The CW is bringing back your favorite alien teen romance/government conspiracy drama Roswell as part of its new lineup, but the reboot is definitely not just rehashing The WB original series. Instead, the show will provide an updated take on the book series Roswell High, which served as the inspiration for the Shiri Appleby drama that premiered in 1999. Call them fraternal twins born almost 20 years apart: they share DNA but look different.
"We're really sort of going back to the book and starting from scratch a little bit," star Nathan Parsons, who plays the alien Max Evans, told TV Guide at The CW Upfront red carpet on Thursday. "It's not a prequel, it's not a sequel, it's a new iteration of this world that was created in the book series."
Starring The Originals alum Parsons and So You Think You Can Dance winner Jeanine Mason as the star-crossed lovers Max and Liz Ortecho, Roswell, New Mexico will chronicle their burgeoning inter-species romance after Liz returns home to Roswell to take care of her ailing father only to discover her high school crush is an alien. In addition to aging all the characters up ten years, Roswell, New Mexico is also giving Liz a whole new backstory that involves the mysterious death of her beloved older sister, as well as shaking up the character dynamics by making the character of Alex (Tyler Blackburn) gay.
However, there will be several nods to the iconic original series, which ran from 1999 to 2002. "It definitely has '90s vibes a little bit. So I feel like there are throwback elements that I think fans of the original will love," promises Mason, who notes that '90s music will play a major role in the series.
The reboot will also feature several recognizable locales and costumes, including the Crashdown Café and Liz's iconic waitress uniform. "It's fun. It's definitely got a little wink at the original," she adds.
Roswell, New Mexico will premiere on The CW in 2019.
Additional reporting by Keisha Hatchett
(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies.)