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CW picks up 'Melrose Place,' 'Vampire Diaries'

'Life Unexpected' in consideration for midseason

The CW has added three scripted series in the fall: "Melrose Place," "Vampire Diaries" and "Beautiful Life."

The network hinted at its plans for "Melrose Place" and "Vampire Diaries" last week when it gave both pilots permission to start making offers to writers and directors.

"Melrose Place" could well pair up with "90210," repeating the launch pattern for the original "Melrose Place," which followed "Beverly Hills, 90210" on Fox in fall 1992.

With its name recognition and built-in buzz factor, CBS Studios' "Melrose" was an instant favorite before a page of the script was written.

The WBTV-produced "Vampire Diaries," based on Alloy's series of books about a girl in a love triangle with two vampire brothers, is looking to tap into the pop-culture zeitgeist ignited by the success of the "Twilight" franchise.

CW brass is said to be so high on "Vampire" that they are even considering launching the series as a tentpole on Thursday, capitalizing on the built-in sci-fi audience on the night as it is preparing to bid farewell to "Smallville."

Meanwhile, with its setting -- a co-ed residence of young models -- CBS Studios/Katalyst's "Beautiful Life" would make a perfect scripted companion for "America's Next Top Model" (or its Friday repeat).

It doesn't hurt that both "Melrose" and "Life" have tabloid-friendly stars -- Mischa Barton and Elle MacPherson ("Life") and Ashlee Simpson-Wentz ("Melrose") -- to help hype the shows. And "Life" is exec produced by Twitter king Ashton Kutcher, who can talk up the series to his more than 1 million followers.

The CW has not announced midseason plans, with "Life Unexpected" remaining in contention. It will introduce its schedule to advertisers on Thursday.