The CW’s New “Melrose Place” Features Bisexual Publicist Ella

The CW has officially picked up the updated version of Melrose Place, the campy 1990s series revolving around a group of twentysomethings who live in a swanky L.A. apartment complex. The new version adheres to the same premise, but with a murder-mystery twist introduced in the pilot.

While the original series included an openly gay male character, this one includes a bisexual woman: Stylish publicist Ella, played by Katie Cassidy (Taken, Harper’s Island), who is in a casual relationship with fellow apartment-dweller David (Shaun Sipos).

Katie Cassidy at a TV Guide party in March

Ella’s bisexuality will reportedly be revealed in the pilot via a kiss at a club. The casting call for the pilot included an "early 20’s, gorgeous, exotic model type who catches ‘Ella’s’ (Katie Cassidy) eye in a club and they share a passionate same sex kiss." describes Ella as "[David’s] omnisexual sometime lover, a PR whiz whose tongue is as sharp as her stilettos."

Cassidy touched on her character’s sexuality in an early April interview with E!:

Cassidy: [Ella’s] really funny…it’s going to be fun to play her…she’s unsure of her sexual preference —
E!: Are you saying she might play for more than one team?
Cassidy: Possibly.

Whether Ella will actually date women, not just hook up with them in clubs, remains to be seen. (Cassidy’s interview with E! took place during filming of the pilot, and Cassidy most likely would not have been aware of the writer’s future plans for her character.)

Here’s Katie as Ella, in photos taken on the set of the pilot:

The series also stars Jessica Lucas (90210, CSI), Stephanie Jacobson (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles),Colin Egglesfield (All My Children), Michael Rady (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants), and singer Ashlee Simpson-Wentz.

L to R: Stephanie Jacobson, Jessica Lucas, and Simpson-Wentz

The only original Melrose cast members currently slated to reprise their roles are Laura Leighton and Thomas Calabro.

The CW will officially unveil the new Melrose Place at their upfront presentation on Thursday; staffing on the series began this weekend, and it’s expected to debut in the fall.

Thanks to reader indie for the tip!