The magazine may be a slowly dwindling media format thanks to the internet and its ability to provide up-to-the-minute breaking news easily shared through various social media channels, but throwback to pre-world wide web, where prime time television shows like Friends and Melrose Place were bringing in 20 million viewers weekly and magazines were selling just as many copies of issues where exclusive interviews with A-listers would be accompanied by ‘that’ magazine cover photo.
Whether it be scandalous, beautiful or emotive, magazines in the 90’s provided some of the most iconic covers that still could go toe-to-toe with the likes of Kim K on Paper Magazine or Caitlin Jenner on Vanity Fair. Take a look below at some of the most iconic magazine covers from the 90’s.
Such uproar occurred from this photo of a 28 year old Demi Moore, naked and heavily pregnant on the cover of Vanity Fair’s August 1991 issue that some supermarket’s pulled it from shelves while others hid it, treating it like an issue of Playboy. The pose however would be later recreated by such stars as Natalie Portman, Britney Spears and Serena Williams
It was a mere twelves months later when Demi Moore returned to create another iconic cover for Vanity Fair, once again shot by Annie Leibovitz, once again naked, this time however, covered in a painted on three piece suit.
Magazine: Vanity Fair | Date: August 1993 Issue | Cover Star: K.D Lang and Cindy Crawford.
Cindy Crawford clad in a tight black swimsuit shaving a suited up K.D Lang who is happily nuzzled into the cleavage of the supermodel. In 1993, the controversy writes itself with the two women, photographed by Herb Ritz, causing a stir with the gender bending image of Lang who had recently come out as a Lesbian.
Magazine: Rolling Stone | Date: May 19th 1994 Issue | Cover Star: Laura Leighton, Heather Locklear and Josie Bissett
The Melrose Place ‘bod squad’ featuring Laura Leighton, Josie Bissett and Heather Locklear, all clad in night-times whites, tousled hair and alluring stares. The cover was hot but caused a stir when it was revealed the other two stars Daphne Zuniga and Courtney Thorne-Smith were hidden under a flap. This shoot and resulting cover was brought up in the Unofficial Melrose Place Story created by Lifetime that mentioned Leighton contacting her agent with her concern about her co-stars not making the cover.
Magazine: Rolling Stone | Date: May 16th 1996 Issue | Cover Star: David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson
HOT. HOT. HOT. No other words to describe this Rolling Stone magazine cover that sent a million X-Files nerds into boner frenzy. A topless Gillian Anderson offering some side-boob, draped over a topless David Duchovny, arms wrapped tightly around each other. The image played heavily on the public’s want of their on-screen alter ego’s FBI Agents Mulder and Scully to hook up.
Magazine: Rolling Stone | Date: April 15th 1999 Issue | Cover Star: Britney Spears
Coming off the back of her number one hit “Hit Me Baby One More Time”, 17 year old Spears, wound up on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine wearing not much at all. The photos, shot by David LaChapelle caused outrage from the parents of her tween fans while In 2008, the singer’s mother, Lynne, explained how her daughter ended up posing for the controversial photos. “We were in shock at what was going on, and we were in awe. We didn’t have any choice in the pictures. We had no one that could tell us what we were supposed to be doing.”
Magazine: TIME| Date: April 14th 1997 Issue | Cover Star: Ellen Degeneres
42 million people in the USA alone watched Ellen’s alter-ego Ellen Morgan, come out as a lesbian. It was unheard of and the moment became an iconic one in television history. TIME’s magazine cover featuring Degeneres, herself, coming out as a lesbian proved too much for America in 97′ which eventually saw Ellen lose her show and become an unwanted talent in Hollywood.
Magazines were feeding into the public frenzy that was the untimely death of Princess Diana in 1997. Covers showing grainy paparazzi snaps of the crash scene or of Diana pre death were everywhere. People’s tribute issue featured a touching black and white photo of the peoples princess, smiling brightly, allowing us to remember the woman so loved by the public. The issue became the magazine’s highest selling issue (3.1 million) until the 2001 9/11 attacks.
For anyone who was pop-culture loving teenager in the 90’s, the name George Lange might not sound that familiar, but his work as a photographer should be more than burned into your teen psyche as Lange’s photographs graced not only the covers of major magazines world wide but also many a teenage bedroom wall (certainly mine) with his iconic photos with the casts of Seinfeld, Melrose Place, Dawson’s Creek, The X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer – just to name a few.
Those iconic photos featured the cast of Friends all dressed in black and white, perching precariously in white shadow boxes on a red backdrop, the cast of Seinfeld, dressed in their character garb, posing under an umbrella with pigeons, X-Files star Gillian Anderson perched high on co-star David Duchovny’s shoulders and Merlose’s Marcia Cross and Thomas Calabro playing in copious amounts of feathers while Laura Leighton shot out of a television dressed in a slinky silver mini.
