This article appears in todays New York Post! The original can be seen here. Many thanks to Michael Starr for such a great story about the campaigns.
CAN HOT SAUCE SAVE THIS SHOW?
By MICHAEL STARR
THE fans of “Roswell” are giving WB execs heartburn in their efforts to get the teen-angst sci-fi series renewed for a second season.
Spurred on by a fan site, crashdown.com, “Roswell” loyalists began sending WB execs bottles of Tabasco sauce last month, fearing the ratings-challenged show might not return next season.
(The WB announces its schedule in May.)
“It started out as a letter-writing campaign, but then the hot sauce idea seemed like a natural,” said Darien Wilson, a Colorado college student who oversees crashdown.com.
Why Tabasco sauce? Because the alien teens in “Roswell” — descendants of those other Roswell aliens — slurp the stuff down when they’re eating sweets.
Hey, it’s an alien thing.
“We have about 7,000 members on our message board and we started out by sending tabasco to WB executives,” Wilson said. “And then people actually began ordering the Tabasco from a website and having it delivered directly to The WB.
“We sent in a bulk order of 700 bottles of Tabasco last week,” Wilson said. “It’s been a huge grassroots campaign.”
And one that hasn’t gone unnoticed — how could it? — by The WB, which has been, to borrow a “Seinfeld” phrase, “regifting” its 2,100-plus bottles of Tabasco sauce to TV journalists.
“[The campaign] immediately brought a smile to our face,” said WB spokesman Brad Turrell. “It was a pleasant surprise . �.�.� to see people who are passionate about our programming. We’ve still got plenty of Tabasco left over here for a chili cookoff.”
More importantly, the Tabasco campaign seems to have spurred The WB into action.
Beginning April 10, it’s moving “Roswell” from Wednesdays to a better Monday-night timeslot (9 p.m. on Ch.�11) following “7th Heaven,” the network’s most popular show.
“Roswell” executive producer Kevin Brown said “Roswell” fans are in for a treat when the show moves to its new home.
“The final six episodes of the season are running in order beginning Monday and fans of the show are going to go bonkers,” he said. “One of the main characters will get shot, and we’ll have a grittier, edgier sci-fi emphasis.”
Which was the intention all along. Brown said WB execs didn’t want “Roswell” — starring Shiri Appleby, Jason Behr, Katherine Heigl and Brendan Fehr — “to be stories about teens going to dances.”
“This show has always been a combination of �Romeo & Juliet’ meets �The X-Files,’ but we’re certainly not going to lose the emotional relationships between the characters,” he said.
“It’s just a coincidence that these six episodes will be more sci-fi-oriented,” he said. “We started introducing [sci-fi] elements of the show with our 13th and 14th episodes.
“I honestly think the fans have responded so passionately because the show is the first sci-fi show in a long time that they can relate to on a personal level,” he said.
“The fact that we’ve made the characters so real, and their struggle so relatable, is what makes our show different from other shows.”