Melrose Place

Melrose Place Information

Melrose Place is an American primetime soap opera that aired on Fox from July 8, 1992, to May 24, 1999 for seven seasons. It follows the lives of a group of young adults living in a brownstone apartment complex on Melrose Place, in Los Angeles, California. The show was created by Darren Star for Fox and executive produced by Aaron Spelling for his company, Spelling Television. It is the second series in the Beverly Hills, 90210 franchise. Season one and season two were broadcast on Wednesday at 9pm, after Beverly Hills, 90210. In 1994, for its third season premiere, the show moved to Monday at 8pm.

The show had many cast changes during the run. Thomas Calabro was the only original cast member to remain on the series throughout its entire run.

The show earned several Golden Globe nominations and placed #51 on Entertainment Weekly "New TV Classics" list.


Filming for the series took place at a studio in Santa Clarita, California.

Setting and original premise

The show is set in a small apartment courtyard complex located at 4616 Melrose Place in the city of West Hollywood, California.</ref> |group="n"}} Several young individuals reside in the apartments, each with their own dreams and drives. The original plan for the show was to have minor stories conclude in every episode, but when that formula proved unpopular, the writers started developing long-term storylines to evolve during the season.

Cast and characters

Melrose Place premiere season featured eight main characters: Dr. Michael Mancini (Thomas Calabro), a physician who works at Wilshire Memorial Hospital and changes from a kind, devoted husband in Season 1 to mean-spirited, adulterous villain from Season 2 on; Jane Mancini (Josie Bissett), his budding fashion designer wife; Billy Campbell (Andrew Shue), the struggling writer adapting to life out of his parents' control; Alison Parker (Courtney Thorne-Smith), the receptionist at D&D Advertising; Jake Hanson (Grant Show), a struggling manual laborer and bad-boy biker; Matt Fielding (Doug Savant), a gay social worker; Rhonda Blair (Vanessa A. Williams), an aerobics instructor; and Sandy Harling (Amy Locane), a Southern belle and struggling actress who moonlights as a waitress at a bar called Shooters, the group's hangout. Locane was written off after 13 episodes, to be replaced by Daphne Zuniga as Jo Reynolds, a photographer running away from her abusive husband. Williams was not brought back for the second season, explained by her character's engagement to a wealthy restaurant entrepreneur.

Actress Heather Locklear, who in season one had guest starred as Alison's ambitious and merciless boss Amanda Woodward, was promoted to series regular status in the second season. Although she was always billed as a "special guest star," Locklear remained with the show through its series finale. Guest Laura Leighton, recurring as Jane's troublemaking, spoiled younger sister Sydney Andrews in season one, was upgraded to series regular for season two. Marcia Cross, recurring as Dr. Kimberly Shaw in season 1, became a series regular by the end of the second season. Janet Carroll appeared in several episodes as Marion Shaw, Kimberly's overprotective mother.

Season four saw two new contract characters: Peter Burns (Jack Wagner), the ruthless hospital Chief of Staff introduced in season three; and Brooke Armstrong (Kristin Davis), a young, conniving intern at D&D Advertising also recurring the previous season. Davis's character was subsequently killed off in the middle of the fourth season, while Zuniga left the series at the end of the season. Patrick Muldoon arrived this season as the villainous Richard Hart. Although Muldoon was not billed with the main cast he appeared in most of the fourth season's episodes. He's also Melrose Places longest recurring character in terms of number of episodes.

The fifth season saw the addition of Rob Estes as restaurateur Kyle McBride, Lisa Rinna as his lush lipped opportunistic wife Taylor, and Brooke Langton as Samantha Reilly, an artist and a new tenant in the apartment complex. Bissett and Cross left the series towards the end of the fifth season; Kelly Rutherford was brought in as Megan Lewis, a prostitute hired by Kimberly Shaw to have an affair with Michael Mancini, and David Charvet played Craig Field, Amanda's new co-worker and later Sydney's boyfriend. The season finale featured the exits of series regulars Thorne-Smith, Show, and Leighton.

The season premiere of season six featured the departure of original cast member Savant while Alyssa Milano (recurring as Michael's sister Jennifer Mancini since season five) was bumped to series regular, with Linden Ashby joining the cast as Dr. Brett Cooper and Jamie Luner as his seductive and rich ex-wife, Lexi Sterling.

Charvet was written out in the middle of season 6, and the beginning of season seven saw the departure of Shue, Rinna, Langton, Milano, and Ashby. The show's seventh season introduced John Haymes Newton as Ryan McBride, Kyle's younger brother, and Rena Sofer as Eve Cleary, a woman from Amanda's past who marries Peter. Rena Sofer was not billed with the main cast. Bissett reprised her role as Jane for the seventh season.


Season U.S. ratings Network Rank
1 1992-93 10.65 million Fox #76
2 1993-94 13.54 million Fox #50
3 1994-95 12.88 million Fox #63
4 1995-96 12.36 million Fox #61
5 1996-97 11.17 million Fox #58
6 1997-98 9.86 million Fox #80
7 1998-99 7.82 million Fox #95
The series debuted on July 8, 1992 and was an instant smash hit, debuting at #19 on the Nielsen ratings with a 10.3/19 share. The series finale was watched by 10.38 million viewers.


The series won the People's Choice Award in 1993 for 'Favorite Television Series'.

Heather Locklear was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress in a Television Series " Drama for her role as Amanda Woodward on Melrose Place, in 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1996. Laura Leighton was nominated in 1995 for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series for her role as Sydney Andrews.

At the height of the show's popularity the female stars were featured on the cover of Rolling Stone on May 19, 1994 ;Heather Locklear, Laura Leighton, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Daphne Zuniga and Josie Bissett .