While these photos iconic and a flashback to the heights of prime time television that was the mid 90’s, these images slowly faded into fond memories perhaps found years later on a dusty Entertainment Weekly cover found in the attic and as Lange even notes on one of his Instagram posts, they become buried under the weight of history.
For 2019, Lange though, is taking a new positive approach to his archives with a new collection of his classic prints and embracing the work that he was once afraid to look into for fear of being unable to move forward. The collection, titled ‘First Run ReRuns’ offers a look at the never before printed images from some of Lange’s most memorable work. The photos that didn’t make the cover or included in the photo spread.
‘First Run ReRuns’ opens on March 7th at The Dairy for the Arts in Boulder, Los Angeles and runs until April 14th. For those wanting to know more about the images, sessions and Lange’s process can attend an evening with George Lange on March 20th where you can check out scenes from actual photo shoots, hear from those who admire his work and get an inside look at his dynamic process.
This coming July marks the 25th anniversary of the pilot episode of one of the hottest and arguably one of the most iconic television shows that aired in the 90’s – night time Spelling mega soap Melrose Place. Crazy characters, iconic and shocking scenes and memorable quotes have stood the test of time and now, with all episodes streaming on Hulu, Melrose is in the middle of a current day resurgence with younger audiences hopping on the Melrose train, taking in the fashion and life that was L.A in the 90’s.
To mark this occasion, there’s a brand new Melrose Place recap podcast coming our way! L.A based couple Jenny and Dan Hill have begun, from season one, to re-watch each and every episode of Melrose Place and podcast their hilarious and witty episode recaps, available on a week to week basis available via their website (plus wherever you get your podcast episodes from!)
“I really fell in love with the re-watch podcast format where one or two people will watch a movie or TV show and analyze/ re-cap every aspect of the movie or show. I really wanted to find a show that my wife and I had a connection to, but haven’t seen much of. Melrose Place was the perfect fit.
I was 10 years old when Melrose Place first aired, but I remember sneaking to watch it without my parent’s permission with my sister. Growing up it was our guilty pleasure and I suspect there are many other like me who share this. Being 10, I was way too young to wrap my head around what was truly going on once the show got into the thick of things, but I held onto bits and pieces of a few story lines that I to this day find fascinating!”
So just what story lines are Dan and Jenny looking forward to re-watching and recapping? For Dan, it’s Michael’s (Thomas Calabro) downward spiral into TV villain along with Kimberly’s (Marcia Cross) ‘psychotic shenanigans’ while for wife and co-host Jenny, it’s the complex run of ever evolving relationships between the characters.
When asked about podcast release time Dan says “With a 6 month old, we’re hoping to record and release one episode per week covering one episode of the show. This could be a 5 year run, but we’re up for the challenge! Maybe as our little one gets older it will become easier to record more frequently. We also want to sprinkle in episodes that spotlight one character where we break them down and cover their story arc.“
The Melrose Place Podcast is currently on season one (episode four is the latest update as of writing this), the podcasts feature funny, entertaining and tongue-in-cheek recaps of the Melrose Place episode along with special “moral of the episode”, “alternate titles” and “favorite 90’s moment” spots at the end of each episode which are must-listen to moments!
When thinking about Melrose Place and its position in the television timeline landscape (namely the early to mid 90’s) fashion played a huge part in not only the show but in creating the characters and their place within the series. From copious amounts of crushed velvet to teeny tiny mini skirts, white singlets and floral prints to pastel twin sets, Melrose has a very distinctive 90’s look.
The woman behind those looks – costume designer Denise Wingate (who’s resume also includes Cruel Intentions, The Sweetest Thing and Wedding Crashers) worked on the show for a total of 112 episodes starting at Drawing The Line (S01E14) and finishing up at the very wonderful Dead Sisters Walking (S04E32) spoke to me via email about her run with Melrose, how working on a show in the 90’s was very different from today, 90’s power suits and wedding dresses bound for a watery cat fight.
After being involved with over 100 episodes of Melrose Place that aired twenty years ago and then moving from production to production in the years after, it is no surprise Denise’s memory is a little bit foggy when asked about some of the iconic outfits worn during the shows run.
“I have to admit that half of the costumes I don’t even remember. It’s amazing how digital cameras and computers have changed how I document my work now!” she says before getting into how sourcing costumes back in the 90’s was a lot more hard work than it is these days.
