This evening marks Heather Locklear’s long awaited return to Melrose Place. The producers reportedly tried to cast her in the remake early on but she wasn’t interested. She told the LA Times, “Before I saw the pilot they had asked me and I thought, ‘It’s a whole new network, new writers, how do I fit in?'”
Her character was initially going to be the one that was found murdered in the pool. When Locklear turned the part down, they hired Laura Leighton instead, resurrected her Sydney character, and killed her off again.
The producers still hoped that Locklear could be lured to appear on the remake at some point. In fact, the publicity firm where Ella (Katie Cassidy) works is WPK. They hoped that someday nasty Amanda Woodward could be revealed as the W in the company name. Amanda returns to the firm tonight, fires half the staff and puts Ella on notice.
While Locklear warmed to the idea of returning to the world of Melrose Place, she had one caveat. She told the producers, “I’m in. If I’m not the one who killed Sydney, I’m in.”
Locklear is well aware that a lot is riding on her return to the old apartment complex but is putting it all in perspective. She said, “Absolutely, this is on my mind, but hopefully my going there will bring some attention and make people watch because it’s not just about watching Amanda, it’s about bringing awareness to the show.”
The tone of the series is also shifting; from the dark and mysterious to lighter fare like parties, relationships and career issues. In short, some of the same stuff that made the original so popular in its day.
Two characters, Auggie (Colin Egglesfield) and Violet (Ashlee Simpson-Wentz), are soon leaving the show and will be replaced by two new characters. Nick Zano will play Dr. Drew Pragin, a likable physician with a secret, and Billy Campbell will play Ben Brinkley, Amanda’s current boyfriend.
Whatever happened to Peter Burns (Jack Wagner)? As fans of the original series may recall, Amanda and Peter faked their deaths in the last episode and ran away together to live on a tropical island.
Locklear says, “They do address it, but you can’t blink… You’d think Amanda would be a little more content on that island and change, but she really couldn’t stand it. She is who she is and she had to get off that island. She’s a girl who needs to be in the middle of the action. A woman, actually. Amanda is a woman now.”
In real life, Wagner and Locklear have been an item since 2007. If Locklear’s return sparks the ratings increase that the network is hoping for and more episodes are ordered, one can suspect Wagner might be able to be coerced to make a guest appearance.
What do you think? Will Locklear’s return help the show’s ratings? Enough to save it from cancellation? Would you like to see Jack Wagner stop by as well?