'Roswell, New Mexico' Lands on TV Tonight with a Fresh Look at UFO Tale

Roswell, New Mexico
"Roswell, New Mexico" premieres Jan. 15, 2019, on The CW television network. (Image credit: Warner Bros. Television/CBS Television Studios/Amblin Television/Bender Brown Productions)

The new television series "Roswell, New Mexico" premieres tonight (Jan. 15) with a bold new take on a show that first aired 20 years ago. 

The new show is based on the "Roswell High" book series written by Melinda Metz from 1998 to 2002; that series was the springboard for a previous television series, "Roswell," broadcast starting in 1999 on The WB network. "Roswell, New Mexico" airs its first episode on The CW, the successor to The WB.

While both adaptations blended classic themes of teen angst with the science-fiction elements of the Roswell 1947 UFO crash, there's now a pivotal change. To justify bringing the show back to television, the "Roswell, New Mexico" creators retained the protagonist's Mexican heritage from the books, which was omitted from the 1999 adaptation. [10 Alien Encounters Debunked]

"One of the important things I wanted to do was return Liz Parker back to Liz Ortecho, and create a show with a Latino lead and a really diverse cast," executive producer Carina Adly MacKenzie said at a panel event in October 2018. "I wanted to make sure there was a reason to reboot it … I wanted to make sure that it felt very grounded in 2018."

The show begins with human Liz Ortecho returning to her hometown, Roswell, to live with her father. As she comes up against the racist and xenophobic environment in her community, she resumes a relationship with her high school sweetheart Max Evans, who she discovers is one of the three extraterrestrials who arrived in the UFO crash landing of 1947.

"Roswell, New Mexico" is filmed in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is produced by Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios in association with Amblin Television and Bender Brown Productions. The show features the talents of actors Jeanine Mason, Nathan Dean Parsons, Lily Cowles, Michael Vlamis, Michael Trevino, Tyler Blackburn, Heather Hemmens, Trevor St. John and Karan Oberoi.

"Roswell, New Mexico" airs on CW at 9 p.m. EST/PST 8 p.m. CST.

Follow Doris Elin Salazar on Twitter@salazar_elin. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

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Doris Elin Urrutia
Contributing Writer

Doris is a science journalist and Space.com contributor. She received a B.A. in Sociology and Communications at Fordham University in New York City. Her first work was published in collaboration with London Mining Network, where her love of science writing was born. Her passion for astronomy started as a kid when she helped her sister build a model solar system in the Bronx. She got her first shot at astronomy writing as a Space.com editorial intern and continues to write about all things cosmic for the website. Doris has also written about microscopic plant life for Scientific American’s website and about whale calls for their print magazine. She has also written about ancient humans for Inverse, with stories ranging from how to recreate Pompeii’s cuisine to how to map the Polynesian expansion through genomics. She currently shares her home with two rabbits. Follow her on twitter at @salazar_elin.