“I used to take our Christmas hiatus and travel to Europe or Asia and tried to find some interesting fashions and fabrics and bring them back to use on the show. You have to remember this was before the internet where fashion is everywhere and readily available, so everything I sourced for each character would have to be with my own eyes. Our stages were about 30 miles outside of Los Angeles and there wasn’t really any shops close-by so sometimes I’d rely on new jewelry or fashion designers shipping me boxes of work where I would buy what I liked and thought would work well with a certain character and just send back the rest.“
And did working on one of the most watched shows at the time come with wardrobe regulations from cast and/or producers? “I don’t remember any rules or guidelines I had to adhere to from the producers. At the time I was on the show, the ratings were huge and the fashion was getting a lot of press, so they just figured if it isn’t broken don’t fix it. Basically, they pretty much let me do whatever I wanted. I had a great time!” Though the same can’t be said about Heather Locklear and a certain pink dress Denise had specially created for her. “It was the most memorable outfit that I remember from my time on the show and it was a really tight form fitting white Lycra dress that I bought in Paris just for Heather Locklear. It was amazing and I knew she would look incredible in it. Though, at the last minute, not being happy with the white, I decided to dye it this bright pink color, but unfortunately the dye had not set properly before she wore it and the dyed dress just turned her whole body bright pink. Memorable for me though I don’t think Heather was too happy about that.“
For the most part, Denise happily admits her time on Melrose Place and dressing the cast was filled with fun times. “In real life Daphne Zuniga who played Jo and I were friends, so it was always fun shopping or doing fittings with her and I still run into Laura Leighton from time to time and it is always such a joy to see her!”
So how about the characters themselves? When asked about Amanda’s entrance on the show in season one, Denise says she relished the chance to shake things up when it came to her D&D Advertising power wardrobe. “The dynamics of the show really changed when Heather Locklear joined the cast as Amanda. This character was such a wonderful evildiva and we were able to really push the envelope with her professional wardrobe as at that time, most suits were a little slouchy, conservative and beige such as what is seen on Alison Parker (Courtney Thorne-Smith). We kept making Amanda’s suits tighter and shorter and as Heather had such a great figure, she could really rock that short skirt look but still appear professional.” Denise also notes how Alison’s wardrobe became a little more dynamic when she took over the role as D&D President from Amanda “When Alison takes over, we felt she would take inspiration from Amanda’s wardrobe so she too started wearing “power suits” but we thought she would be much more professional [about her look] so it wouldn’t have been in her character to wear her skirts as short or as tight fitting as Amanda would wear them.“
Jane Mancini (Josie Bissett), ‘fashion designer extraordinaire’, was a fun challenge for Denise as Jane’s career (and Josie’s modelling background) allowed for the use of new and upcoming designers that would sometimes push the envelope of current era fashion . “The character of Jane was fun, because we were able to really experiment with using up-and-coming, interesting and eclectic designers on her. As Josie started her career as a model, she really knew how to wear clothes, and everything always looked fantastic on her. We saw Jane as being somewhat more classy than the other residents but in a stylized way and it suited her character. I had a lot of fun creating her outfits every week and she just made my job so easy.”
That ‘easy’ that Denise talks about also comes up when talking about Laura Leighton’s Sydney Andrews who made the transition from bratty little sister with a penchant for leather jackets to trashy hooker to sassy stripper to 60’s go-go girl to polished business woman throughout her time on the show. “When Sydney arrived on the scene, things really heated up and I just loved Laura Leighton as she was game for anything we put on her. Laura loved wearing the period, kooky outfits and managed to carry off even the craziest of outfits with a sense of humor and style not many people could get away with. I loved dressing Sydney just for the sheer absurdity of some of the costumes we chose!” And THAT wedding dress that Sydney wore that ended up in the Melrose Place pool? “I can’t remember the name of the shop the wedding dress came from (it’s no longer in business) I just remember that we needed multiples, I think a total of 5 for multiple takes. It ended up looking perfect though!”
And it wasn’t all about the ladies either as Denise is quick to point out. “The guys were generally easy to dress and they already had their own specific styles and also very large closets, so we could just pull from those every week for whatever was needed. I mean seriously, how many pairs of jeans and white t-shirts did I really need to buy Jake every week?!. That being said, all of the guys on the show were really nice and super fun and easy to work with.”
For more information about Dan and Jenny Hill’s Melrose Place podcast endeavor, or to download the podcast, hit their social media links below!
From a pilot that was a massive hit to a slow burning season one to eventually becoming one of the hottest shows on the 90’s, Melrose Place cemented itself in pop culture history. Loved it or hated it, you knew Melrose existed and the bed hopping, black mailing and crazy that went on.
But behind the on screen dramas, we got to learn a little more about our favorite 90’s guilty pleasure, the cast and the crew, thanks to Lifetime’s Unauthorized Melrose Place Story. Check out the 11 things we all learnt from this tell-all…
1: Grant Show was almost Brad Pitt
Having been name checked in 90210’s Unauthorized movie (Pitt at the time, lived with Jason Priestly before Priestly was cast on 90210) it was revealed Grant Show was originally intended to play the role of good looking bad guy J.D in Thelma and Louise but had to turn down the role due to his Melrose Place commitments. The part of course went to Brad Pitt and kick started his big screen career. Wise choice?
