Roswell from Cinescape

Thanks to Stogy for sending this in!

From Sept/Oct Cinescape magazine:

Mondays 9 pm WB

The I Was a Teenage Alien show Roswell probably doesn’t remind many viewers of Cheers or Hill Street Blues. But those are exactly the shows the executive producer Jonathan Frakes mentions when he talks about the sci-fi series’ second season.

“I’m a big believer in this show,’ says Frakes (who’s better knownto Star Trek fans as The Next Generation’s Will Riker). “We’re going to go for something like The X-Files, Cheers, Law & Order, HIll Street Blues – all those big second season successes.”

Roswell’s big break-out will have to come in its second year because it didn’t come in it’s first: Ratings for the series weren’t exactly stellar, and a renewal was far from a sure thing.

“I was always confident that this show had such a loyal following that we were not in trouble. I don’t know if I was being a Pollyanna about it or not. Others were less confident than was,” Frakes admits. “They made it feel like a nail-bitter. But why wouldn’t you put this show back on? It’s one of the best shows on the WB.”

Apparently, the WB agreed: It eventually picked up the series for another season. But the show hasn’t received a complete vote of confidence from the network. In the spring, the WB moved the show to a new Monday-night timeslot. And network execs asked Frakes and his writers to steer the show more toward science fiction and away from high school heartaches.

“We were directed to do it by the WB [in order to] seperate ourselves from the Populars and the other [teen-oriented] shows,” Frakes says, adding hat the shift in tone made dramatic sense given the alien conspiracies the show’s characters have had to contend with. “They’ve been probed. Once you’ve been probed, you don’t go back to high school.”

The show’s sci-fi pedigree will get a big boost in the coming season thanks to a high-profile addition to the behind-the-scenes staff – former Next Generation/Deep Space Nine writer/producer Ronald D. Moore.

“Ron is the creator of some of the great Klingon mythology of Star Trek. He’ll help us with the alien mythology on Roswell,” Frakes explains. “We’re going to see the culture. At the end of season one, it was suggested that there is, in fact, another race of aliens, and we will get to see them, too. They’ll surface early in the season and scare the shit out of people.”

Of course, just how many bowels end up being evacuated because of Roswell depends on how many people actually tune in to see the show. But Frakes exudes Riker-like confidence about the series’ uncertain future. According to him, Roswell’s timeslot, combined with its new emphasis on science fiction thrills and chills, will give the show the second-year sizzle he’s expecting.

“I think that the audience really settled into our Monday night timeslot as opposed to our Wednesday night slot, where we were competing with Voyager, another sci-fi show,” Frakes says. “When the show bacame a sci-fi show as opposed to a teen angst show, we needed to have our own little niche, and I think we’ve found that on Monday.”


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