Melrose Place: "Still the most scandalous address in West Hollywood"

You say Melrose, we start salivating for scandal. The actors and producers of the show are happy to encourage this -- and gave us plenty of scoops when they met the press in Pasadena. Here's what we can expect when the reboot hits the air in September:

Murder, My Lovely

  • The show starts off with a bang -- and a death. But mere mortality won't keep the dead character from the screen!
  • The murder story -- and the flashbacks that come from it -- was inspired by co-executive producers Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer's love for classic film noir, particularly the movie "Sunset Boulevard."
  • The Whodunnit aspect will last for several episodes, but the murder won't be milked out over an entire season.

Welcome back, Melrose

  • Expect original cast members to stop by -- if the story is right. Laura Leighton's Sydney and Thomas Calabro's Dr. Michael Mancini show up from episode one. They're both as scheming and backstabbing as we remember.
  • Other former cast members on the books -- Josie Bissett's Jane Mancini and Daphne Zuniga's Jo Reynolds. And the producers ran into Grant Show (Jake Hanson) at the CBS/CW/Showtime party the night before, so "stuff's brewing," Darren said.
  • What about uber-vixen Amanda Woodward? "The door is always open for Heather Locklear," Darren said. "We're huge fans and we have a great way for her to come on the show."
  • Former cast members who do return will feel right at home, Laura said. The set has been refinished, but "everyone stepping onto the courtyard has the feeling of stepping back in time," she said.

New blood

  • The original series won plaudits for having an openly gay character. This version has "trisexual" Ella -- "she'll try anything," joked Darren -- and a gay character will be joining the show within the first season.
  • Katie Cassidy -- late of Supernatural -- plays Ella, and even though she plays the experienced vixen on the show, she admits she's never seen the original version. Her parents wouldn't let her when it was first on, and after she got the part, she decided she didn't want to influence her performance by watching other actresses' take on the show. But she said she has the DVD in her queue -- if only because reporters keep asking her whether she's seen the show!
  • Ashley Simpson-Wentz plays Violet, the new kid in town. "It's fun to play the innocent side -- but to know that the really innocent girl is probably not so innocent!"
  • Stephanie Jacobsen loved her previous role as a tough chick on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, but she's looking forward to this role. This character "is not getting beaten up as much, is wearing more makeup and has slightly high heels."

What's your take on the show? Will you be watching? Which former cast member would you most like to see? Talk about it in the comments!

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