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A Door Closes in Roswell, a Window Opens in Miami
Mon, Apr 22, 2002 01:13 PM PDT
by Kate O’Hare
Adam Rodriguez hasn’t starred in any long-running series yet, but that certainly doesn’t mean he hasn’t been logging TV time.
After a one-year run on the Steven Bochco police drama “Brooklyn South” in 1997-98, the native New Yorker hopped into a short stint on The WB’s “Felicity.”
In the spring of 2001, he appeared in the short-lived UPN haunted-hospital drama “All Souls,” playing wheelchair-bound computer expert Patrick Fortado. When that show closed up shop, he signed on to play Harvard-educated lawyer Jesse Ramirez in the teen-alien drama “Roswell,” which moved last fall from WB to UPN.
Effectively dead after its second season — which came about partly because of a concerted campaign by fans, who sent in bottles of Tabasco sauce, the aliens’ favorite condiment — “Roswell” got a reprieve when it followed fellow WB expatriate “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” to UPN, airing after “Buffy” on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET). After a long hiatus (when it was briefly replaced by the blink-and-you-missed-them comedies “As If” and “Random Years” ), it returns to that slot on Tuesday, April 23.
Whether because it airs opposite such tough competition as “24,” “The Guardian,” “NYPD Blue” and NBC comedies “Frasier” and “Scrubs,” or the eagerness of some key cast members to move on, “Roswell” has run out of second chances.
With the demise of “Roswell” officially announced, all the bottles of Tabasco sauce in the world won’t be enough to stave off the series finale, currently scheduled for May 14.
“We actually finished March 11,” Rodriguez says. “It’s one of those things that everybody knew about. Probably three-quarters of the way through the season, everybody had the feeling that not getting a pickup for next year was becoming inevitable.”
“I think everybody was pretty ready to move on. The majority had been there the last three years. Sometimes you wear thin with a character, or sometimes you’re ready for a new challenge.”
“Maybe that was everybody’s feeling, that they were ready to move on and do something else. There was a bit of joy and excitement at what the future might hold, but at the same time, there were certainly a lot of tears that flowed for some people.”
When he signed on for the show, Rodriguez says he expected the job to last a year, maybe two at the most, but he still misses his co-stars.
“Certainly Katie,” he says. “We spent a lot of time working together, and I couldn’t have had more fun. Honestly, she was an absolute sweetheart. But I really bonded with everybody. I had little moments there and there with different people. I went to a U2 concert with Nick (Wechsler).”
As hard as fans fought for the show, fighting even harder since the beginning was executive producer Jason Katims. “As sad as it was for us,” Rodriguez says, “it was especially sad for Jason. It was his baby. He really did try. I tell you, my heart really went out to him. No matter what, even if you know it’s time for something to be finished, it’s a hard thing to let it go.”
“I know, for sure, that he will bounce back. In his own way, he’s got to be excited about moving on to new things. That’s life.” Rodriguez hasn’t wasted time moving on in his own career. He’s signed on to CBS’ “CSI: Miami,” a spin-off of the network’s Thursday-night hit “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” which focuses on the use of science to solve crimes in Las Vegas.
Rodriguez plays Eric Delko, a former Florida State quarterback now working as a forensic investigator. The cast so far also includes David Caruso (“Michael Hayes,” “NYPD Blue”), Emily Procter (“The West Wing”), Khandi Alexander (“NewsRadio,” “ER”) and Rory Cochrane (“Empire Records,” “Dazed & Confused” ).
“I play an underwater-recovery guy,” says Rodriguez. “My specialty is going out and removing cars that get dumped into canals and swamps and whatnot. I also work in the lab.”
Asked if the role means skintight wetsuits, Rodriguez laughs. “Yep. Yeah, ladies.”
Viewers won’t have to wait until fall to get a taste of the new series, since the May 9 episode of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” is a backdoor pilot that introduces the Miami characters.
Current CSI investigators Willows and Brown (Marg Helgenberger, Gary Dourdan) fly from Las Vegas to Miami to investigate the murder of a law-enforcement official and the kidnapping of his family. About half the episode is being shot in South Florida (while set in Vegas, “CSI” largely films in Los Angeles).
“I’m back in the big show,” says Rodriguez, who returns to one of the Big Three networks for the first time since “Brooklyn South.” “It feels good, feels good. Spent a couple of years down in Triple-A, I’m definitely ready to have a nice, long cup of coffee back in the big show.”
“But there is a good finish to ‘Roswell,’ a great finish. It’s certainly something that could have left room to come back another time or even in a movie. They certainly left themselves the room to do that. But the ending is good, and it will bring a tear.”
CYBERSPATIAL ANOMALIES: “Roswell” fans that want to follow Adam Rodriguez to his new gig may want to catch up on all the “CSI” excitement so far, and there are plenty of Web sites to help. Among them are “Elyse’s Comprehensive” site (http://members.aol.com/JRD203/csi.htm) and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Fan Fiction” (http://www.geocities.com/silverwind1/csi.html), which does contain some mature content. On the reality side, there’s “Crime Scene Investigation” (http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net/index.html), which focuses on how investigators work and how to become one.