After 7 seasons on the air, 'Melrose Place' was said "had run its course". Aaron Spelling acknowledged, "I never thought we'd make it to a 7th season." In all, 227 episodes of the "pop culture icon for the '90s" were produced. Although by "the first year of the new 'Melrose'", observers already noted 'Melrose' was "fighting against the laws of gravity" (meaning "show signs of encroaching middle age").
For a generation of Americans, 'Melrose Place' was "pure escapism." The show had been described as "the guiltiest pleasure of '90s TV." Frank South described the production of his show, "The term we use, is an episode has to 'burn a lot of story'. It has to tell a lot of story fast and hit high points and still it has to be grounded in a recognizable reality, tethered very strongly to emotion." The success of 'Melrose Place' was attributed to that "element of friendship . . . And we know that friendship is one of the most important things in appealing to Generation X. Look at 'Friends', it even has it in the name."
Aaron made known, "It's a very expensive show to do." One year Fox reportedly paid nearly $70 million for 35 episodes (the network average was said to be 22) "and expects to top that figure in advertising revenue." First there were Jane, Michael, Alison, Billy, Jo, Matt and Jake. Then "familiar face" Heather Locklear joined the "watercooler show for 18-to-34-year-olds" as "good old Amanda". During 'MP's' golden years (1993-95), Amanda's antics made "the news at 11 reel".
It was said 'Melrose Place' started "the prime time TV sexual revolution." In the 1994-95 season, Fox moved 'Melrose Place' from Wednesday at 9 o'clock to the "family-hour" of Monday at 8 o'clock to attract "its core audience of young women". 'MP' averaged almost 14 million viewers a week in the 1993-94 season with the season finale drawing some 19.3 million fans. Charles Pratt Jr. conceded, "The challenge in the past (or last) few years was trying to make all the new characters fit in . . . I remember plotting something at a group meeting last season (back in 1997) and everybody said, 'Yeah, yeah, sounds good.' I thought, 'What happened to the days when we'd go through 135 options for ending an act?'"
Aaron contributed hairstyles to the success of his shows including 'Charlie's Angels' and 'Dynasty', "We have this crazy rule for the young ladies. Do not change your hair the first year. Let the audience get used to you. Talk to us if you want to cut your hair or do something to it, but not the first year of a show. It gives the audience a chance to connect to the characters." Courtney Thorne-Smith told 'Self' one year, "I got my hair cut today. I couldn't go anywhere without people talking to me about it, as if it were an earth-shattering event. One of the strangest things about being an actor is that people you don't know feel that they are allowed to comment on your hair, body, clothes, relationships." Allen Edwards created Farrah Fawcett's 1970s signature hairdo, told 'InStyle', "To me, cutting hair is like buying clothes - you don't walk into a clothing store and ask for something from 10 years ago."
'Melrose Place' was one of the few "adult-oriented" shows which left "imprint on prime time's opening hour, once theoretically earmarked for family-oriented fare." In 1994, TV critics were said "second-guessing over such chicken-and-egg question as whether 'Melrose Place', with its sex and deception themes, was appropriate for the opening hour of prime time TV." Courtney told 'Lifetime', "My clearest memory of 'Melrose Place' was the daily 'Hi, I'm Courtney.' 'Hi, I'm Joe.' 'We'll be kissing over there.' It was really strange." It was pointed out the "tried-and-true strategy" of courting TV viewers in the key 18-to-49-year-olds demographic did not attract "public outcry". There were no "grass-roots campaign" from "principled viewers." Garth Ancier believed, "When Fox started moving shows that did well with adults (to 8 o'clock), it was like a dam was broken, and everybody started programming differently." But "to be fair, the networks haven't thrown in the towel on families entirely. 'Touched by an Angel', 'Providence' and '7th Heaven' have shown such programs can be commercially viable."
In a media age, 'MP' was regarded one of the trailblazers. At the time, magazine assisted because it was a "great public relations vehicle", providing a "chain reaction for someone who is relatively unknown and puts them on the map." According to one publicist, "As magazines try and position themselves in the marketplace, so do actors. The covers you do contribute to your positioning." Laura Leighton told 'E! Online', "I actually stopped watching the show after the 2nd season. Not only was it a little confusing, because we were always shooting so many episodes ahead, but I'm just not a TV watcher. If I turn on the TV, it's for sports events, or sometimes the news. The NBA lockout is really driving me crazy." She also admitted, "Sydney's clothes were never something I could see myself in! Some of them were pretty memorable, too. Even if they were me, I'd be afraid people would remember what scene I shot while wearing it."
Heather revealed she belonged to a native American tribe called the Lumbe "way, way back on my father's side". It was understood Heather's "maternal ancestors were predominantly Scottish." She was matter-of-fact, "I love junk food and I eat like a horse. It's impossible for me to gain weight! I can't get fat, even if my life depended on it. I've never been on a diet or been overweight. In fact, I have to eat high calorie foods just to keep my weight up to 104 pounds.
"I know that's gonna make a lot of women hate me - and I don't blame them. I guess I'm just one of the lucky ones! Eating lots of food keeps me regular and healthy. When your body is working efficiently, you don't gain weight." Dr. Paul Saltman, a professor of nutrition at the University of California at San Diego at the time told the press, "There's nothing wrong with including so-called junk foods in your diet. The key is to balance calories and fat. If you've got a healthy metabolism like Heather's, you can get away with eating to your stomach's content." Heather confessed, "I can pretty much eat anything I want. I drink Coke and I love ice cream and chocolate cake. It would be a big lie if I said I like spinach salads. I'll never write a diet cookbook, that's for sure!"