. Originally used in headline
s in Variety magazine
to save space (as the word has fewer, and narrower, letters).
Here's an example from November 16, 1966, (as a sub headline for a review):
"Night Train to Mundo Fine / Totally inept meller, grim b.o."
(Chad Gould, MST3K MOVIE GUIDE REVIEW Web site. <http://tilt.largo.fl.us/critic/mst3k/ss6619f.html> (7 November 2002))
The term is still in use today in Variety
"New CBS drama "The Agency" has done an OK job Thursdays opposite NBC's still-dominant "ER," with the CIA skein chipping away at the medical meller's advantage in male demos."
("Still Kicking," Variety, 4 February 2002. FindArticles.com. <http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m1312/11_385/82885163/p1/article.jhtml?term=meller> (7 November 2002))
And it has crept into plot summaries for video catalog
s. Here's one for Las Vegas Shakedown,
"Dennis O'Keefe, Coleen Gray, Thomas Gomez and Robert Armstrong star in this crime meller."
(Movies Unlimited Product Page. <http://www.moviesunlimited.com/musite/product.asp?sku=796507> (7 November 2002))