SOAPnet Gets Sudsy with 'Melrose,' '90210'
LOS ANGELES — SOAPnet knows that Aaron Spelling spells success. The network has acquired the rights to two of Spelling's biggest hits of the '90s, "Beverly Hills, 90210" and "Melrose Place."
The cable network will have exclusive broadcast rights to all 10 seasons of "90210" and all seven of "Melrose Place." The older skewing spinoff "Melrose" will premiere first, starting on Monday, Sept. 13 with its weekday run. "Beverly Hills 90210" will move to weekdays in early 2005.
In the beginning there was Brandon (Jason Priestley) and Brenda (Shannen Doherty) Walsh, 16-year-old twins transplanted from Minnesota to the ritzier climes of Beverly Hills. While the twins were happy with their gang of photogenic friends, FOX wanted something more and in episode 49, "Beverly Hills 90210" introduced Jake Hanson (Grant Show), a handyman who would soon be shipped off to his own neighborhood of Los Angeles, to become one of the centerpieces of "Melrose Place."
With their constantly evolving plotlines and a perpetual demand for new cast members, both shows become launching pads for hot talent. "Beverly Hills, 91210" gave viewers early glimpses at the likes of Emma Caulfield, Peter Krause, Hilary Swank and Joe E. Tata. "Melrose Place" gave work to the likes of Kristin Davis, Marcia Cross and Swank's husband Chad Lowe.
"We are thrilled to be the new residence for 'Melrose Place' and 'Beverly Hills 90210,'" says SOAPnet General Manager Deborah Blackwell. "SOAPnet continues to add popular soaps our viewers want to see and real estate doesn't get any better than this. 'Melrose' and '90210' from executive producer Aaron Spelling, were two of the highest rated primetime soaps of the '90s and their addition to our lineup continues to establish our brand and provide our viewers with a 24-hour soapy environment."
I hope SOAPnet gives The Place a more consistent schedule than E! and Style did.