It began as a spin-off of Beverly Hills, 90210
, but this summer replacement quickly established its own unique identity. The connection is creator Darren Star and the character of Jake (Grant Show), who had a fling with Kelly (Jennie Garth) on 90210
. In the pilot, she
Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place creator
Darren Star reflects on the first seasons of both
shows in this Amazon-exclusive clip.
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stops by 4616 Melrose to pay a visit (and returns for two more episodes). Jake's neighbors comprise of Alison (Courtney Thorne-Smith), Rhonda (Vanessa Williams), Sandy (Amy Locane), Matt (Doug Savant), and married couple Michael (Thomas Calabro) and Jane (Josie Bissett). When Alison's roommate runs out on her, she takes in Billy (Andrew Shue) to cover the rent. Just as 90210
had the Peach Pit, the twentysomethings of Melrose
gather at Shooters, where aspiring actress Sandy waits tables. Her roommate Rhonda teaches aerobics. Other professions include mechanic (Jake), receptionist (Alison), social worker (Matt), doctor (Michael), designer (Jane), and writer (Billy). Midway through the season, photographer Jo (Daphne Zuniga) and ad exec Amanda ("special guest" Heather Locklear) arrive to shake things up. What had been a program about work and life issues takes a darker turn as Michael gives in to temptation and Amanda sets out to ruin Alison's career--and her relationship with Billy.
Other troublemakers are waiting in the wings, like Michael's colleague Kimberly (Marcia Cross) and Jane's sister Sydney (Laura Leighton). Both return to stay in the second year. Melrose Place ran for seven increasingly soapy seasons and spawned the short-lived Models, Inc.. Afterwards, Thorne-Smith moved on to Ally McBeal and According to Jim, while Savant and Cross would eventually segue to Desperate Housewives. Other actors had a shorter stay at the infamous West Hollywood apartment complex-- notably, Locane, who makes her exit in the 13th episode ("Dreams Come True") and Williams, who makes hers in the 32nd (two-part season finale "Suspicious Minds"). --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Stills from Melrose Place (click for larger image)
A nighttime soap opera about the lives, careers, trials and tribulations of a group of young people living in an apartment building in the trendy neighborhood of Melrose Place. The show was a spin off of Beverly Hills 90210 and starred Heather Locklear as the scheming Amanda Woodward, head of her own advertising agency and owner of the apartment building.