2: The Melrose Place cast could have looked VERY different
While Thomas Calabro (Michael Mancini), Josie Bissett (Jane Mancini), Grant Show (Jake Hansen), Doug Savant (Matt Fielding), Vanessa A Williams (Rhonda Blair) and Amy Locane (Sandy Harling) were already cast, it seems the role of good girl Alison Parker almost went to Courteney Cox (who was coming off Family Ties) instead of Courtney Thorne-Smith and before Tori Spelling selected Andrew Shue for the role of Billy Campbell (who knew Tori had a knack for casting?) Matthew Perry, Paul Rudd and Jason Bateman had all read for the role.
3: Thomas Calabro was a major theater snob!
It was pointed out on several occasions that not only was Calabro a theatre actor but that he somewhat despised the shows early scripts, often mocking them and pointing out how much lesser the content was when compared to his previous stage work (ok, so season one and early season 2…he’s not wrong there!). It was until his characters affair with Kimberly Shaw (Marcia Cross), which saw a new shady direction for the Michael, that he started to get into the part.
4: Laura Leighton’s manager got her on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine
We all know the cover – it’s now iconic – Laura Leighton, Josie Bissett and Heather Locklear looking all sexy with tousled hair and white tank tops and satin slips on the cover of Rolling Stones 1994 Hot Issue special…but it turns out, Courtney Thorne-Smith was originally in Leighton’s place and it wasn’t until Leighton’s then manager (who was also Heather Locklear and Bissett’s manager) suggested the two swap spots, ensuring Leighton (and her two other clients) made the cover. Thorne-Smith and Daphne Zuniga ended up being folded under the cover of the magazine.
5: FOX and Darren Starr told no one about Matt’s gay kiss being cut from the show
What should have been history in the making (Savant’s Matt Fielding was the first ever gay character on prime-time network television) led to fan outrage as the the first ever on-screen gay kiss between Matt and his date Rob (Ty Miller) was cut from the Season 2 double episode finale – even though it had been filmed. When the episode aired with the edited scene, no one from the cast inlcuding Savant had been told.
Side note – the actual kiss took place in front of Matt’s apartment door while Billy (Shue) watched on in surprise but in the unauthorized movie, the scene was set on a park bench and the two’s kiss was interrupted by a passing cars headlights. Either way, Matt finally got his kiss on screen!
6: Josie Bissett, Daphne Zuniga and Courtney Thorne-Smith all asked for crazier story lines.
When going up against Amanda’s power bitch monologues, Sydney’s hooking-stripping-drug taking and Kimberly’s cray-cray, the other female actresses felt they needed their characters to go a little more into the dark side. In the movie Thorne-Smith suggests Alison robs a bank while sleep walking, Zuniga recommends Jo becomes a serial killer and Bissett wants Jane to go all out crazy – but we can all safely assume none of those suggestions actually happened. In the end, all three saw their characters get some more juicer story lines including stalking ex boyfriends, killing ex-boyfriends, dealing with stolen babies and pretending to be blind to win over an ex love! Gotta love Melrose Place!
7: Heather Locklear and Laura Leighton were originally hired for a handful of episodes
While Leighton was hired for three episodes as Jane’s bratty younger sister and Locklear was brought in for a few more for a guest-star ratings push, both actresses ended up securing themselves multi-season contracts. Leighton came back in season two as a recurring then regular character until the season five finale (where Syd was unceremoniously run over by a car on her wedding day!) and Locklear maintained her guest-star status (and dark roots) until the end of the shows run at season 7.
8: Andrew Shue has someone else to thank besides Tori Spelling for the role of Billy Campbell
Actor Stephen Fanning (or Stephen Dale as oddly named in the movie) actually HAD the role of Billy Campbell when Melrose first began to shoot. Scenes for the pilot were shot and promo photos taken, but according to the movie, the time between being cast and production beginning (which is being quoted as two months) Fanning lost his ‘hot body’ while with family in Canada, gaining a crap load of weight and thus being fired from the show – because Melrose had no room for fatties. Fanning didn’t find out until he arrived on set to find Andrew Shue in his trailer!
9: Vanessa A Williams was convinced she was going to stay on Melrose for more than a season
It’s the case of what-could-have-been or blind want, with season one actors Williams and Amy Locane both being booted by the end of the first season. Convinced her and Savant’s Matt Fielding were the shows two edgiest characters i.e “the black chick and the gay guy” Williams, it seems was completely blind sided by her axing from the show. She did however go onto bigger and better things like…the TV movie Ice Spiders and a recurring role on Chicago Hope.
10: Laura Leighton and Doug Savant got married after Melrose Place
While not news to me, twitter was abuzz about finding out two of the shows stars were in fact married and are still to this day. While the movie made note of the Thorne-Smith/Shue and Leighton/Grant Show’s off-screen romances, Leighton and Savant began dating (after her romance with Show ended and Savant had separated from his wife) and were married in 1998.
