Savant--the Fox soap's much put-upon Matt Fielding--is changing addresses come this fall. A Fox spokeswoman said Tuesday that the actor will only appear in next season's opening episode of Melrose Place before hitting the road.
He's going to pursue the requisite movie career. But, unlike David Caruso, Savant will make his cinematic mark in a virtually guaranteed blockbuster--next summer's Godzilla (produced by the guys responsible for Independence Day). However, the New York Post says Savant is exiting after a salary squabble.
Savant's departure leaves only two tenants from the first season, Thomas Calabro (Michael) and Andrew Shue (Billy), in the complex-cum-brothel. Five other regulars have ditched the Spelling series this season. Josie Bissett (Jane) left last December; Courtney Thorne-Smith (Alison) and Grant Show, as well as four-year veteran Marcia Cross (Kimberly) announced they were walking in March; and Laura Leighton (Sydney) recently told an interviewer that last year was her final one on Melrose.
With Savant gone, the show loses its only regular gay character. (Although Savant often complained publicly that the producers did not treat Matt the same as the bed-hopping straight characters.)
To fill the vacancies, Fox is introducing two new characters to the five-year-old series. Jamie Luner, who played Peyton Richards on Spelling's canceled WB soap Savannah, and Linden Ashby, star of ABC's Spy Game, will join the cast next season as a recently divorced couple. There's no word on whether another gay character will be added.