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Scott D. Pierce: Laura Leighton is poolside once again

Laura Leighton is returning to "Melrose Place" as Sydney.
Laura Leighton is returning to "Melrose Place" as Sydney.
Patrick Ecclesine, The CW

PASADENA, Calif. — Laura Leighton never imagined she'd be back on "Melrose Place."

She spent about five seasons on the often over-the-top prime-time soap in the mid-'90s playing Sydney Andrews. And Sydney was, well, more than a little bit crazy at times.

But when the producers of the new "Melrose Place" pitched her on bringing Sydney back, she quickly agreed.

"I had no expectation, going in, what it was going to be," Leighton said. "I only knew that playing Sydney the first time was such fun, and there was no downside to coming back to play her again."

And then she discovered what the producers had in mind.

"They had it all planned. They had an approach to the show that incorporated my character in a very unique way," Leighton said.

She was being tactful and trying not to give too much away. And neither will I. Let's just say that Sydney plays a central role that helps launch the "Melrose" revival when The CW launches the show on Monday, Sept. 8.

"I think Sydney's always been sort of doomed to be the center of controversy, and she's very much in that position," Leighton said.

The original "Melrose Place" set — the apartment complex built around the courtyard and the pool — was dismantled when the show was canceled a decade ago. But it has been re-created for the re-imagined show.

"I think everyone who stepped onto the courtyard set has had the feeling of stepping back in time — stepping back into the old world," Leighton said. "This is a completely new set created to look like the old one, but after having gone through a really terrific remodel.

"So the courtyard looks great, but the feeling is just the same and the blue doors are there. And they completely bring back memories of shooting there and scenes that happened there. It is a great feeling."

CROSSOVER: The CW's "90210" is a remake of the original Fox series, "Beverly Hills, 90210." The CW's upcoming "Melrose Place" is a remake of the original Fox series of the same title, which was a spinoff of the original "Beverly Hills, 90210."

The new "Melrose" isn't a spinoff of the new "90210," but could there be some crossover between the two shows?

"Well, technically we could do that because both shows are shot in L.A.," said CW Entertainment president Dawn Ostroff. "So I think down the road, after 'Melrose' gets up and running, it would be something we would explore. It would be a big event for us."

HUH? The CW is flip-flopping "Gossip Girl" and "One Tree Hill" on its Monday-night schedule this fall — the former is moving back an hour to 8 p.m.; the latter is moving up an hour to 7 p.m. Which doesn't really make any difference to much of anybody. But Ostroff's explanation was, um, kind of odd.

"Well, 'One Tree Hill' has been on the air for a long time," she said. "The viewers have been very loyal, and it made sense to start the night off with 'One Tree Hill.' We saw a lot of growth last year for the 'Gossip Girl' hour, and we felt that if we put 'One Tree Hill' before 'Gossip Girl' we have an opportunity to even see more growth this year."

Maybe that made sense to somebody. But not to me.

UP, UP AND AWAY? A lot of people have been assuming — and a lot of people have been hoping — that the upcoming ninth season of "Smallville" would be its last.

Well, maybe not.

"I hope it's not the last season," Ostroff said. "I think the producers have done a great job coming up with really good story lines this year. Zod is going to be the big villain, and Clark has got to save the world, so we're all going to be kneeling to Zod.

"But I do think that the show still has a lot of life left in it. The cast is very excited, as are the producers, so we have high hopes for it staying on the air for a while."

Has anybody got a big block of krypotonite so we can finally kill this show?

BETTER NEWS: Ostroff is also upbeat about the future of "Supernatural" — which, unlike "Smallville," hasn't run out of gas creatively.

"Well, we hope 'Supernatural' will go on," Ostroff said. "I mean, (creator/executive producer) Eric Kripke's done a great job with the show creatively. The show has gotten stronger every year. The cast is wonderful, so we're hopeful that it will stay on the air for a long time."

Hear, hear!

IT'S DEAD: The possibility of that "Gossip Girl" spinoff everybody was talking about a few moths ago ever making it on the air is, well, zero. It didn't get picked up for the fall; it's not on The CW's radar for midseason or beyond.

"Not right now," Ostroff said. "It doesn't look like it's likely."

That means it's dead.

e-mail: pierce@desnews.com