SNEAK PEEK: Ashlee Simpson Is The One To Watch On New Melrose Place

Sep. 8 2009, Published 10:28 a.m. ET

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Melrose Place, in true LA fashion, has gotten a makeover, a face lift if you must, and is ready for its new prime time spot Tuesday night.  With all the anticipation surrounding the 90210 spin off, we talked to one of the writers from the show to find out all the behind the scenes details you wanted to know. 

“We’re the most scandalous show on TV and the least scandalous writing staff,” Melrose Place writer Jon Caren dishes to about the team behind the new series and let us in on the secret that Ashlee Simpson is the one to watch on the new show.   

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How much did you draw from the old Melrose Place?

It was mixed. There are some people who are avid fans and know every single detail and there are some younger people who didn’t grow up with Melrose. I certainly had to do my research to work on the show but it’s a new world with some of the new characters.  It’s going to be just as scandalous and salacious as the original but with a younger cast and a really excellent group of actors.  You can certainly look out for Ashlee Simpson, she’s going to excite everybody and surprise people. She plays a little bit of both, sweet girl and bad girl. I like her sweet side when she’s being bad.

Does she Ashlee have creative input?

A lot of the actors come in and have some idea and we take that in but it’s strange that some of their personalities shine through.  For instance Michael Rady is from Philly and he plays a character from Philly. These are just coincidences. 

How hard were the flashbacks to write?

The flashbacks were really fun and helpful to us to get into the back story with what has happened since the last Melrose and the new Melrose. It was our bridge, but that’s only going to last for the first half of the season.  I think we’re through our 13th episode. There are a lot of special guest appearances. Daphne Zuniga, Josie Bisset come on the show. Thomas Calabro and Laura Leighton are both regulars.  We have a new twist for Thomas. I don’t know if I can say he’s badder than ever.

Ashlee Simpson
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Does he date Ashlee Simpson?

I can’t say!  All of our characters are definitely entwined.

Who is your favorite character to write for?

I love Michael Raby playing Jonah. I just feel a lot of similarities to him and he’s really relatable to me. And he’s an amazing actor.  So I think I definitely write a little of myself in there.

Does the older cast take over mentoring the younger cast in the show?

They definitely have a lot of stories about their past experiences on the show. It’s been fun to watch them come back into the courtyard and relive some of the stories they’ve been through.

The swimming pool is the center of Melrose Place, how many times are we going to see the pool in each episode?

Not a single episode will go by without someone being in a bikini.

What about Ashlee being a new mom? Did she want to cut down on her bikini scenes?

No, Ashlee’s been fantastic. She’s been a lot of fun and has really meshed with our cast. She’s doing double duty of being a mom and being an actor and she’s been great for us. 

What is going to make fans come back week after week?

There aren’t a lot of shows on TV about characters in their 20s and it takes the fast paced world out of high school and I think it’s a real bridge for the old fans with the characters in the new show.



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