Ashlee Simpson-Wentz and Colin Egglesfield: Out of Melrose Place!

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So this is why The CW picked up Melrose Place for an additional five episodes.

TV critics were puzzled by the network's announcement yesterday, considering the abysmal ratings. But producers Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer clearly had a plan to improve the series, successfully pitched it and have now shared it with the world.

In a nutshell:

  • Ashlee Simpson-Wentz and Colin Egglesfield have been let go. They'll each wrap up their brief runs in January.
  • The murder mystery storyline will be completed before the end of the year.
  • New characters will be introduced and the show will take on a lighter tone.

Regarding all three changes, allow us to say: good calls!

  • Violet Picture
  • Auggie Kirkpatrick Photo

Farewell, dead weight. Is Melrose Place making the right decision in dropping these stars?

Neither Simpson-Wentz nor Egglesfield can act (at all); the mystery of who killed Sydney is intriguing, but there's no consistency in how often the show chooses to focus on it; and this is Melrose Place. It should never take itself too seriously. Seriously, a sparrow's nest as an emotional prop?!?

Hopefully, these changes will result in an adult version of Gossip Girl, a series that is so outlandish, it's entertaining.

Regarding the ousting of Wentz and Egglesfield, as well as other topics, follow this article's jump for an interview with Slavkin.

On letting the actors go: We always knew that this murder mystery would end in episode 12. And we always knew that [Ashlee's] character of Violet would be instrumental in that as a suspect, and [Colin's character of] Augie as well. And once that murder mystery was solved, she would go on her way. That was the original plan going into the development of the show.

On the show's tonal shift: Now that the characters are no longer suspects, they can have a great time, they can focus on their careers, they can get into bed with each other without having this ominous cloud hanging over the building… But this is still Melrose Place. There’s still going to be intrigue on the show.

On the use of Heather Locklear: She’s in every episode moving forward. She’s a major focus [of the show]. She has a hidden agenda that will become not so hidden as the episodes move along. She’s not just the boss of Ella [Katie Cassidy].

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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I love this show, can't wait to see where they go with it. As for everyone complaining........quit watching!!! It's simple, change the channel. Just as I tell my nine year old about complaining over someone's driving.....Until you do the same job, keep your mouth shut. When you people become writers, producers, actors or any other title these people hold, you can't truly have an experienced opinion.

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Auggie isn't a very interesting character to be honest. You only see him as a cook and the hottie in the house. And unfortunately I don't think being hot is enough. He was only interesting during the flashbacks with Sydney where it suggests that he killed her.

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I agree with Meyer. The CW wants to go with a lighter tone? Why? I thought Melrose Place was supposed to be a realistic drama NOT a freaking comedy. Although Ashley didn't go to school for acting I don't think she's done a bad job as a matter of fact some of the other so-called actor that are making millions of dollars need to go back to school if you ask me. I just can't fathom why the writer of MP would decide to get rid of Auggie a character who has so much potential. The excuse is that the character Auggie is too dark. WTF?! Excuse isn't there another character Lauren who is a doctor by day and moonlighting as a hooker by night. Once again WTF?! Where is the logic here? One one hand you have a character with a drinking problem who overcame it and has moved on to better things THEN you have another character who has a bright career ahead of them yet is willing to jeopardize it sleeping with various strangers... Yeah, I get it now, a hooker-doctor isn't too dark it's an every day occurence. Lots of doctors pay their way through Med-school by hooking. *rolling eyes is disgust*

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Producers "clearly had a plan to improve the series?" Are you kidding me? Did you really write that? Exactly WHO do you think is responsible for the abysmal, boring storylines and horrendous ratings thus far? The tooth fairy? So we axe the only psycho (who fans of MP clearly want) and the best-looking hottie on the show (who writers utterly wasted with no story at all)...oh, and we kill off the one villain old fans wanted to see within the first 5 minutes. Yeah, that was QUITE a plan, guys. Quite a plan. It's hard to believe that MP followed the same idiotic moves that 90210 did last season, which nearly got *that* show cancelled. I questioned so many of the original casting moves--they were awful. Colin and Ashlee were two of the better signings. But poor casting and non-existent (i.e. B-O-R-I-N-G) stories have brought us to this point. Thanks Todd and Darren. Thanks for absolutely NOTHING.

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