SciFi Wire: Roswell Happy With UPN

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9:00am ET, 23-October-01

Roswell Happy With UPN

Ronald D. Moore, co-executive producer of UPN’s teen alien series
Roswell, told SCI FI Wire that he’s pleased so far with the direction
the show is taking on its new network.

“We feel very good about the show creatively,” Moore said in an
interview about the series, which airs its third episode of the season
on Oct. 23. “It seemed like by the end of the second season and the
last, like, half-dozen episodes, we had sort of found what we thought
was the best and most comfortable mix of science fiction and the
relationship aspects of the show, and we were really happy with where we
ended up last season.”

Moore added, “So this year what we tried to do was sort of stay in that
groove and maintain that kind of feeling to the show and the mix of
stories. … The opportunity to introduce the show to a whole new crop
of viewers also meant that we could also relaunch the show in a certain
sense. So we looked at the first episode as almost like a new pilot, to
sort of say, ‘Here’s the show, here’s the characters. And here’s where
they are in the world, and what you’ve kind of missed.’ And then to sort
of look at the rest of the episodes a little more episodically than we
had previously.”

One of the key changes this season is a move away from long, multi-
episode story arcs, Moore said. “On The WB, the network really wanted
long, continuing complicated storylines, making it heavily serialized,
which also kind of put new viewers at a distance to a certain extent,”
he said. “And at UPN, it’s sort of the opposite. We want it to be more
episodic. We want you to be able to tune in and not feel like you’ve
missed everything. But it’s a delicate balance, because at the same
time, we need to maintain the continuity of the show to the people who
are already our fans and who expect a certain follow-up. But we don’t
want it to be so burdensome to the new viewer that they turn it off and
go, ‘Oh, God, I don’t know what’s going on.’ But we feel pretty good
about it, and we think we’ve sort of struck that balance.”

Moore added that the show’s creators aren’t overly concerned with
competition from The WB’s Smallville, which premiered last week to
stellar ratings. “We knew going in that it was going to premiere very
big,” Moore said. “It’s the new Superman show. I mean, it’s like, I’m
curious. There’s a given curiosity factor that is going to bring people
over to that show to just see it. ‘Yeah, what’s this new Superman thing
they’re doing?’ So we knew that, and so we were prepared to let them
have a big premiere and a solid follow-up rating or two. … But after
the bloom is off the rose, and they have to do it every week, then it’s
going to be a fair fight, and we’ll just see what happens.” Roswell airs
Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT.