NY Times – Musta Been the Tabasco

I’m posting the whole article on here since NY Times can be a pain in accessing their articles unless you’re a member of the site. Thanks so much to Juliet for sending this in :)

Musta Been the Tabasco

At the end of the last television season it seemed as if “Roswell,” the WB dramatic series about alien teenagers on the run from the government, was set to crash like the U.F.O. that allegedly stranded its protagonists on Earth.

Its episodes were watched by an average of 3.6 million people, far fewer than WB had hoped for. Cancellation seemed a near-certainty.

But one thing “Roswell” did have was a loyal fan base, which set about a grass-roots campaign to persuade the network to keep the program on its prime-time schedule. The fans deluged WB with thousands of letters and bottles of Tabasco sauce, a favorite of the alien characters (who apparently find Earth food too bland).

When WB relented and agreed to keep “Roswell” around at least into the beginning of this season, ordering 13 new episodes, the campaign was hailed as the likely beginning of a new movement, the start of an aggressive new sort of fan activism.

In the end, the fans might have just taught the network executives a new lesson in patience. “Roswell” is averaging nearly one million more viewers per episode this season than last and has moved to 89th place in the overall program ratings, from 134th at the end of last season.

WB executives said yesterday that they had ordered enough episodes to fill out the rest of this season, for a total of 22. In an impatient world, sometimes a show just needs a little time to grow.

“That was a `bubble’ show,” said Brad Turell, a network spokesman. “It was a show we may not have picked up, and we’re certainly thrilled that we did.”