11: The entire cast all got on well together off-screen
Unlike that which was shown in the 90210 movie (Jennie and Shannen car park fight!!), the entire cast of Melrose Place was shown to actually get along with each other off set. There were no over-bearing egos or fights over wardrobe and even when Thorne-Smith and Zuniga were lost on the Rolling Stone cover (they barely battered an eye lid), Leighton called her manager demanding to know why. Sadly, this really off-set the whole ‘unauthorized’ feel of the movie as there wasn’t really much drama to be told.
Regardless of how much the truth was stretched or how badly the Melrose time line was presented, we can all agree this Unauthorized movie reignited our love with Melrose Place. I wonder how many are cracking out the DVD’s right now?
I am a Melrose Place geek. It was my jam in the 90’s, I never missed an episode and I was (and still am) obsessed with Laura Leighton. That said, I don’t know if I’m really ready to have that part of my teen years ripped apart with a Melrose Place tell-all movie that threatens to expose just what went on behind the scenes on one of the hottest shows of the 1990’s.
From Aaron Spelling and Darren Starr discussing a Beverly Hills 90210 spin-off to the revelation Grant Show turned down the role in Thelma and Louise that evertually went to Brad Pitt (and kick started his career) to Melrose’s early days with cast members Vanessa Williams and Amy Locane to the infamous Rolling Stone Magazine ‘Bod Squad’ cover shoot to Heather Locklear’s casting to ‘save’ the show, it’s all covered in the next installment of Lifetime’s ‘Unauthorized’ movies – The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story.
While recounting behind the scenes ‘drama’ the unauthorized movie also delves into the iconic 90’s dramas biggest and best story-lines including Sydney (Laura Leighton) transforming from annoying little sister to Jane (Josie Bissett) into a stripper/madam/druggie street walker, Kimberly (Marcia Cross) stealing Jo’s (Daphne Zuniga) baby and of course one of the biggest moments in the show’s history – Kimberly blowing up the apartment building during the season three finale!
Check out the gallery featuring images from the movie below!
(L to R) Rebecca Dalton (“Courtney Thorne-Smith/Allison Parker”) and Ciara Hanna (“Heather Locklear/Amanda Woodward”) star in the all-new Lifetime movie, The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story, premiering Saturday, October 10, at 8pm ET/PT Photo by Sergei Bachlakov Copyright 2015
(L to R) Dan Castellaneta (“Aaron Spelling”) and Adam Korson (“Darren Starr”) star in the all-new Lifetime movie, The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story, premiering Saturday, October 10, at 8pm ET/PT Photo by Sergei Bachlakov Copyright 2015
(L to R) Rebecca Dalton (“Courtney Thorne-Smith/Allison Parker”), Ali Cobrin (“Daphne Zuniga/Jo Reynolds”), Chelsea Hobbs (“Laura Leighton/Sydney Andrews”), Ciara Hanna (“Heather Locklear/Amanda Woodward”) and Chloe McClay (“Josie Bissett/Jane Mancini”) star in the all-new Lifetime movie, The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story, premiering Saturday, October 10, at 8pm ET/PT Photo by Sergei Bachlakov Copyright 2015
(L) Joseph Coleman stars as “Doug Savant/Matt Fielding” in the all-new Lifetime movie, The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story, premiering Saturday, October 10, at 8pm ET/PT Photo by Sergei Bachlakov Copyright 2015
(L to R) Karissa Tynes (“Vanessa A. Williams/Rhonda Blair”), Chloe McClay (“Josie Bissett/Jane Mancini”) and Ciara Hanna (“Heather Locklear/Amanda Woodward”) star in the all-new Lifetime movie, The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story, premiering Saturday, October 10, at 8pm ET/PT Photo by Sergei Bachlakov Copyright 2015
(L to R) Frank Bailey (“Andrew Shue/Billy Campbell”), Teagan Vincze (“Marcia Cross/Kimberly Shaw”) and Chloe McClay (“Josie Bissett/Jane Mancini”) star in the all-new Lifetime movie, The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story, premiering Saturday, October 10, at 8pm ET/PT Photo by Sergei Bachlakov Copyright 2015
(L to R) Ryan Bruce (“Grant Show/Jake Hanson”), Joseph Coleman (“Doug Savant/Matt Fielding”), Rebecca Dalton (“Courtney Thorne-Smith/Allison Parker”) and Chloe McClay (“Josie Bissett/Jane Mancini”) star in the all-new Lifetime movie, The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story, premiering Saturday, October 10, at 8pm ET/PT Photo by Sergei Bachlakov Copyright 2015
(L to R) Brandon Barash (“Thomas Calabro/Michael Mancini”) and Teagan Vincze (“Marcia Cross/Kimberly Shaw”) star in the all-new Lifetime movie, The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story, premiering Saturday, October 10, at 8pm ET/PT Photo by Sergei Bachlakov Copyright 2015
The infamous Rolling Stone Magazine Cover shoot
Ciara Hanna (“Heather Locklear/Amanda Woodward”) and Frank Bailey (“Andrew Shue/Billy Campbell”) star in the all-new Lifetime movie, The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story Photo by Sergei Bachlakov Copyright 2015
(L to R) Chelsea Hobbs (“Laura Leighton/Sydney Andrews”), Joseph Coleman (“Doug Savant/Matt Fielding”) and Chloe McClay (“Josie Bissettt/Jane Mancini”) star in the all-new Lifetime movie, The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story, premiering Saturday, October 10, at 8pm ET/PT Photo by Sergei Bachlakov Copyright 2015
Lifetime’s Unauthorized Melrose Place Story is currently in the thick of filming and now the networks version of the cast has finally been revealed in full with the release of a full cast image.
