By mid-May, the broadcast networks will need to make some tough calls as to which series will return for the 2019-20 TV season, and which… won’t.
As that deadline inches closer, TVLine is singling out several “bubble” shows and sizing up their prospects — based in large part on their creative strides (and stumbles) and future potential, but also with a requisite nod to the cold, hard Nielsen numbers.
Next up in our Keep or Cut series is a freshman drama that strives (and succeeds) to prove that aliens are the new vampires.
THE SHOW | Roswell, New Mexico (Season 1 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW)
THE CASE FOR KEEPING | From its highly ‘shippable characters to its dramatic supernatural overtones, Roswell, New Mexico is The CW at its most CW, stacked with familiar, comforting faces both in front of and behind the camera. The mysteries surrounding Liz’s sister’s death and the aliens’ involvement have unfolded at a solid pace, giving us enough time to process each development without getting bored in between. And in just a handful of episodes, we’ve come to really care about this motley crew of damaged, passionate and empowered individuals. It also stands as an extremely rare example of a reboot — or a second adaptation, to be more accurate — that hasn’t completely alienated (tee-hee) fans of the original series. (Shiri Appleby coming on board to direct an upcoming episode is proof enough of that.)
There’s also an inherent relevancy to Roswell, New Mexico that’s missing from some other CW series, even those that try (perhaps too hard) to include current social and/or political issues in their storytelling. The external conflicts feel earned, because we see them unfolding in the real world every day. And with a total of 10 books in Melinda Metz’s Roswell High series — upon which Roswell, New Mexico is based — there’s no shortage of source material to mine for future seasons.
THE CASE FOR CUTTING | Roswell, New Mexico‘s only tangible shortcoming is its middling ratings. Since debuting to a 0.4 demo rating, Roswell has averaged just under a 0.3, while its Live+3 DVR playback gains are neither the network’s best nor worst. Its average in the demo puts it in a five-way tie for sixth on the network. That said, the other four shows Roswell ties with have already been renewed, and its average total audience outmatches five already renewed CW dramas.
How have you felt about your close encounter with Roswell, New Mexico? Weigh in with your hopes for the show’s future via our poll below, then drop a comment with more of your thoughts on the series.