In 2009, The CW announced the revival of the 90s series, ‘Melrose Place.’ This move came on the heels of their successful relaunch of ‘90210.’ However, despite high hopes and anticipation, the remake fell short, lasting only a single season. Here, we explore the factors that led to the new ‘Melrose Place’ not living up to the legacy of its predecessor.
The Vision for Revival
Debuted in 1992, the original ‘Melrose Place’ climbed the popularity ladder after Heather Locklear joined the cast. Fast forward to 2009, The CW, aiming to grab the attention of a young audience, introduced a refreshed version of the show.
The network sought to infuse the series with contemporary elements while keeping ties to its roots, hiring ‘Smallville’ producers Darren Swimmer and Todd Slavkin as showrunners.
The remake attempted to blend the old with the new. While the iconic Spanish-style apartment complex and some original characters like Laura Leighton’s Sydney Andrews and Thomas Calabro’s Michael Mancini returned, the series introduced fresh faces as well. This mix aimed to bridge generations of viewers but proved to be a challenging balance to maintain.
Critical Reception and Ratings
The show’s premiere on September 8, 2009, opened to modest viewership, garnering a 1.3 rating in the 18-49 demographic. Unfortunately, this number dwindled as the show progressed. Ratings continued to decline over the season, with the April 4th episode reaching a season-low.
‘Melrose Place’ was also the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter for about an hour on its debut night but failed to sustain viewer interest.
Critically, ‘Melrose Place’ received a lukewarm reception. The series earned a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 60, reflecting mixed reviews. Critics noted the shift from the original’s campy tone to a darker narrative, which, while intended to add depth, perhaps alienated fans of the original series.
Cancellation Was The Inevitable Outcome
Despite the initial excitement and including elements from the original series, the remake failed to resonate with both new and returning viewers. The CW officially canceled ‘Melrose Place’ in May 2010 after just one season.
Several factors contributed to the remake’s inability to match the charm of its predecessor. The shift in tone to a darker, more mysterious narrative might not have aligned with audience expectations. Besides, the challenge of blending nostalgia with modern storytelling perhaps didn’t strike the right chord with viewers.