Inside the CW’s MELROSE PLACE Reboot

By: Vlada Gelman

This fall, the CW will reboot MELROSE PLACE with a whole new crop of fresh faces, but the series won’t be without some familiar faces too. 

Laura Leighton’s Sydney is back to stir up trouble despite having died at the end of the original series’ fifth season.  

“In episode three, we will take you back to that night and how it came about that she lived,” executive producer Todd Slavkin said at a recent Q&A for the new series.  

“It was really important to have Sydney and Michael. They were the star-crossed lovers of that original series,” Slavkin said of Sydney’s resurrection. “When we went after them, we knew we had this albatross of she died in the original, but we felt like it was worth it. We convinced Laura that we have this great plan that she faked her death.” 

And it looks like Sydney may have had some help. 

“Something tells me she didn’t do it alone,” Slavkin teased. 

The new MELROSE  will also welcome back former residents Josie Bissett and Daphne Zuniga. Bissett, who Slavkin insists “will not be victimized anymore and she will not be paired up with a man who is abusive,” appears in episode four in a storyline with Katie Cassidy’s publicist character Ella.  

Zuniga, whose character Jo left to become a war photographer in the original series, returns to face the costs of following her dream professionally and personally. And what about Heather Locklear and Grant Show? 

“The door is definitely open,” Slavkin said. 

Could one of these former MELROSE PLACEresidents be the new landlord, who will be revealed in episode four after the current landlord ends up dead in the pool? 

“It’s a familiar face,” Slavkin teased. 

The show will also give viewers a behind the scenes glimpse of the complex and other mainstays like Ella’s PR firm and the trendy restaurant Coal in a series of webisodes. The first webisode, which can be found here, follows real estate broker Mickey Richards on a tour of 4616 Melrose Place. Mickey, who fans of VERONICA MARS and UGLY BETTY may recognize as Max Greenfield, will appear in episode five of the series, as will other webisode characters. 

So just how sexy will the new MELROSE PLACE be? Slavkin says the series won’t shy away from showing the sexual exploration of Ella, who has been previously described as a “trisexual.” 

“It’s not just going to be talked about,” Slavkin said. “We feel that there is a current sexual revolution going on. Kind of post-AIDS, where the boundaries are off. Their parents have been shackles, and they want to explore. She [Ella] will be pursuing her sexuality in many different ways. We should kind of call her a bisexual, but that’s not to say that’s her identity.” 

But Slavkin insists that despite there being “a lot of coupling on the show,” the show’s sex appeal will not just be about people hooking and the display of skin. 

“Sometimes what you don’t see is sexier than what you do see,” he said.  

And sometimes, sex is in the details. 

“It’s a beautiful, sensual show,” Slavkin said of the series, whose visual look he likened to Less Than Zero. “Beyond people together, there is amazingly sexy wardrobe and sexy shoes and sexy handbags. It’s a huge part of the show — the details, the looks, the props.” 

Vlada resides in Los Angeles, where there are stars in the sky and on the ground. She has worked for TVWeek,, and The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, CA. She runs the TV blog Staying In and can be found on Twitter: @stayingin.