How well do you remember the 1990s' "Melrose Place"?

By: Torrance Grey
Image: Fox

About This Quiz

After the 1980s' great primetime soaps -- "Dallas," "Dynasty" and "Falcon Crest" -- went off the air, "Melrose Place" came along to satisfy America's need for comas, catfights, and amnesia plotlines! How well do you remember this staple of 90s television? Find out now!

"Melrose Place" was a spin-off of what popular 90s series?

"90210" and "Melrose Place" were created by Darren Star, who might have been the hottest TV writer at the time. He was like the J.J. Abrams of the 1990s.

Which "90210" actress guest-starred on the first three episodes of "Melrose Place"?

Garth's Kelly Taylor first met Jake (Grant Show), when he came to visit his old friend Dylan McKay (Luke Perry). The Kelly-Jake relationship continued on early episodes of "Melrose Place," before being doomed by their age difference (and the producers no longer needing to cross-promote the show with the successful "90210").

How did friends-turned-lovers Billy and Alison meet?

Billy Campbell did become Alison's roommate, after some initial misgivings on her part. Inevitably, their relationship turned romantic.

How many seasons did "Melrose Place" run?

After shifting focus from an earnest "year in the life of L.A. twentysomethings" format to a full-fledged soap, "Melrose Place" became a hit. It stayed one, until 1999.

Which established TV actress was brought in to play Amanda Woodward?

Locklear was Alison's domineering boss on early seasons of the show. Amanda and Alison fought over Billy for much of the first three seasons.

Which character's arc went swiftly from nice guy to cheater to potential murderer in three seasons?

Yup, things went south fast for dedicated doctor and husband, Michael. But he made such a devilishly good bad guy, viewers didn't mind the change.

Jack Wagner, who played Dr. Peter Burns, was a cast member on what daytime soap?

Wagner, a singer and actor, played aspiring rock star Frisco Jones. He still turns up today in guest roles on shows like ABC's "Castle."

Which of these characters was gay?

Doug Savant played Matt Fielding, a gay social worker. LGBT and other progressive viewers cried foul in early seasons when the show cut away from Matt kissing a male love interest -- this while shooting steamy love scenes for the show's straight characters.

Whose sister was Sydney Andrews?

Jane Mancini and Sydney Andrews were the "frenemy" kind of sisters. Or maybe just "enemies," really. Syd once gave her sister a stroke, albeit accidentally, by slipping tranquilizers into her drink. Well, these things happen between sisters, right?

Which of these characters struggled with alcoholism?

Alison had an on-and-off relationship with the demon in the bottle. (It was most often "on" for sweeps week).

What was the name of the bar the Melrose crowd often patronized?

Half the shows on TV seem to have a "favorite bar," and "Melrose" was no exception. Shooters also provided a place for Sydney, who was rather low on hirable skills, to work from time to time.

Who had an alter ego that was a 1950s housewife, "Betsy Jones"?

Marcia Cross, as Dr. Shaw, brought the crazy like no other character. Her "Betsy Jones" was no mild-mannered housewife, either -- she was as twisted as Kimberly herself.

Which of these 80s primetime-soap stars had a role on "Melrose Place"?

Yes, it's true -- "Melrose" found room for all of these refugees from the 1980s primetime soap craze. Donna Mills played Jane Mancini's birth mother after Jane learned she was adopted.

On what sort of trip did Michael try to murder Sydney?

Yes, that's right -- Michael tried to kill Sydney on their very honeymoon. Well, she did blackmail him into the marriage.

In which season did Andrew Shue leave the show?

The sixth season saw "Melrose Place" finally begin to run out of steam. With previous seasons featuring split personalities, returns-from-the-dead, repressed memories, comas and the like, it seemed that viewers were finally getting tired of 11-on-a-scale-of-10 melodrama.

Which well-known therapist had a guest role on the show?

A very intelligent woman whose first claim to fame was winning "The $64,000 Question," Brothers earned a degree in psychology and counseled people over the airwaves for many years. She played herself on the show, in a storyline that had the troubled Kimberly Shaw also becoming a radio host.

Why did Alison back out of her wedding to Billy?

Alison confronted her father, who then threatened her life. Shaken, Alison fled her own wedding, which definitely caused a rift with Billy for some time.

