By People Staff
October 13, 2009 12:00 AM
Patrick Wymore/The CW

Amanda Woodward, played by Heather Locklear, finally returns to Melrose Place in a new episode on Nov. 17, following in the footsteps of other revisiting alums, Thomas Calabro, Josie Bissett and Daphne Zuniga. But Melrose execs reveal to PEOPLE that they’d been plotting (and hoping!) that Amanda would be back from day one.

“When we were coming up with ideas about the show, we wanted a place for Amanda,” explains producer Darren Swimmer. So they built her into the story: The publicity firm where Ella (Katie Cassidy) has been working is named WPK and “the ‘W’ is for Woodward,” explains producer Todd Slavkin. “Heather’s character has “moved on from being an ad agency wiz and has gone into publicity,” he continues.

So have Locklear, 48, and Cassidy, 22, who’s been often touted as the “new Heather,” been getting along?

“We were there when they met,” says Slavkin. “It was a very special moment — very warm.” Apparently while they portray evil, the two are all smiles on set. “Katie is in awe of her,” says Slavkin. But just because Locklear’s great to have around, don’t expect her character to be any sweeter. Slavkin puts it simply: “The bitch is back. And she’s never been bitchier.” — Blaine ZuckermanPatrick Wymore/The CW