PASADENA, Calif. -- You can't kill the momentum of vampire shows or revivals of old shows like "Melrose Place."
One of the new series on The CW this fall is "The Vampire Dairies," which follows the success of the HBO series "True Blood" and the feature film "Twilight" on the vampire express.
"Dairies" is based on a series of novels and is co-produced by Kevin Williamson ("Dawson's Creek"). He acknowledged here today before the nation's television critics that by necessity the pilot has some similarities to "Twilight" but added that will change in weekly episodes.
The only recognizable name among the young stars in "Vampire" is Ian Somerhalder ("Lost"). He plays a bad vampire who is at odds with the good vampire played by handsome Paul Wesley (yeah, I recognized his face more than his name, too) who comes to the small town of Mystics Falls for romantic reasons.
Unfortunately, Somerhalder wasn't here. That left the female lead, Nina Dobrey (yeah, I recognized her face more than her name, too), to try and explain why vampire shows are very much alive these days.
"It is timeless," she said. "They don't die. They're always around."
Williamson acknwoledged that there are so many vampires around the cultural landscape these days that he initially said "no way" to the project.
"Then I read the books," he added. He was sold on them and the challenge to do something different with the vampire premise.
Of course, TV is known for recycling old ideas anyway. Which brings us back to "Melrose Place," which ran on Fox for seven years through 1999 and will join the CW schedule in a new version this fall a year after the network brought back "90210" with limited success.
The young cast includes Ashlee Simpson-Wentz as the new young adult in the complex who probably isn't going to be as naive as she appears to be in the pilot.Original cast members Laura Leighton and Thomas Calabro are also in the pilot.
Some things about "Melrose" haven't changed.
"It definitely is the most scandalous adress in West Hollywood," said executive producer Todd Slavkin.
Are you looking forward to the new version of "Melrose"? And do you think there will be room for another vampire series like "The Vampire Dairies?"
-- Alan Pergament