Ashlee is Melrose Place's newest resident

A pair of CW spinoffs landed a pair of big names for pilot episodes, roping in a pop singer and a former teen idol in lead roles. Ashlee Simpson, sister of Jessica and wife of Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz, is heading over to the new Melrose Place, and Pretty in Pink's Andrew McCarthy is headed back to the 1980s in the Gossip Girl prequel.

Actress-turned-singer-turned-actress Ashlee Simpson-Wentz moves into Melrose Place as Violet, a wide-eyed small-town girl who recently relocated to Los Angeles, says The Hollywood Reporter. But she's not all squeaky clean--she's harboring a secret. Though more well-known for her music career (and being the sister of Jessica Simpson), Simpson-Wentz has dabbled in acting and previously had a recurring role in the WB's 7th Heaven.

Like many Brat Packers before him, Andrew McCarthy has officially made the transition from mysterious teen heartthrob to cool dad, landing a role on the Gossip Girl spinoff tentatively titled Lily. McCarthy would play Rick Rhodes, a music executive and father to the main character. The show's 1980s setting will be familiar territory for McCarthy, as fans of 1980s films will remember McCarthy as Blane from Pretty in Pink and the man who fell in love with a piece of plastic in Mannequin. Most recently, he appeared in NBC's Lipstick Jungle.

In talks to play Lily's mom is Cynthia Watros, who is best known as Libby from ABC's Lost, says E! Online.

Does the addition of Ashlee Simpson make you want to watch the new Melrose Place more or less?

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