Which of these Melrose characters was played by a future "Sex and the City" star?

Kristin Davis played Brooke, Alison's rival for Billy. She went on to become the likable Charlotte on the 2000s smash "Sex and the City."

Which of these characters drowned in the building's pool?

Brooke got between Alison and Billy, and Billy eventually married her. Her death sent him into a tailspin of guilt.

Which character became both a prostitute and a producer of pornography?

Sydney had a checkered career on the show. Her exploits inlcuded brief turns as a stripper, then a call girl, and later -- accidentally -- as a porn producer. (It was a bad investment decision, essentially).

Which "Melrose" character was played by a future Desperate Housewife?

Marcia Cross, who played the twisted Kimberly, went on to success as Bree Van De Kamp on "Desperate Housewives." She was nominated for an Emmy for her work on that show.

Which character was blinded in the apartment-building bombing?

Alison didn't have an easy life on the show. Well, few characters did, but compared to the campy crises' other characters faced, Alison's woes -- including alcoholism and memories of molestation -- were harder to laugh off than the others.

Which "Charmed" actress had a role on "Melrose Place" in its later seasons?

Don't be fooled by Shannen Doherty's inclusion -- although she played Brenda Walsh on "90210" and could easily have guest-starred on spinoff "Melrose," she never did. "Charmed" star, Milano, played Michael Mancini's crafty (no pun intended) younger sister.

Which character did the classic "hand-clenching-up-out-of-grave-dirt" scene?

In a rare example of the sisters working together, Sydney came to Jane's defense when she was attacked by her rapist, Richard. After Sydney hit Richard over the head with a shovel, seeming to kill him, they buried him in a remote location. Cue, the hand bursting through the grave dirt!

Which character kept a journal of the goings-on at Melrose Place?

Doug Savant left the show in the sixth season and was killed "offscreen" in a car crash, leaving behind the bombshell news of his journal. If only the show's writers had used Matt's journal as a narrative device from the beginning -- they'd have invented "Gossip Girl"!

Which character was run over outside a church just after getting married?

The always-entertaining character, Sydney, got an appropriately flashy send-off from the show's writers. Immediately after marrying Craig, she died when a speeding car plowed into her wedding party. Awesome!

For which successful show did Courtney Thorne-Smith leave "Melrose"?

Thorne-Smith acted on "Melrose" for five seasons before leaving for another FOX show. Even with its fantasia sequences and musical episode, "Ally McBeal" proved to be a more realistic show than "Melrose."

How many seasons did Grant Show play Jake Hanson?

It was a sad day when Grant Show left. His character, Jake, had been the linchpin of the show in its first season, since his visit to old friend Dylan McKay, on "90210," was the setup that launched "Melrose."

Which cast member was billed as a "special guest star" for six seasons?

Locklear played a nasty queen bee on the show. She was ranked second only to Joan Collins' "Dynasty" character, Alexis Carrington, in a TV Guide ranking of villainesses.

Which character stayed with the show for all seven seasons?

Thomas Calabro is probably best known for his role as Michael Mancini. Vanessa Williams, as "Rhonda," was only on the show for one season.

Where was Michael Mancini at the series' end?

The wily Dr. Mancini comes out on top at the end, despite (or perhaps because of) all his dirty deeds. Perhaps it was the producers' and writers' way of thanking Thomas Calabro for years of devoted service to the show.

Which of these couples got married on a beach in "Melrose's" series finale?

Amanda and Peter successfully faked their deaths to marry on a tropical beach and walk off into the sunset. It couldn't have happened to a nicer couple, right?

What relationship were actors Josie Bissett and Rob Estes in real life?

Jane Mancini and Kyle McBride became a couple in the series finale, a development that viewers were probably supposed to take as happily-ever-after. However, Bissett and Estes divorced in 2006.

Prior to and during "Melrose Place's" run, Andrew Shue pursued what other career?

Shue, the younger brother of actress Elisabeth Shue, was passionate about soccer. During his time on "Melrose Place," he competed in games for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Which network tried an ill-fated reboot of "Melrose Place" in 2009?

Neither the "90210" reboot or the new "Melrose Place" really caught fire with viewers. It's possible that the success of reality TV had something to do with this, with shows like "The Bachelor" and "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" satisfying viewers' need for campy drama.

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