Ashlee Simpson-Wentz Axed From 'Melrose Place'
Executive producer Todd Slavkin explains the decision to lose Simpson-Wentz and Egglesfield : "Well, 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."
Another exec producer, Darren Swimmer,adds, "We felt that once the murder mystery was resolved, the tone of the show was going to shift into a much more fun, romantic, sexy upbeat kind of show, and [her] character would move on."
Though Slavkin and Swimmer admit that it's possible the characters could have stuck around if they'd really clicked, Swimmer says, "The nature of soaps is that as things progress along, the story takes on a life of its own and the characters come and go in relation to that."
Both of the dismissed actors took the news with good grace, the execs say. "When you go into a show you never know what's going to evolve and what the possibilities are," Slavkin explains. "But because they knew ahead of time [that leaving was a possibility], it wasn't a complete shock."
Simpson-Wentz and Egglesfield will appear on the show until January.
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