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CW will develop 'Melrose Place' next

October 28, 2008 |  3:29 pm

Based on the ratings success of the rebooted "90210," the CW network is developing a redo of "Melrose Place" for the 2009-10 season.

Last year, Creative Artists Agency, which manages the late producer Aaron Spelling's estate, originally approached the CW with the idea of developing either "90210" or "Melrose Place" for the then-struggling network. Because the CW's target audience is 18- to 34 year-old women, the network (along with CBS Paramount, the studio) opted for a new "90210," as The Times' Maria Elena Fernandez reported over the summer.

As we now know, "90210" attracted intense interest from nostalgic fans, who were particularly concerned with what actors from Fox's "Beverly Hills, 90210" might return. So far, Jennie Garth, Shannen Doherty and Joe E. Tata have reprised their old roles.

Expect the same hysteria to surround a new "Melrose," the '90s phenomenon that starred Heather Locklear, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Josie Bissett and Marcia Cross.

The "Beverly Hills, 90210" spinoff was launched in 1992, with Grant Show's character, Jake, bridging the gap between the two shows. At first, its creator, Darren Star, wanted the show about twentysomething neighbors in a Los Angeles apartment complex to be a realistic portrayal of struggling Angelenos. But when audiences weren't enthusiastic about that, Locklear entered the show, and it became a full-blown nighttime soap, with evil plots, wig-wearing villains and backstabbing siblings.

With the character of Matt, as played by Doug Savant, "Melrose" also had one of the first unapologetically gay characters on a prime-time drama. (Matt's same-sex kiss in the Season 2 finale was, however, famously censored.)

Savant is busy on "Desperate Housewives," as is Cross. Kristin Davis has moved on to the "Sex and the City" franchise. Locklear is having troubles, but would surely be welcomed back by fans.

Who would you most want to see on a new version of "Melrose"?

— Kate Aurthur