Let me start out by saying that Ashlee Simpson getting fired off Melrose Place made yesterday afternoon joyous and makes those blind items out there almost kind of moot. Anyway, tempering my joyousness is the fact that Colin Egglesfield also got fired in some sort of network sacrifice.
I know the show sucks, but there are some redeeming points and Colin Egglesfield was one of them. In most polls of the 40 people who actually watch Melrose, Colin's character Auggie is by far the favorite male character if not the favorite character on the whole show. So, of course the network fires him. This is why you work for CW and not CBS.
Yesterday EW and Mr. Aussielo broke the news first. Michael interviewed the show runner and this is what he had to say about the firings.
So it was always the plan for Ashlee to leave after episode 12?
SLAVKIN: Yes. Because 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.
Same thing with Colin?
SLAVKIN: Colin was always meant to be the ultimate suspect. And his brooding alcoholic [character] tonally didn’t fit the paradigm moving into post-murder mystery Melrose Place.
How did Ashlee and Colin take the news?
SLAVKIN: They’re total professionals and they took it like professionals. When you go into a show you never know what’s going to evolve and what the possibilities are. But because they knew ahead of time [that leaving was a possibility], it wasn’t a complete shock.
OK, so after reading that you say to yourself Ashlee didn't get fired because she is the worst actor short of Tommy Wiseau and instead knew it was coming. So, Ashlee ends up looking good. It also sounds like Colin knew he was going be let go after this arc and that there was nothing poor Slavkin could do about it. Uh huh.
Well, today, E! managed to get a hold of Colin and this is what he told them.
You were initially hired to be an ongoing series regular on Melrose Place, right?
Yes, definitely. I was slated to be in 10 of the 13 first episodes, but I had a multiyear contract.
What happened to change that? How did you learn they weren't going forward with you and your character?
I got the call this morning from our producers, Todd [Slavkin] and Darren [Swimmer]. They were really saddened, and you could tell it was difficult for them to break this news to me. They said it was a network decision, and they said the network thought Auggie was a little too dark, with his alcoholism. They felt like in the landscape of Melrose they wanted to change the tone of the show. So that's the explanation that they gave me.
And this morning was the first you'd heard of it?
They said that it wasn't anything against me or my talent or anything. There was never any discussion that they weren't sure what they were going to do with me or my character. And it wasn't like I was getting in fights with crew members or punching people out.
So, there you have it. The producers lied to the actors, lied to Entertainment Weekly and Michael Ausiello, and then lied again because they told their wives they were working late. I don't know about that last part, but I don't know how you fire the most popular member of your cast. It doesn't matter if you watch the show or not, you don't fire the fan favorite because what few fans you do have will say bye. Dumb, dumb move.