1992: Viewers Meet the Residents of 'Melrose Place'
On this day in 1992, Aaron Spelling's Spelling Television introduced Melrose Place, the second series in Spelling's Beverly Hills, 90210 franchise, on Fox.
Initially, Melrose Place star Grant Show appeared as a recurring character on 90210 as Jake Hanson, a friend of Luke Perry's Dylan and a romantic interest for Jennie Garth's Kelly Taylor. During 90210's second season, Dylan asks Jake where he lives. "Ah, it's a little place off Melrose, nothing special," he replies.
TV viewers eventually learned that the "little place" was an apartment complex in West Hollywood, where a group of twenty- and thirty-somethings resided, and their interactions and shared storylines became the focus of the instant hit. The original cast consisted of Show, Thomas Calabro, Josie Bissett, Andrew Shue, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Doug Savant, Amy Locane and Vanessa A. Williams. But, like many prime-time soaps, the cast continually evolved. (During the show's seven-season run the cast included Heather Locklear, Marcia Cross, Laura Leighton, Daphne Zuniga, Jack Wagner, Kristin Davis, Patrick Muldoon, David Charvet, Lisa Rinna, Kelly Rutherford, Rob Estes, Alyssa Milano and Rena Sofer.)
Melrose Place quickly became one of TV's guiltiest pleasures — so much so that in an unprecedented move, one of television's hottest shows, NBC's Seinfeld, built an entire episode around the Fox series. In the February, 1995 episode, "The Beard," Jerry dates a policewoman who talks to him about the show. When he says he's never seen it, she challenges him to take a lie-detector test. In the end, Jerry fails the test spectacularly, proving that he not only has seen the show, but he's familiar with several of its ongoing plotlines.