Exec Producer Set Secrets
With the success of 90210, The CW turns its attention to Melrose Place. But, recreating a cult classic isn't as easy as it may sound. SheKnows gets the inside scoop from Melrose's top dog.
Executive Producer Todd Slavkin sat down with reporters to talk about how this old show fits into the modern CW schedule.
"(Co-Executive Producer) Darren Swimmer and I both grew up in Los Angeles and were huge fans of the original show, so he and I really think these things through when we are dealing with mythology from the old show. We really want to service the fan of the original. We would hate for someone to see the show and say, what are they doing? We want you to feel, Oh my God, this reminds me of the old show but it's different and cooler and maybe more relevant at this time in your life - fans of the old show will not be disappointed."
One of the things they kept pretty much the same was the icon Melrose Place set.
"Our theory was it was if you went home to your parents' house but they had remodeled it. It's even cooler; it's even nicer, because today's world is different from then. Also it gave us a chance to do Spanish architecture. Darrin and I both grew up in LA and we are both architecture freaks, so the chance to do that courtyard was really exciting. We are very pleased with the production designer."
Another thing they brought back was some familiar faces.
"It was really important to have Sydney and Michael, they were the star-crossed lovers from that original series. For us, both of those characters always were so well meaning except they did it in such a wrong way. They were both good people deep down that wanted to be loved but how they got what they wanted was so perverse and so wrong and so appealing to us as writers."
But didn't Sydney die in the original show? How are you going to explain that?
"We will show you in episode three. We take you back to that night and show you how it came about that she lived and something tells me she didn't do it alone."
And will we see other familiar characters showing up suitcase in hand?
"The door is definitely open for (Heather) Locklear and Grant (Show). We have tremendous respect and think they would be great in the world we created. The key to us in using alumni from previous show is how organic does it feel, how right does it feel. (For example) Daphne (Zuniga) left the original show as a war photographer in Bosnia, which we got really excited about because of how relevant that is today. Don't get me wrong; she's not going to come to the show spouting off about Iraq. That's not what we are looking for but she followed her dream and now she's coming back to Melrose."
It's getting hot in here
From the snippets we've seen, this show looks more sexually aggressive than the original.
"We feel there is a current sexual revolution going on, kinda post AIDS where boundaries are off and they want to explore. Ella will be pursuing her sexuality in many ways. A lot of the press about this show called her bisexual because we saw her in the pilot with woman. That's not to say that's her identity. With The CW we will go as far as we can but it's broadcast TV so sometimes what you don't see is sexier than what you do see. We feel we can do an incredibly sexy show given the boundaries of television that is as sexy, if not more sexy, than a rated R movie."
"But there is a lot of coupling on the show. It's a beautiful sensual show. Beyond people together there is an amazingly sexy wardrobe. Sexy shoes, sexy handbags -- huge part of show. Pay close attention to the show -- the cocktails they are serving at the restaurant, the sushi too, it's not just ordinary sushi, it's gourmet sushi that you sprinkle in that's colorful and all that stuff means a lot to us."
Watch Melrose Place every Tuesday night at 9:00 after 90210 on The CW.
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