Main article: List of Melrose Place episodes
Main article: Seasons of Melrose Place


The original series produced a spin off series, titled: Models Inc., which ran for one season from 1994-1995. The series focused on a Los Angeles modeling agency run by Hillary Michaels (played by Linda Gray), the mother of Melrose's Amanda Woodward. An updated version of the series, also called Melrose Place, premiered on September 8, 2009 on The CW Television Network. The series was subject to severe criticism for its bad storylines, unlikeable characters, and suffered from low ratings causing it to be cancelled in May 2010 after one season. However, five actors from the original MP reprise their characters on the sequel: Thomas Calabro, Laura Leighton, Josie Bissett, Daphne Zuniga and Heather Locklear. They have a mini reunion (without Leighton) on episode sixteen ("Santa Fe").

Home media

CBS Home Entertainment (distributed by Paramount) have released all seasons of Melrose Place on DVD in Region 1.

The series has also been released on DVD in Region 2 and 4 by Paramount Home Entertainment.

Due to music licensing issues, most of the original music has been replaced on these DVD releases, including the unique theme music for the pilot episode's opening titles (replaced with the normal Melrose Place theme). Starting with Season 1, some episodes are edited from their original broadcast versions.

The series is rated  M  in Australia and  M  in New Zealand for its sex scenes and offensive language.

DVD Name Ep # Release dates Special features
Region 1 Region 2 (Scandinavia) Region 2 (UK) Region 4
The First Season 32 November 7, 2006 November 13, 2006 November 13, 2006 November 1, 2006 Season 1 episode recaps
Behind the scenes featurette
Mini featurettes
Cast Interviews
The Second Season 32 May 1, 2007 April 1, 2007 March 13, 2007 May 3, 2007 Audio Commentary by Series Creator Darren Star
Melrose Place: Meet The Neighbours
Melrose Place: Complex Relationships
Melrose Place: The Best of the Worst
The Third Season 32 November 13, 2007 December 2, 2007 May 18, 2009 April 9, 2008 Melrose Place: According to Jake
Melrose Place: Seven Minutes In Hell
Everything You Need To Know About Melrose Place Season 3
The Fourth Season 34 April 15, 2008 March 11, 2009 March 22, 2010 April 2, 2009 None
The Fifth Season (Volume One) 19 February 10, 2009 N/A N/A N/A None
The Fifth Season (Volume Two) 15 November 24, 2009 N/A N/A N/A None
The Complete Fifth Season 34 N/A March 24, 2010 June 21, 2010 April 1, 2010 None
The Sixth Season (Volume One) 13 May 3, 2011 N/A N/A N/A None
The Sixth Season (Volume Two) 14 July 19, 2011 N/A N/A N/A None
The Seventh Season (Volume One) 18 July 31, 2012 N/A N/A N/A None
The Seventh Season (Volume Two) 17 July 31, 2012 N/A N/A N/A None
On April 1, 2011, all seven seasons of the show were made available to view on Netflix's subscription internet streaming service.

International syndication

Melrose Place has aired in international syndication in over 40 countries worldwide.

    Network Ten, Fox8
    Red Uno
    Rede Globo and Rede Bandeirantes
  • , Coestrellas, Canal A
    TV Nova, TV Barrandov
    TV 2
    MTV3, SubTV, MTV3 AVA (from January 4, 2010)
    TV3 Estonia
    HBO, RTL KLUB, TV2 (Hungary), FEM3
    RT"? (later rerun on CBS Drama)
    Channel 3
    Italia 1, Rai 4
  • Latin America (22 countries):Sony Entertainment Television.
    2M TV
    Veronica, RTL 7
    TV2, TV3, Prime
    Sitel TV
    TV3, TV2 Zebra, TV2, TV2 Bliss (currently)
    ABS-CBN (afterwards aired on its subsidiary Studio 23)
    TVN, TVN7, CBS Drama
    CTC, 5
    RTS, RTV Palma, RTV Studio B, RTV Pink
    Kanal A, POP TV, TV3 Slovenia
    Telecinco and Cuatro
    TV3, TV4, TV400
    TSR (French), DRS (German), TSI (Italian).
    Channel 3
    Sky One (later rerun on Five, LivingTV, Ftn, CBS Drama)

GALA Committee

A group of artists and Melrose Place producers formed the GALA Committee, headed by artist Mel Chin, in order to bring artworks out of galleries and into primetime television. GALA artists designed artworks that were used as props by Melrose Place characters in the fourth and fifth seasons, often with hidden political messages:

  • When Alison is pregnant, her quilt is decorated with the molecular structure of RU-486.
  • A bag of Chinese take-out food is emblazoned with two opposing ideograms translated from Chinese as "Human Rights" and "Turmoil"; both terms were used by the Chinese government to justify a restriction on student protesters of June 4, 1989.
  • Bottles behind the counter at Shooters bar are decorated with ads and documents chronicling the history of alcohol.
  • As Alison quits D&D Advertising, a framed ad in the background features a bombed-out building. The damage to the structure is in the shape of a liquor bottle, and the words "Total Proof" appear on the poster.
Chin compared the works to viruses, symbiotic and invisible. The project was called "In the Name of the Place", as part of the "Uncommon Sense" art show at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, California in 1997. A portion of the Fifth Season was filmed at the Geffen Contemporary where the project was displayed. The artwork was also shown at the 1997 Kwangju Biennale in Kwangju, Korea and at Grand Arts in Kansas City, Missouri in 1998. Sotheby's Auction house auctioned almost fifty of these artworks for charity.

Related shows

Main article: Beverly Hills, 90210 franchise

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