The countdown to the inevitable Pete Wentz cameo has begun!

Multiple sources confirm that singer-songwriter-sometime actress Ashlee Simpson has become the latest tenant of The CW’s refurbished Melrose Place.

The onetime 7th Heaven star will play small-town girl Violet, a character whose disarming naiveté masks the calculating, shrewd sex kitten within. In other words, the little tramp’s Sydney.

Simpson joins a cast that so far includes Katie Cassidy (as ambitious publicist Ella), Michael Rady (as aspiring filmmaker Jonah), and, if there is a God, original Melrose icon Heather Locklear, who would be slipping back into Amanda Woodward’s office microminis. “Both sides are talking,” whispers my Melrose mole of Locklear. “It’s looking good.”

Melrose 2.0, which is considered a lock to land a spot on The CW’s fall sked (most likely on Tuesdays after 90210), is being shepherded by Smallville‘s Darren Swimmer and Todd Slavkin. Oscar winner Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) has been tapped to direct the pilot.

Now for the big question: Did Simpson score the part that Mischa Barton had been circling? My sources tell me no. That means the ex-O.C. siren is in talks to stretch her acting chops to within an inch of their life play straight-arrow med student Lauren or revoltingly sweet schoolteacher Riley.

But enough about Barton, let’s get back to Simpson: Thoughts on Melrose‘s newest acquisition? Sound off below!

More Melrose:

Meet the new residents

Melrose Place

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