Ashlee Simpson moves into 'Melrose Place'

10:00 PM PST 03/08/2009 by Nellie Andreeva, AP

Singer-actress lands a lead role on CW's updated version

Ashlee Simpson-Wentz is moving into "Melrose Place."

The singer-actress has been tapped as a lead on the CW's "Melrose" update, returning to series television seven years after landing her breakthrough role on the WB's "7th Heaven."

On the CBS Par-produced "Melrose," Simpson-Wentz will play Melrose Place's newest resident, Violet, a bright-eyed but shrewd small-town girl and recent L.A. transplant who has come to town with a secret.

Her character draws parallels to the original series' blond, budding-Southern-belle starlet, Sandy Harling (Amy Locane).

On the new "Melrose," Simpson-Wentz joins the previously cast Michael Rady and Katie Cassidy.

Simpson-Wentz is returning to television after a four-year hiatus from acting to focus on her music career. She guest-stars on the March 18 episode of "CSI: NY," also produced by CBS Par. In the episode, she and husband Pete Wentz will play Bonnie-and-Clyde wannabes.

Simpson-Wentz is repped by CAA and her father and manager, Joe Simpson.
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