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A second opinion: Heather Locklear is not the solution for 'Melrose Place'

September 22, 2009 | 11:22 am

In one of those "it sounds good on paper" moves, the CW has lured Heather Locklear back to television to reprise her role as Amanda Woodward on the network's remake of "Melrose Place." 


One can understand why the CW wants Locklear. The new "Melrose Place" has not exactly set the world on fire either critically or with viewers. It's averaged just 2 million viewers, and it is not striking a chord with the young women that the network so desperately covets.

The question is whether Locklear can fix that. After all, much of the CW's core audience was in elementary and junior high school when the first edition of "Melrose Place" was making noise. Do they really feel a deep connection with Amanda Woodward? While Locklear is certainly a big TV star, the CW is trying to build itself with new blood such as "Gossip Girl" stars Leighton Meester and Blake Lively. 

The CW is betting that Locklear will click with its young audience. However, the people most excited by this move appear to be members of the television press, who have been banging their keypads (we still use keypads, right?) for Locklear since the show began. 

Yes, there will be interest in Locklear's return in November and a large (for CW) tune-in, but is it really going to be a long-term fix? The network would be better off trying to create its own Amanda Woodward, which it may have in Katie Cassidy's Ella Simms and make the show its own, rather than continuing to try to recapture some other network's past glory.

Locklear is joining her "Melrose Place" alums Laura Leighton, Thomas Calabro, Josie Bisset and Daphne Zuniga. Add Grant Show to the mix and if the remake doesn't work for the CW, maybe the suits at CBS Television Studios, which makes the show, can sell it to Hallmark Channel.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Heather Locklear. Credit Paul Drinkwater / NBC.