The revelation of the cast image also offers up some tid-bits of what to possibly expect to see covered in the tell-all story with the addition of Vanessa Williams/Aerobics instructor Rhonda Blair who was unceremoniously booted off the show by the end of Melrose’s first season to the cast. Check out the image below.
So who’s playing who?
From left to right: Chloe McClay as Josie Bissett (Jane), Ryan Bruce as Grant Show (Jake), Frank Bailey as Andrew Shue (Billy) and Ciara Hanna as Heather Locklear (Amanda).
Joseph Coleman as Doug Savant (Matt), Brandon Barash as Thomas Calabro (Michael) and Ali Cobrin as Daphne Zuniga (Jo)
Lanie McAuley as Amy Locane (Sandy), Chelsea Hobbs as Laura Leighton (Sydney), Rebecca Dalton as Courtney Thorne-Smith (Allison), Karissa Tyner as Vanessa A. Williams (Rhonda) and Teagan Vincze as Marcia Cross (Kimberly).
I’m thinking the casting for Laura Leighton (Chelsea Hobbs), Doug Savant (Joseph Coleman) and Vanessa Williams (Karissa Tyner) is pretty spot on! Check out some of the behind the scenes shots below via Chelsea Hobbs, Rebecca Dalton, Ciara Hanna and Ali Cobrin’s Instagram accounts…
As Courtney Thorne-Smith/Alison Parker
As Heather Locklear/Amanda Woodward
as Laura Leighton/Sydney Andrews
Laura Leighton/Sydney Andrews in the infamous Melrose pool
The original cast are keeping somewhat quiet on the subject though Daphne Zuniga (Jo Reynolds) has reached out to her new alter-ego via twitter…
First it was Saved by the Bell, then Beverly Hills 90210 and now, Lifetime have added another 90’s soap to it’s “Unauthorized behind the scenes” movies in the form of the all bitching, all back stabbing, all bed hopping and all blackmailing Melrose Place.
Originally created as an ‘authentic’ and ‘grounded’ look at 20-somethings in Los Angeles, Melrose Place quickly amped up the heat and star power and become one of the most watched prime time soaps on the 1990’s, created stars out of some of it’s (then) lesser known cast, created a spin-off (Models Inc), produced a re-boot (CW’s Melrose Place lasted one season in 2010) and included guest stars from Loni Anderson to Linda Grey to Chad Lowe and Kathy Ireland.
According to US Weekly, shortly after announcing the 90210 movie, Lifetime quickly jumped on board with The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story which will“draw from true stories and anecdotes from interviews with the original cast and crew, The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story will highlight the remarkable behind-the-scenes moments that shaped the series — from early casting drama and Heather Locklear arriving to ‘save’ Melrose Place to the actors begging its writers for even wilder story lines to make them fan favorites.“
Did Josie Bissett (Jane Mancini) ask for Jane to get a backbone?
Or did Laura Leighton and Grant Show’s (Jake Hansen) real-life romance influence writers to hook up Jake and Sydney?
While most of the drama took place within the walls of 4616 Melrose Place (Sydney and Jane’s wedding dress cat fight – Kimberly blowing up the apartment building, Amanda having cancer, Kimberly stealing Jo’s baby…..) the show and it’s cast were often featured in and on the cover of tabloid magazines. Andrew Shue (Billy Campbell) and Courteney Thorne-Smith (Alison Parker) dated, so did Laura Leighton and Grant Show (Leighton eventually married another former cast member Doug Savant – who played gay social worker Matt Fielding). There was also the rocky marriage of permanent ‘special guest star’ Heather Locklear and her then-husband rocker Tommy Lee that dominated the headlines, porn star Traci Lords guest appearance and the mysterious case of Bold and The Beautiful star Hunter Tylo’s shock axing for falling pregnant before even filming one scene as Taylor McBride – a role that eventually went to Lisa Rinna (Tylo took Spelling TV to court and won).
