Grey’s Anatomy‘s Jeanine Mason is set to trade EKG’s for UFO’s, tapped to lead the CW‘s immigration-theme-with-a-twist sci-fi reboot pilot Roswell. Mason will taking on the role of Liz Ortecho, a biomedical researcher and daughter of undocumented immigrants who must deal with secrets new and old as a shocking truth turns her world upside down. Recurring as Dr. Sam Bello on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, the actress started her career as a dancer and took home first prize during the fifth season of Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance; and has appeared in Criminal Minds, You’re the Worst and Major Crimes.
Though the network had formally expressed interest in the project in October 2017, the CW has officially given a pilot order for a reboot of popular sci-fi series Roswell. Still intended to be based on the “Roswell High” book series from Melinda Metz, Carina Adly MacKenzie will pen the series; and executive produce with Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank (Amblin Television), Lawrence Bender and Kevin Kelly Brown (an executive producer on the original series). The Vampire Diaries‘ Julie Plec has been tapped to direct the pilot; and serve as executive producer should the pilot be given a series order.
As the series overview reveals, this Roswell will directly address the issue of immigration on two levels: the metaphorical sci-fi theme of “aliens-as-immigrants” that was present in the original series; and the very real issues surrounding the immigration debate and the impact it has on the children of undocumented immigrants:
Reluctantly returning to her tourist-trap hometown of Roswell, New Mexico, Liz Ortecho (Mason), a jaded biomedical researcher and the daughter of undocumented immigrants, is haunted by a tragic incident. She discovers a shocking truth about her teenage crush who is now a police officer: He’s an alien who has kept his unearthly abilities hidden his entire life. She protects his secret as the two reconnect and begin to investigate his origins, but when a violent attack and long-standing government cover-up point to a greater alien presence on Earth, the politics of fear and hatred threaten to expose him and destroy their deepening romance.
Roswell‘s first two seasons originally aired on The WB (which would eventually be rebranded The CW) from 1999-2001, with its third and final season airing on UPN. The series would serve as a boost to the acting careers of cast members Shiri Appleby (UnREAL), Katherine Heigl (Grey’s Anatomy) and Colin Hanks (Fargo). The Roswell “universe” was also expanded upon between 2001-2003 through a series of novels published by Pocket Books and Simon Spotlight Entertainment.