LOS ANGELES When the CW hosted a party to launch the new incarnation of the Melrose Place TV series, the venue of choice for the party was a no-brainer: Melrose Place, of course. On Saturday night, the network took over a stretch of street in the famed shopping district. CBS Television's vice president of talent relations and special events, Ian Metrose, oversaw the event, tapping Poko Event Productions to produce it. (It was the same team that worked on the network's party for the new 90210 this time last summer, speaking of 1990s TV revivals.)
“We wanted people to feel comfortable, with a little wow factor,” said Metrose. “We chose the same place where the first launch party for the first series was, but we went in a totally different direction.”
The street closure allowed for a 7 a.m. load in on Saturday morning, and a 4 a.m. load out on Sunday morning, after the party wrapped up around midnight. “There's going to be a lot of people working very fast,” Metrose said before the event. “The hardest thing about working on a public street is you have about 25 to 30 stores that you have to make happy. You are working with people who have businesses on the street—but the city's been really nice to us, everyone's been really cool. The real challenge has been how to make a great party starting from absolute scratch. We have to bring in every single element; there's nothing there that helps us—not a single light, not an outlet we can use, not a water hose. It's like, imagine you're in the middle of the dessert. Now make a great party.”
AT&T—whose exclusive sponsorship dictated the party's blue, orange, and white color scheme—set up an info booth in one corner for ts new U-verse product and showed off its laptop and phone products. “AT&T was a major factor in the design elements of the party, starting from the step and repeat with the blue carpet," said Metrose.
The assembled crowd—which included the cast, executive producers, show creators, AT&T clients, and CW and industry executives—largely arrived in shuttles from the Pacific Design Center, an effort to help manage traffic. Throughout the alfresco party space, clusters of pod-like fabric structures were lit from within. White fabric strips covered wooden cabanas that housed seating groups, and orchids and tulips sprung from white curvilinear vases atop tables and bars. White lighting glowed from within tables, and latticed partial walls defined the space. Grass walls bore the show's logo, and a sectional sofa spelled out the CW logo. And, at the entrance to the party space, the step-and-repeat wall got a 3-D look from logo cubes placed at multiple depths.