The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story will focus on the original series run from 1992 to 1999 where cast members included Amy Locane (Sandy Harling), Daphne Zuniga (Jo Reynolds), Thomas Calabro (Michael Mancini), Patrick Muldoon (Richard Hart), Marcia Cross (Kimberly Shaw) and Kelly Rutherford (Megan Lewis) among many many other names.
No word on casting or just what exactly will be featured in this ‘tell-all’ or an air date.
Will you be tuning in? What do you hope to see covered?
I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about ‘binge TV viewing’ lately and it seems, every list, is as different from the other. We all have our favorites, those we recommend to others and those we keep to ourselves as guilty pleasures. With quite a few shows now on hiatus or heading into break, you may need something to keep your eyes on the screen so here’s my choice picks for ‘binge worthy television shows’.
Breaking Bad: Without a doubt, Breaking Bad makes every binge worthy list. It should. It’s ridiculously good. I never watched Walter White and Jesse Pinkman when Breaking Bad originally aired….yes I know that makes me a bad television blogger, but it was one of those shows I had to be talked into watching…and watch I did. I binged on the entire series of Breaking Bad over the space of 2 months and am somewhat glad I was able to take in the entire story-line in one sitting. Made me appreciate what was on offer and experience the build-up to that last season without beak.
Stars: Aaron Paul, Bryan Cranston and Anna Gunn
Seasons 1-5 available on DVD
The Comeback: Lisa Kudrow (post Friends) as a faded and jaded actress named Valerie Cherish who has allowed cameras follow her and her journey to reclaim her former spotlight. A show that was well before it’s time and only really appreciated after it’s demise. Great to hear talk of a possible comeback for The Comeback!
Stars: Lisa Kudrow, Malin Ackerman and Kellan Lutz
Series one available on DVD
Melrose Place 2.0: The beauty here is that fans of the original series like to claim this re-boot never happened but for those new to the series, we’ve got an 18 episode single season that follows a who-dun-it murder mystery of Melrose’s junkie landlord Sydney Andrews. Everyone is a suspect and it’s great to watch while playing drinking games (that mostly involve guzzling your wine anytime Ashlee Simpson appears to act or whenever a character from the original series pops up!)
Stars: Laura Leighton, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Calabro and Ashlee Simpson.
Series One available on DVD (from Amazon or eBay)
The Chicago Code: Jennifer Beals post The L Word as tough as nails Teresa Colvin, Chicago’s first female police superintendent who plans to bring to light the mass of political corruption currently polluting the town. There’s connections to the Irish Mob, undercover cops, and this accents all-round.
Stars: Jennifer Beals, Jason Clarke and Matt Lauria
Availability: None as yet 😦
EYES: Tim Daly as a smarmy and cocky Harlan Judd, who is the head of J.R Investigations, a risk management firm that will bend all aspects of the law to get results. His company is in financial crisis, his competitor wants to buy him out, there’s a mole within the company, his staff have secrets of their own and his love interest is a do-good lawyer who has issues looking the other way. ABC shamefully only ever aired 5 episodes of this 12 episode first series back in 2005.
Stars: Tim Daly, AJ Langer, Laura Leighton and Natalie Zea
Series One is not available on DVD but can be found on YouTube.
ORPHAN BLACK: Fast paced sci-fi thriller that looks into the world of human cloning and accelerated human evolution through the eyes of young mother Sarah who’s world comes crashing down when she discovers she’s not as unique as she originally thought. Edge of your seat stuff that keeps knocking out reveals and epic scenes.
Stars: Tatiana Maslany, Jordan Garvais and Dylan Bruce
Season one now available on DVD.
Miranda: Britt comedy at it’s best, Miranda Hart is an unlucky in love, bumbling and fumbling joke shop owner/operator who manages to give the crazy that goes on inside her head a life all it’s own and spreads it among those around her including her highly posh and overbearing mother, her vertically challenged best friend and co-worker and the man of her dreams who works down the road.
Stars: Miranda Hart and Tom Ellis
Seasons 1-3 available on DVD
Dawson’s Creek: You can’t have a binge list that doesn’t include Dawson’s Creek. It’s the mega 90’s teen drama that gave us James Van Der Beek, Joshua Jackson, Katie Holmes and Michelle Williams. Joey has feelings for Dawson but Dawson is too interested in his movies to notice Joey, that is until new girl Jen Lindley comes along while Pacey is having secret meetings with his teacher. Drama, ugly crying, teen sex…this has got it all.
Stars: James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams and Joshua Jackson.
