Roswell is an American science fiction television series developed, produced, and co-written by Jason Katims. The series debuted on October 6, 1999 on The WB and moved to UPN for the third season; The last episode aired on May 14, 2002. In the United Kingdom, the show aired as both Roswell High and Roswell.
The series is based on the Roswell High young adult book series, written by Melinda Metz and edited by Laura J. Burns, who became staff writers for the television series. A re-imagining series was ordered to series for The CW on May 11, 2018.
For the past 10 years, Max Evans, his sister Isabel and his best friend Michael Guerin have been living a somewhat normal existence, with their hybrid biology of human and alien DNA helping them to fit in. Surviving descendants from beings on board the fiery crash of an alien spacecraft that popular legend says plummeted to the desert in 1947, the three teenagers have grown up quietly among the Roswell residents since emerging from incubation. Their peaceful existence was shattered the day Max forged an otherworldly connection with fellow classmate Liz Parker by using his mysterious powers to heal her gunshot wound, putting aside a pact of secrecy and ultimately risking his own life.
With this simple twist of fate, their secret was sacrificed and their identity exposed, forced to trust Liz and her best friends Maria DeLuca and Alex Whitman in order to stay one step ahead of forces from this world and beyond that would do anything to destroy them. They are also aided by Sheriff Valenti, who is driven by a very personal need to learn the truth about what happened on that fateful night in 1947.
The first two seasons aired on The WB Network whilst the final season was sold to (and aired on) The UPN. It was produced by Jason Katims but was based on the Roswell High books written by Melinda Metz and Laura Burns. It centers around the surviving aliens who landed in the Roswell 1947 Crash and now live among humans. As the series progresses, they discovered more about themselves, discover more powers within themselves and even find more aliens. These Four aliens are also the future lives of the rulers of Antar, their home planet.
- Shiri Appleby as Liz Parker
- Jason Behr as Max Evans
- Colin Hanks as Alex Whitman
- Majandra Delfino as Maria DeLuca
- Katherine Heigl as Isabel Evans
- Brendan Fehr as Michael Guerin
- Nick Wechsler as Kyle Valenti
- Emilie de Ravin as Tess Harding
- William Sadler as Jim Valenti
Roswell High was originally developed by 20th Century Fox Television and Regency Television for the Fox Network, though it eventually landed on The WB (retitled simply to Roswell) thanks to the latter network's offer to extend a full 22-episode upfront commitment. The pilot episode was filmed in 12 days with a budget of $2,000,000.\ "The Morning After," the second episode of the series, was the first episode with the full title sequence utilizing the theme song, "Here With Me" by Dido.
Roswell was filmed in various locations around California. City Hall, Charter Oak High School, and several other businesses and residences in Covina served as locations for the fictional locations in Roswell, New Mexico, as well as Vasquez Rocks, a 905-acre (370 ha) park in Los Angeles County.
The series premiered on October 6, 1999 on The WB Television Network in the United States to generally favorable reviews, and it quickly gained an outspoken fanbase.
In response to the problems the series had with ratings during its first season, the relationship-driven standalone episodes of the early first season were to be replaced with more science fiction themes and multi-episode plot arcs. Starting with the second season, after a fierce fan-driven campaign involving bottles of Tabasco sauce—a favorite condiment of the show's alien characters—being sent to the network's offices, veteran science fiction writer Ronald D. Moore was brought in to join Katims as an executive producer and showrunner and to further develop the science fiction elements of the show.
Not all fans responded favorably to the shift to more science fiction-driven storylines during the second season and the ratings continued to disappoint, causing the network to finally cancel the show on May 15, 2001, after the show's second-season finale, a move widely anticipated due to the sagging ratings. 20th Century Fox (the studio that produced the show) was able to persuade UPN to pick it up for a third season as a package deal when UPN outbid The WB for one of its popular flagship series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. During the 2001 - 2002 television season, Roswell, in its third season, aired directly after Buffy on Tuesday nights on UPN, though it was unable to hold on to the audience Buffy provided as a lead-in. This eventually resulted in the show's cancellation from UPN as well.
- The show was aired during the late 90's frenzy of supernatural shows, many of which also aired on the WB or UPN. Other successful shows of this era included Charmed, Angel, and the show crediting with kick-starting the trend, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- Although Roswell developed a cult following whose dedication rivaled that of any of its sister shows, the series was ultimately cancelled due to low ratings, first on the WB and then on UPN.
- The series has a reboot for The CW, the WB's successor network, on January 30, 2018 and ordered straight to series for the re-imagining on May 11, 2018 as well as the reboot series Charmed.
- Roswell on Wikipedia