Reverse McGinleys

Not only don’t I care about Heather Locklear appearing on the “new” Melrose Place, I don’t even care enough to write about how much I don’t care.  But it does remind me that Locklear has spent most of her career being added to the casts of shows that already started, and she has one of the better track records on that score. I’ve called her a “reverse Ted McGinley,” which of course is unfair to McGinley. He’s usually been added to long-running shows after a major cast member leaves, so the shows wouldn’t have gotten better with or without him (some would argue that he improved Married With Children). But Aaron Spelling kept adding Locklear midway through the first or second seasons of shows that had potential but weren’t quite there: he added her to Dynasty — though it was the addition of Joan Collins that saved that show — then TJ Hooker, and most importantly Melrose Place. Then she joined Spin City, not exactly improving it but probably giving it the boost it needed to survive the departure of Michael J. Fox.

The lesson appears to be that if the new Melrose could get her as a regular, it would probably survive. It probably can’t, though, and even if she did join the show full time, she could never recapture her greatest moment of crime-fighting glory.

Also, while on the subject, here’s a taste of what Entertainment Tonight was like 25 years ago. By comparison with today’s insider-showbiz shows, it seems kind of serious-minded, in a fluffy/puffy sort of way.

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