At Thursday's CW upfront presentations, we got our first glimpse of the Melrose Place reboot. We saw a few scenes, and then asked the cast members about their new alter egos. But as it was just a preview, take these comments with a grain of salt. That said, it was simply the most important piece of television ever. Read on to see why:
Who's Back from the Original?
Laura Leighton and Thomas Calabro are reprising their roles as Sydney Andrews and Dr. Michael Mancini, respectively. Though they've shared a marital bed in the past, they aren't a couple in the pilot episode. But Syd-Mike 'shippers needn't fret. Leighton left the door open for some future hanky-panky. "Sydney has most likely always maintained some sort of relationship with Michael," she teases. "It's been complicated, and that's not going to change."
Hey, Wait! Didn't Sydney Die?
Um, well, technically, yes, but hey, look over here, shiny things! No, don't worry — the producers aren't trying to pull a fast one on sharp-minded Melrose fans; the rumors of Sydney's 1997 death, which most surely were exaggerated, will be addressed. "We're chipping away at it," Leighton tells us. "There is an explanation that I think is going to be slowly unraveled." Tell us it involves that porn-star cult that Traci Lords was in and we are so there.
Heather Locklear has not yet agreed to appear on El Nuevo Melrose, but at least one former cast member is crossing his fingers. "The businessman in me thinks it would be crazy not to have Heather back," Calabro says. In the meantime, it's Sydney who's collecting the steep rent checks as the Place's landlady.
Is One of the Resident Fellas Jake's Son?
While it was originally reported that bad seed David (Shaun Sipos) was Hunky Handyman, Jr., it's quickly revealed in the pilot that he's actually Michael's kid, one of two Mancini offspring actually, who "may or may not be cast members of the show," Calabro says. For now, the "very rich and very handsome" Michael (as Calabro describes him) has his hands full with David. "He takes some jaunts outside of the law," Sipos of his alter ego. Also: He might have slept with/be sleeping with Sydney!
Who's Doing Whom?
Lovebirds Riley (90210's Jessica Lucas) and Jonah (Greek's Michael Rady) are together in the pilot ... but maybe not for much longer. Riley is a sweet, devoted schoolteacher and Jonah is an aspiring filmmaker. The shocker: It's actually Riley who takes to Hollywood's fast-paced life.
Is There Really a Hooker with a Heart of Gold Among Us?
Not exactly. Stephanie Jacobsen, fresh from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, plays Lauren, a driven med student who finds herself in a financial pinch. "Her journey in the pilot is about how she finds her way out," says Jacobsen. In short, $1,000-an-hour buys a really nice stethoscope.
Ashlee Simpson? Seriously?
Yep, but it's Ashlee Simpson-Wentz now. She plays Violet, and while not much is known about her character, Simpson-Wentz described her as "fresh off the bus." And what about that new dye job she's got? That particular shade of red appears to match Leighton's own, no? Hmmm. Coincidence? "We don't know — they're not giving us the juice yet," AS-W says. "But the first episode does have a nice jaw-dropper."
Oh Yeah, What's This About a Murder?
The pilot episode revolves around a murder mystery, as signified by a body that shows up, Sunset Boulevard-style, in the complex's iconic pool. Gee, talk about going off the deep end!
Will Characters from the New 90210 Cross Over?
CW president Dawn Ostroff says that they're still working on how such a crossover would make sense, story-wise, so don't expect Dixon and Annie to show up at the new Shooters - yes, there will be a new Shooters - any time soon. That said, a little bird told me that Ryan Eggold, who plays 90210's Mr. Matthews, just might have a cameo in the first episode.
Katie Cassidy (who plays the bride on Harper's Island, though she's blond here) plays Ella, an ambitious aspiring publicist who bats for both teams. Though the preview shows scenes of Ella meeting cute with David, we hear she'll also have female suitors. When asked if Ella has a boyfriend, Cassidy remains coy. "I don't know — there might be," she says. "It is Melrose Place."
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(Additional reporting by Matt Mitovich)