Frakes to Guide ‘Roswell’ Toward Older Generation

From: La Times

Frakes to Guide ‘Roswell’ Toward Older Generation

Television – ‘Star Trek’ star hopes an emphasis on science fiction will attract more adults to WB series about teen aliens.

By GREG BRAXTON, Times Staff Writer

Jonathan Frakes, one of the stars of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” is now heading up the WB’s “Roswell: The Next Generation.”

Actually, he isn’t changing the title of “Roswell,” the network’s first-year drama about alien teens. But Frakes, who is an executive producer of the series, is helping move the show in a new direction as it reenters the prime-time schedule tonight. It formerly aired on Wednesdays.

While “Roswell” has focused on the melodramatic trauma of three alien teenagers as they try to fit in at school while endeavoring to maintain the secret of their identities, Frakes and his fellow executive producer–series creator and head writer Jason Katims (“Relativity,” “My So-Called Life”)–are hoping to revamp the show, instituting a heavier science-fiction emphasis that they hope will attract a larger and more adult audience.

“We’re really relaunching the series,” said Frakes, who played Cmdr. William Riker on the “Star Trek” spinoff and directed the two “Next Generation” films, “First Contact” and “Insurrection.” He will be directing the season’s last two episodes of “Roswell.”

“We really want to deal now with the mythology of the aliens,” he said. “When the secret that these kids were aliens got out, there was really little for them to do other than stand around their lockers and talk about it. There are certainly enough teen angst shows.”

Frakes agreed with WB executives who felt that putting more of a sci-fi spin on “Roswell,” which is produced by 20th Century Fox Television, would make the show more compatible with other WB youth-oriented series such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel.”

Tonight’s episode involves an alien hunter who tortures one of the teens. A future installment deals with the birth of the aliens.

Twentieth Century Fox Television presidents Dana Walden and Gary Newman expressed confidence in the new direction, saying that Frakes and Katims were a potent combination to blend two distinctive genres.

Said Newman: “Jonathan brings a real science-fiction credibility to the show.” Added Walden: “Jason has a strong background with relationship-driven TV, and Jonathan has the edge on science-fiction. Together, they lift this show out of either of its individual genres.”

….The article goes on to talk about Frakes other upcoming projects.