Seasons 1-6 available on DVD
Nip/Tuck: Christian loves drugs, money, women and sex. His professional partner Sean McNamara loves his son, his wife and his professional career. It’s the lives of two plastic surgeons trying to rule the roost, deal with their inner demons and still come out on top regardless of who they end up hurting. One of the greats to come out of the 90’s/00’s period.
Stars: Julian McMahon, Dylan Walsh and Joely Richardson.
Seasons 1-6 Now available on DVD.
Cougar Town: Bad title, good comedy says it all. Cougar Town feels very Scrubs with it’s humor (created by the same team) and as you watch through the seasons, you’ll see this great show evolve from it’s ‘cougar’ story line into a very tight and funny comedy around friends and family. Don’t judge this show by it’s title!
Stars: Courteney Cox, Busy Phillipps, Christa Miller and Dan Byrd.
Having only just recently finished watching the entire run of Breaking Bad, a friend asked me what my thoughts were on the show and in particular the finale. My first immediate response was “I hated Walt”. Apparently that was a pretty natural response as my friend replied “You’re supposed to by the end”. It got me thinking how I could become so involved and enamored with a show in which you literally despise the lead character for all the bad he or she does.
That said, this does this not apply to every character that expresses dark behavior. Take for instance Dexter Morgan (Michael C Hall). The guy is a serial killer (who only kills bad people) whose actions led to the death of his wife Rita (Julie Benz) and several other innocent people along the way (Doakes, his sister Deb and LaGuerta to name a few) yet we are rooting for him to evade the law and continue on his merry killing way while, watching Breaking Bad, all I wanted was for Hank to get his man and put Walter White (Bryan Cranston) away for good.
Nurse Jackie’s Jackie Peyton (Edie Falco) is another prime example of a love/hate relationship. The pill popping superstar nurse all but ruined her marriage, her career and treated friends and co-workers like trash all while downing copious amounts of pills and having an illicit affair and all I wanted was for her to get what she had coming. I disliked Jackie Peyton for all the horrible she brought to peoples lives.
Yet going as far back as the 90’s with the Aaron Spelling soap Melrose Place. Two of the show’s most devious characters Sydney Andrews (Laura Leighton) and Dr. Kimberly Shaw (Marcia Cross) both slept and blackmailed and even bombed their way through a decent run of the series, but in true form, all I wanted for these crazy ladies was to come out on top.
What I can’t get my head around is what is the difference between Walter White and Dexter Morgan and Jackie Peyton and Sydney Andrews? Each are flawed, each have done inexplicable acts and yet i’m divided as to who I root for and whom I want to receive their comeuppance.
Part of it, I think, is because we go into a show, say like Dexter, knowing he is a serial killer. There’s no surprise shock act that makes us question our feelings towards him. Same applied to Kimberly and Sydney on Melrose Place. The two made a splash on their entrance, letting us all know they were here to cause trouble, while on the other hand, when we meet Walter White, he’s a married science teacher who’s discovered he has cancer. We want to resonate with his less than perfect life situations and we do….but then we witness his actions of atrocity (including poisoning a little boy) and suddenly we begin to question.
It’s this tickle on our emotions that makes characters like Walter White and Jackie Peyton so different from those like the Melrose duo, Dexter Morgan even American Horror Story Coven’s Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange) or Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) and Mad Men’s Don Draper (Jon Hamm).
Sun, surf, beaches, romance, blackmail, the Peach Pit – Beverly Hills 90210 was must-see TV back in the 90’s and spawned the hugely popular Melrose Place and even a 90210 remake that ended in 2013. The original 90210 ended more than a decade ago, yet one of the shows stars, Ian Ziering, believed that final episode would not be the last time the 90210 cast would be on screen together.
It turns out, Ziering had detailed plans for a reunion (of sorts) which he revealed while on Oprah: Where Are They Now. His plan included arranging a special dinner party at his house for the cast that would be filmed by cameras placed throughout his home in which events that would be loosely scripted, would play out for all to see.
“My idea was that I was going to cater a nice dinner in my home. I was going to have little cameras spaced throughout the house. It was going to be loosely scripted where we would break off into little social bouquets and talk about different moments and different times,” Ziering explains. A big part of the plan was for this reunion dinner to air on Sept. 2, 2010. “The significance of that date is that it’s 9/02/10!” Ziering says.
So why did it not happen? Did Shannen Doherty refuse to have any part of it? Was Gabrielle Carteris so used to being away from the spotlight, the thought of doing such a project frightened her? No. Turns out, no network would buy the project.
“I couldn’t get a network to buy it,” Ziering says. “It’s astonishing to me. I mean, ‘90210’ on 9/02/10?… The production companies don’t want to pay for it. We certainly weren’t going to do it for free, but then, we weren’t asking for a king’s ransom compared to what they would have made in advertising.”
Check out the video at HuffingtonPost.com of Ziering talking about his 90210 reunion dinner and some of the special moments he was planning to orchestrate.