The character of Melissa was a glowing girl who was the focus of the plot. Melisa’s exploits would be the central drama and the other characters would be effected by it.
But the actress who played Melisa thought she was on the path to stardom, so left the series to take a role in a movie.
To maintain the teenage audience, the Freddie character would have to be reworked.
‘Melisa’ was beautiful, Freddie was average so she couldn’t be the femme fatal. Freddie could be the good girl. Other actresses could be hired for the short term to be wild but Freddie would maintain her moral position.
A role which should have lasted no more than a month was extended for another month, then another, because Freddie was a good example, and the viewers wanted a good example.
In less than six months, the character of Freddie became one of the standards.
There were the stars and the costars, actors who would come and go, exploding into fame for a few moments, then gone. The character of Freddie was often just above the role of Extra. But it didn’t matter to Paula. She was earning more money than she would answering a phone, and the work was easy.