After months of speculation from fans and lots of wooing from the network, Heather Locklear has agreed to visit the new Melrose Place. The actress helped to save the original Melrose from an early grave in 1993. Will she be able to do the same for the new version or is it already too late?
Locklear joined the original Melrose Place late in its first season as a recurring guest star. Her character, scheming Amanda Woodward, became so popular that she became a series regular and stayed with the show for the remaining six seasons. The series wrapped with Amanda and Peter (Jack Wagner) faking their deaths — with the help of Michael (Thomas Calabro) — and getting married on a remote island.
No sooner had plans for the new Melrose been announced than there was speculation that Locklear would reprise her role. While it seemed a natural to viewers, Locklear turned down CW’s offer. If all had gone according to plan, Amanda would have been the one that was found floating in the pool at the end of the pilot. The producers rewrote the part and Sydney (Laura Leighton) became the murder victim, essentially ignoring the fact that the character had met a grisly on-screen demise in the original series.
Now that the series has debuted, Locklear has agreed to appear in the new show. It’s unknown how many episodes she’ll be in but Amanda will be up to her old tricks. She’s set to appear in the November 17th episode and will reportedly be the boss of Katie Cassidy’s nasty Ella Simms character.
Executive producers Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer said, “We’re ecstatic to have the chance to bring Amanda Woodward back to Melrose Place. Heather’s involvement in the show is something we’ve been working on for some time as we couldn’t imagine creating and producing this show without the iconic character’s inclusion.”
While Locklear’s appearance is sure to attract a few curious viewers, you have to wonder if it will be enough to make them want to stick around. The new Melrose’s ratings haven’t been very good from the start with just 2.31 million viewers and a 1.3/3 in the 18-49 demo. The ratings for the second episode fell significantly and last night’s outing dropped again, to a new low of 1.45 million and a 0.8/2.
Viewing habits have changed significantly since Locklear helped save the original show more than 15 years ago. Audiences tend to be a lot more frugal with their time and, once they pass on a continuing drama, they’re very unlikely to change their minds later.
What do you think? Will Locklear’s return make you curious enough to tune in or is the new Melrose Place as good as cancelled already?