Ashlee Simpson-Wentz and Colin Egglesfield Fired from Melrose Place


So much for establishing a devious, sexy whodunit! In an effort to alter the tone of their ratings-deficient revamp, Melrose Place producers have fired stars Ashlee Simpson-Wentz and Colin Egglesfield (who played highly suspicious murder suspects Violet and Augie) saying that their arcs on the show will conclude in December. The producers' full reasoning, plus a forecast for the show's rejiggered tone, after the jump.

In a new interview with EW's Michael Ausiello, Melrose Place executive producers Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer explain the big changes:

What was behind the decision to let Ashlee and Colin go?

TODD SLAVKIN: 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.

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.

Is it fair to say that if either of those characters clicked you would've found a way to keep them?

SLAVKIN: Well, you never know when you go along. But in the end, we felt like it was right [decision].

Now, let's all go back and read writer Caprice Crane's tribute to murder and money and turn it into a metaphor for swift cast firings. I'm drawing up an outline!

Exclusive: Simpson and Egglesfield Out in 'Melrose Place' Shake-Up [EW]