In 1995, CBS commissioned 22 episodes of the TV series, 'Central Park West' at $1 million per episode. "They wanted to do 'Melrose Place' in New York," Darren Star told the 'Los Angeles' magazine. 'Melrose Place' "singlehandedly resuscitated serial drama for the '90s" and "helped establish Fox as a viable 4th network." Third-place CBS was said in search of a "much-needed hit." 

"'Melrose Place', for me, was really about that time after college when you're trying to establish yourself and your life and your identity and become an adult," Darren explained. Sandy Grushow of Fox Television Entertainment Group observed, "Darren has shown he really has his finger on the pulse of what young people are interested in." Filmed in New York City (also known as "the Big Apple"), the network reportedly "spent millions" promoting 'Central Park West'. It was mentioned 'Melrose Place' was inspired by the years Darren spent living in a West Hollywood apartment complex and 'Central Park West' was inspired by his years living in Manhattan. 

'The New York Times' reported, "The promotional barrage ranges from advertorials and postcards to painted buses and a 'Central Park West' area on the CBS World Wide Web site (http:// www.cbs.com). 'Allure', 'Details', 'GQ' and 'Vogue' are each carrying a 6-page advertorial co-sponsored by the Wool Bureau." At a party to launch 'Central Park West' held at the Museum of Modern Art, Mariel Hemingway told the press, "Maybe we should never air the show. Just keep putting it off. I mean, the hype is so great, how can we live up to it?" It was understood there was also "a showing of the premiere on the Times Square Jumbo-Tron screen." As pointed out, "CBS is also devoting a significant chunk of its own air time to 'Central Park West'; the series is the subject of about 25 commercials, the most of any of the network's 11 new shows." 

Darren believed, "Promotion is extremely important for a show like this because this audience is used to getting sold on something rather than watching whatever's on." Although some 9.7 million viewers were counted watching the pilot episode shown on the Wednesday of September 13 1995, at 9:00pm, 'Central Park West' was "last in its time slot." On reflection, producer David Stenn remarked, "This genre is historically about seduction. You have to bring your audience in. It's not like 'ER' — a home run out of the box." It was suggested the poor ratings were partly because the show's target audience were 18-to-34-year-olds but 'Central Park West' was shown on a network comprised of older demographic. "Improving our demographics is our No. 1 goal," a network representative stated. 

"There was so much press that it became the Second Coming," Darren recalled. 'The Washington Post' noted, "With men turning away from the traditional broadcast networks in recent years, the networks have responded by creating more shows for and about their most loyal viewers: women." 'Central Park West' followed the lives of the people working at a 'Vanity Fair'-like magazine called 'Communiqué'. The magazine was said provided "a backdrop to human relationships." 

"My shows may follow the conventions of melodrama, but I'm not a student of the genre," Darren disclosed. "I really start by creating a group of characters. I never write a bible. I could never be that far ahead of myself. I never know where things are going to go. Not that I would think of comparing myself to him, but Dickens wrote weekly installments of his books way." Kylie Travis of 'Models Inc.' joined 'Central Park West' in the 3rd episode as an Australian fashion editor. "I'm not trying to send messages through my shows," Darren insisted. "I don't like characters who stop and smell the roses. I have a hard time stomaching those kinds of shows, which is why I hardly watch TV. I’m more interested in the way people really behave. I think likable characters are boring. I don't want them to be likable, I want them to be real." 

After 9 episodes went on the air, 'Central Park West' "was pulled" from the line-up and "for all intents and purposes, creative control of this show has been taken away from Star anyway by CBS Productions." Camille Marchetta of 'Dallas', 'Dynasty' and 'Falcon Crest' "has quietly been brought in to the 'Central Park West' set." Four episodes were not shown originally as the network then revamped 'Central Park West' to appeal to the 35-to-54-year-olds. Raquel Welch joined the cast.

"People don’t realize, sex scenes are hard to shoot," David Stenn told 'Entertainment Weekly'. "We've got to make a dress that keeps ripping. We can't waste 10 dresses. We use Velcro. That way you get the right sound, too." The last 8 episodes were held into 1996 and shown in June. "It's got strong name recognition," Betsy Frank of Zenith Media Services made known. "But much of the perception of the show is negative." Of the 1996 episodes, industry observer pointed out, "They're really putting on a different show. We tried 'Central Park West' and the marketplace said no . . . The 'Melrose' crowd never came to CBS to watch it." David Poltrack of CBS made the observation, "We've found that the older demographic likes that kind of 'Dallas'-like tension between big power players."

It was revealed Darren fought with the network to keep Tom Verica's (of 'Die Hard 2') "grungy goatee." Although it had been described as "the new TV season's worst facial trend, a wispy goatee." Lauren Hutton also starred, "I never watched any of these shows. I've never understood people who were addicted - but now I'm getting addicted just from seeing the scripts. I came from a very extreme background. I lived rich and I lived poor. I've read, I've traveled. I've had an incredibly lucky private life."  

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