Kevin Brown is the guy probably most responsible for Roswell. He sent this letter to crashdown, and wanted it to be posted. I don’t know how you will take this, but to me, it’s from the heart. It alone justifies my love for this show that we have been united over. How can something that comes from the heart of such a person as this, not be the grand thing that it is. Please, if you care about the show at all, lets keep up the support efforts. Flood the WB with hot sauce. Send those letters in.
Here is the message from Mr. Brown, to all of the fans of this incredible show!
I know a bit of panic spread through ROSWELL fandom a week or so ago when the WB announced they were picking up BUFFY and ANGEL for next season. Everyone seemed to assume that was it – no ROSWELL (and, if you want to carry that out, no JACK AND JILL either, which would hardly be a bad thing). In fact the early pick-ups of those two shows was due solely to the fact that Fox Studios (the producer of both shows, as well as ours) was in a position to pull BUFFY off the WB and put it on its own network (its contract was up, a la “E.R.”). So the WB wisely acted quickly to pick it up, and there was no reason not to pick up ANGEL, too, because it was obviously going to be back.
More troubling, however, was an interview with WB founder and head Jamie Kellner a few days later in the Hollywood Reporter during which he discussed the difficult year the WB is having. Indeed, after surging last year the WB, in large part due to the loss of national “gap” coverage on Superstation WGN but also the tanking of DAWSON’S and FELICITY’S haircut, has seen UPN fly past them this year, due to wrestling, of all things. (Thank God UPN’s recent monster truck special bombed or we would’ve been subjected to that too every week!) But in the interview, Kellner cited as two shows that would likely be back next year, ANGEL and POPULAR – he didn’t mentioned ROSWELL. And, frankly, that caught all of us offguard (also frankly, no one understands why they love POPULAR, but they do).
All of which means we are not out of the woods. No question, the network loves the show; no question, it hasn’t met their (or ours) expectations ratings-wise. It’s a very tough slot and we are being hurt by VOYAGER and, somewhat unexpectedly, WEST WING. We are also being hurt by another measurement: year-to-year ratings. Last year, in our slot, CHARMED kicked butt and we are constantly coming in below what they did. To a network, this is a very important factor.
Which is why we are so happy with the move to Monday as of April 10th – and why it is so important we all “get out the vote” on Mon. nights. First, it means the network still believes in the show – and they really do. Second, we will be following their No. 1 show, “7TH HEAVEN”, so we will be starting with a much larger audience. Now, while this might sound incompatible with ROSWELL, the truth is that the “family-type” shows they have been trying there (HYPERION BAY, SAFE HARBOR, RESCUE 77) have all tanked; in fact the last successful show in that slot was BUFFY (albeit it was also the first or second year of the network). Which brings us to No. 3 and probably the most important factor: that slot has been death for them so there’s nowhere to go but up. Thus, even if we just pull the same numbers, at least we’ll look better year-to-year.
But I believe we have to do better than “the same numbers,” and I believe we will because the move also coincides with a new direction for the show – more sci-fi, edgier stories, less romance. One critic early on dubbed us “Romeo and Juliet meets The X-Files” which was a brilliant distillation of what our show was. But while the pilot successfully achieved that balance, the series did not; now we will. In addition, once we move we will finish out the season with six straight new episodes, and I have of course seem most of these scripts and they are fantastic. For all of you who have put so much time and faith into ROSWELL, I think you will find yourself truly rewarded.
But there are still no guarantees, which is why your “Roswell is Hot!”
campaign is a great idea. Networks respond more than you know to letters, so please keep them coming. (But try and keep them to individual letters, not mass mailings from single individuals; they hate that.) And the Tobasco idea is fantastic! (As an aside: we had to get permission from McIllhenney & Co. to use their Tobasco sauce in the pilot; not only did they quickly let us, but after we got picked up and went back into production, they sent everybody hats and T-shirts as a way of saying thanks!)
As the person who found and originally optioned the “Roswell High” books and ultimately brought all the others in (including Jonathan Frakes, Jason
Katims and David Nutter), and who went on to see what was my very first series turn into a cause celebre and the only show of the 1999-2000 season with a full, 22-episode order, you can only imagine how much this show means to me. But it doesn’t mean anything without people like you and your fellow Crashdown fans, because without you our work becomes the proverbial tree that falls in the forest, the one that nobody ever hears. We appreciate you guys more than you will ever know…