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The New Melrose Place: Who's Who, and Who's Coming Back?

Melrose Place: Jessica Lucas, Ashlee Simpson Wentz, Stephanie Jacobsen, Katie Cassidy Jeffrey Maye/Getty Images; Jamie McCarthy/Getty Image; Kristian Dowling/Getty Images; Jordan Strauss/Getty Images

Pilot season is here, and as always, the most exciting new projects are on the CW. And of those, this year's most tantalizing effort is easily the reimagined Melrose Place.

Officially, we'll have to wait nearly six months to see it, but unofficially, we're starting to get a picture of what life will be like for the residents of what may still be L.A.'s hippest street.

Who's starring, what characters are they playing and what do we know about return engagements by original castmembers? Here's the scoopage for now...

High Profile, High Security: Lest you think Melrose Place is just a concept flying high on a wing and prayer, you should know that there is a fully developed pilot script. But unlike last year's 90210 pilot script, which traveled far and wide through Hollywood before the series ever made it to air, the Melrose Place pages are being kept top, top secret.

Who's Who? Putting aside the less famous boys for the time being, let's check out the new Melrose characters and the starlets who will play them.

  • Stephanie Jacobsen is best known for gritty, grubby sci-fi gigs on Battlestar Galactica and Terminator, but in the new M.P., she's all prettied up. Well, Pretty Womaned up at least. She's playing a med student who works as a high-class escort to pay her tuition. An oldie but goodie! (Does anyone else remember Lisa Edelstein as the law-student-slash-prostitute who got Sam Seaborn in trouble on the first season of The West Wing? Loved it!) The most important thing to know about Jacobsen's character Lauren is that she lives a double life. And that means when she's not studying or hooking she's going to be lying.
  • Jessica Lucas (whom you may remember from Cloverfield) plays Riley, a vivacious wife-to-be who's having doubts about her emotionally unavailable fiancé. Think ScarJo's character in Lost in Translation.
  • Ashlee Simpson-wentz is Violet, a small-town girl who's not afraid to use her sexuality (or anything else) to get what she wants. A far cry from her goody-two-shoes gig as Cecilia Smith on 7th Heaven!
  • Katie Cassidy (aka the original Ruby on Supernatural) is Ella, who works in PR, dabbles in bisexuality and probably qualifies as the playah of the group. As a high-strung, snarky fashionista, she brings the funny to the party.

Who's Coming Back? Despite some high-profile, thanks but no thanks, announcements from the likes of Heather Locklear (who may be too pricey for the show) and Grant Show, the new Melrose masterminds do plan to bring back old characters (à la the return of Garth, Doherty and Spelling to the new 90210), but for now, the when, why and how are very much under wraps.

Do you think the new show should be called Melrose Place or something else? Are you excited about the casting so far? Post in the comments!

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