USA Today article on Roswell (spoilers)

Thanks to JulieB for sending this in!

From USA Today:

Roswell Grows Up
10/09/2001 – Updated 09:21 AM ET
‘Roswell’ grows up, gets new relationships on UPN

By Bill Keveney, USA TODAY

A return from the grave may be a great story line for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but it’s pretty much the everyday state of affairs for its fellow UPN transplant, Roswell.

In just two years, the story of alien teens who have assumed human form was let go as a pilot by Fox, barely survived its first year after fans mass-mailed Tabasco bottles (an alien delicacy) to WB, and was then picked up by UPN for a third season after WB canceled it.

“There’s something about this show that wants to live,” executive producer Jason Katims says. “It has had a relatively small audience, but an incredibly passionate audience. There is clearly the potential for growth.”

Katims says Roswell (tonight, 9 ET/PT) may get that opportunity at UPN, feeling the network will promote the new arrival more than WB would have pushed a third-year show. Getting the slot after Buffy doesn’t hurt, either.

On UPN, Katims hopes to move Roswell toward the relationship stories that
appealed to him at the show’s beginning, but were sometimes overshadowed by story lines about the alien mythology. More stand-alone stories will make individual episodes more satisfying, he says. He hopes to give a higher profile to the humor that is sometimes eclipsed by the brooding nature of the show.

This season, the three alien teens – Max (Jason Behr), Isabel (Katherine Heigl) and Michael (Brendan Fehr) – are still in high school, but stories will have a more grown-up feel. Michael learns responsibility as a security guard, working the graveyard shift at a pharmaceutical company, while Isabel gets into a serious relationship with a new character, lawyer Jesse (Adam Rodriguez).

Max hits the road to search for his missing son, starting in Utah with his terrestrial girlfriend, Liz (Shiri Appleby), one of the few humans who know the alien secret.

“Max and Liz are together. They’ve declared their love again. It’s what our audience has been waiting for,” Katims says, referring to their Romeo-Juliet relationship.

Max and Liz also end up getting arrested, which draws their parents into the story. They will be much more involved than they were during the first two seasons, Katims says.

Max’s travels will lead to other adventures, such as a trip to Los Angeles, where he auditions for a role on the latest Star Trek show, UPN’s Enterprise (talk about shameless cross-promotion). Jonathan Frakes, a Roswell executive producer and star of Star Trek: The Next Generation, directs and guest-stars in that episode. Joe Pantoliano (The Sopranos, Memento) also appears in two episodes as a Hollywood producer who has information about Max’s alien past.

“Roswell is at its best when it’s telling stories that are a blend of relationship stuff and science fiction,” he says. “I’m looking at (the third-year pickup by UPN) as a wonderful opportunity for us.”