ella arrives at WPK, presumably after Amanda had fired her, dressed in an updated version of Amanda’s classic miniskirt-suit with a rather smug look on her face. She shows a tense Amanda some information on her Blackberry (evidence perhaps?). The tip-off shot looks suspiciously like a victorious Ella standing in Amanda’s office looking on as something happens in the WPK lobby. Might it be Amanda being led away by the cops in handcuffs? In other finale news, look for Drew (Nick Zano) to come up against Michael (Thomas Calabro) about the defect in the dastardly doc’s heart valve, with dire consequences for one of them. David (Shaun Sipos) and Lauren (Stephanie Jacobsen) reconcile, but Morgan (Melissa Ordway), in true “Fatal Attraction” style, will not be ignored. Her revenge puts one of the reunited lovebirds in danger. Sydney (Laura Leighton) makes a welcome return appearance and Jonah (Michael Rady) asks Riley (Jessica Lucas) to take him back (yawn!). Tune in April 13. All Melrose fans with Twitter accounts should tweet as much as possible about the show in the coming days and use the hash tag #SOSMelrosePlace so that Melrose Place trends strongly. We fans need to let the CW Network know we want more Melrose! 

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

Ella arrives at WPK for her showdown with Amanda.

Is Amanda (Heather Locklear) getting a sinking feeling?

Is Sydney back from the dead (again) on Melrose Place?

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Does Sydney Andrews, played by the adorable Laura Leighton, have nine lives? Everyone who saw the previews of next week’s season finale surely noticed that Sydney has a scene, which presumably will be another flashback. Since the April 13 episode will bring the missing artwork storyline to a boiling point at the WPK offices, it stands to reason that Syd pops up in Amanda’s memory (or Ella’s) to shed light on where the damned piece of art was. Judging from the shot I found on the CW’s website, Syd’s looking very smug, like she’s rubbing salt in someone’s wounds. Maybe she appears to Amanda as a ghost to get in some digs about how Ella outsmarted her. Call me crazy, but I started thinking maybe the Melrose writers might throw us a zinger and reveal that Ms. Andrews is still alive. Hey, they already did it once to kick off the new show, so although it seems unlikely, I wouldn’t put it past them. Another reason this idea is buzzing in my head is because next week’s TV Guide is downplaying the season finale while ABC’s Ugly Betty, which is definitely signing off, got a full-page article. Now this could be good news, meaning not even TV Guide knows whether the show is gonna get axed or not. Maybe, just maaaybe, the CW is still contemplating renewing it (I hope! I hope! I hope!).  On page 40, the Highlights section of TV Guide says: “At press time, it was still the ‘season’ finale, but that could change. Just like Sydney’s death status!”   Was that a subtle hint? Maybe I’m overthinking it because I love Sydney. I always have. I guess we’ll find out next Tuesday. At least we know she’s gonna be wearing some killer shoes. Eat your heart out, Ella! 

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

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