Heather Locklear is retaining her reputation as a show-booster.
She cemented it with the original “Melrose Place,” which she helped make one of the 1990s’ most buzzed-about series as Amanda Woodward, the well-tailored business shark and serial acquirer of other women’s men. Locklear returns to weekly work when Season 3 of TNT’s law drama “Franklin & Bash” starts Wednesday, June 19, but her return as Amanda on The CW’s short-lived “Melrose” reboot reaffirmed to her that there are no guarantees.
“I think they should have brought some of the older characters back a little more, to introduce the new kids,” Locklear reasons to Zap2it of having reunited with such other “Melrose” veterans as Thomas Calabro and Laura Leighton on the 2009-10 remake. “It’s a little tougher just having a new cast and calling it the same thing. I think people get mad.”
The CW’s “90210” update will have lasted five seasons when its two-hour series finale airs Monday, May 13. Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty were among “Beverly Hills, 90210” alums who factored in early on — before concept changes cut most ties to the first version — but Locklear was pursued with particular eagerness to reprise Amanda on the newer “Melrose.”
“I was courted,” she confirms, “but then I’d think, ‘Oh, my gosh. Is this going to make it? Will I be able to help it?’ They changed some of the story lines for me, so I went, ‘Well, OK. I guess I’ll try it. And everyone will see it, or no one will see it.'”
Famously considered by the late television uber-producer Aaron Spelling his “good luck charm,” Locklear also starred for him in “Dynasty” and “T.J. Hooker.” She reflects that when his decision to add her to “Melrose Place” turbocharged the show, “That was such a fluke. Now, it’s like, ‘Please don’t put that pressure on me. It has nothing to do with me. Just write the show well.'”
Indeed, it’s no mystery “Franklin & Bash” is aiming for extra attention by hiring Locklear as Rachel King, the take-charge new partner in the title characters’ (Breckin Meyer, Mark-Paul Gosselaar) law firm. “They want that” ratings bump, Locklear acknowledges. “It’s a ‘little’ pressure.”